Rupi Kaur and the Rise of Tumblr Poetry: Does using line breaks make you a poet?

Despite a successful release in 2016, Milk and Honey garnered its fair share of negative attention from poetry fans who claimed that while Kaur’s work was evidently intended as free verse, that it lacked the finesse and proper execution needed in order to differentiate itself from text posts found on teen Tumblr blogs. Similar criticisms have been made of Lang Leav, another Tumblr-based poet. Have these authors paved the way for this style of poetry, and can they be compared to the likes of E.E. Cummings? Discuss.

  • At the end of the day, poetry should be free verse - isn't it about expressing a universal theme or state of mind? It's a shared feeling. How could they possibly be compared to someone who's works were written nearly 100 years ago? The future is now. – lettersfromadreamgirl 5 years ago
  • Rupi Kaur has lately gained so much attention from teenage for her thoughts and writing. She has written some books as well based on her real-life experiences. – arristarose 5 years ago
  • I personally enjoy Rupi Kaur's work, but I can certainly understand why it is not everybody's cup of tea. I think that there is beauty in all types of poetry. In free verse, in poetry following strict formulas. In poetry which is complex and multifaceted and in poetry which is straightforward and simple to understand. Rupi Kaur's work is, in my eyes, certainly not "deep" and clearly she uses simple language and simple concepts. And there is something undeniably beautiful about poetry such as that of E.E. Cummings, which is flowery and complex and which rolls of the tongue beautifully. But I do not personally believe that certain types of poetry is better then other types of poetry. Rupi Kaur's poetry may not be traditional in the way that she presents it but it is poetry. Real poetry is material that makes people feel. And I think that the reason why Kaur has become a bestseller is because her poetry does just that:it makes people feel. It may not be complex or profound, but it addresses important topics in ways that people can relate to and in ways which make people feel what Kaur must have felt in order to write the poems that she has written. – NataliaNybida 5 years ago
  • Rupi Kaur is responsible for re-lighting the fire for poetry in today's society. Without her work, much of today's youth would not look twice at a poem. Even if her work is not the poetry of the past, it is the work that we needed today. – brittanynieman 5 years ago
  • While Rupi Kaur is a particularly egregious example, "Tumblr Poetry," or "Prosetry," as some have called it, regardless of its artistic merit is questionable in its status as poetry by definition. Poetry is defined, generally, by the usage of the aesthetic or rhymic qualities of literature to create a work of art, often utilising stable symbols and motifs to invoke the meaning without outrightly stating it. Kaur and her contemporaries take a more conversational style or even a confessional one. Now, while this is neither inherently good or bad, in its lack of the utilisation of poetic techniques as a whole it is questionable as to whether it is, indeed poetry. Again, while I'm certainly not a fan, I'm not here to pass judgement on the aesthetic or artistic qualities of this genre but in saying that, if we are to compare it to Cummings, the only commonality is that they're both writing. – benjamindmuir 5 years ago

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