Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Is "tumblr poetry" not "real" poetry?
Where there is language, there has always been poetry; for it is not only an art, but also a means of expression. But it has metamorphosed over the years, either in form or in the manner of dissemination. While it is natural that just as there are recognised masters of the art, there will always be amateur poets, the only factor that delineates amateur poetry as the seeming curse of modernity is the rise of the internet, and with it, of blogs and social media — heralding the rise of the so-called "Instagram poets" or "Tumblr poets." Gone are the days when the publication of your works were at the whim of those who controlled the press.
As with any activity, there is a spectrum of talent to be found. While there are those who put line breaks into epigrams and call it poetry, there are also writers of free verse with compelling metaphor and imagery. However, any amateur poet who shares this work faces a debate as to whether they can be called legitimate poets. Discuss: what is the need for this debate? What are the factors leading to this debate? Do the arguments posed hold water? Is it not a form of elitism to generalise the quality of self-published work? What can we do to acknowledge this shift in the nature of content creation?