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?
To me this sounds like a critique on the quality of poetry. Thus, for the benefit of the person writing on this topic, I think this should be seen in this light. – J.D. Jankowski5 months ago
For artists that come to mind, I think of Rupi Kaur, Nayyirah Waheed, and Amanda Lovelace. I think it might be also interesting to look into how forms of "traditional poetry" (such as the sonnet or blank verse) are often regarded as more professional, even though some modern online poets, such as Kaur, do take inspiration from holy texts or verses relevant to their cultures. – Emily Deibler4 months ago
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. – lettersfromadreamgirl2 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. – arristarose2 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. – NataliaNybida2 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. – brittanynieman2 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. – benjamindmuir2 years ago
Speak to the impact Walt Whitman had on the poetry community and perhaps bring forth a discussion as to why he either does or does not remain relevant today in our fact-based, romance-lacking society.
Some clarification on what is meant here by "his Wit" would be nice. If you're using this term to discuss the use of humor/sharpness/jest in his poetry, then why does the below content of your topic make no reference to these traits? An argument can certainly be made that his wit has contributed to his continued relevance, but it would be nice to see that directly posited as a proper jumping-off point for the article. I get the appeal of wordplay, but it only works if you acknowledge its relation to the actual discussion at hand. Just my two cents. – ProtoCanon4 years ago
With all of the metaphorical language in poetical writings, is there a line to be drawn when it comes to interpreting said writings? English classes go into great detail about a Freudian style psychoanalysis of a single word in a passage or verse, often extracting a five-page essay’s worth of details from the arrangement of fewer than ten letters – is this extreme?
I love this topic!! I am a huge fan of poetry, and my favourite part of English classes was always annotating poems. In my opinion, the beauty of poetry is that it can be taken in so many directions. There's always more depth to them, and you can always go further. It's like a very complex puzzle. Interestingly, though, I've found that nine times out of ten, a group of people analyzing a single poem get exactly the same themes/meaning out of it when analyzing the poem individually, despite their highly varied individual experiences and values. In that case, I think there's an argument that a poet puts each word into a poem to have these deeper meanings, even if it's subconsciously. In that case, a Freudian style in-depth analysis is completely justified, and the depth each poem has is what makes it such great art. – Laura Jones6 years ago
I think we have to look at the age or period in which the poetry is written, and then its meter and form, and then, its relation to 20th century criticism. However, Freud has been applied to the analysis of literature and drama before and after his time. – Jeffery Moser6 years ago
I believe there are two levels of intention and interpretation for both the author and the reader of a work. First, we have the level of clear intention. This is shown by such examples as T.S. Eliot's use of the phrases, "Hollowmen," and, "Wasteland," in the respective poems. These monickers are used clearly and repeatedly, and in this, it seems intentionally, to represent the overarching motifs in the works. This is perceptible to any reader examining the texts in any sort of in-depth fashion. Secondly, we have the level of extrapolated interpretation, which will be defined as the reference to an outside body of work, or a seemingly unnoticed characteristic of a poem or work that embodies its sustained thematics. In, "The Wasteland," Eliot describes April as the cruelest month, which could be altogether negligible to the laymen or on its own could carry the meaning intended, but the extrapolated interpretation would be to recognize the allusion to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Another example of this, although from a work of prose, would be to note that the themes of, "Hills like White Elephants" can be supported by even the rudimentary units of grammar in the conversations between the girl and the man. So, in summary, I believe there are farragos of possible interpretations to any given poem or other work, and that with enough digging, these various interpretations often, in some fashion, all end up pointing in the same thematic direction due to the overarching intentions an author has in writing a given piece. That said, I also believe that not all of these possible interpretations are result of authorial intent but rather subjective extrapolation of the text by the reader. Each of these are valid methods, and coexist to cause close-readers everywhere to see all of the parts of a given piece: those that were intended, and those that happened by accident, alike.
– mrichardson356 years ago
NO. Nothing in art is unintentional, depending on the artist. Assuming its a true artist, especially when making a didactic work, it should never be asserted that their work is a culmination of random things put together with no thought. – luminousgloom6 years ago
Luminousgloom, I was more wondering if it's possible that an absurd number of *extra* concepts are often being interpreted from an artist's work, ones which are extraneous and unintentional, which brings into the question of how much they can be given credit or held accountable for said interpretations. Certainly artists create their pieces with amazing care, and have many layers of thought which go into their work - I don't doubt that. Thank you for that opportunity to clarify this topic idea! – EulalieS6 years ago
There is no line to be drawn. Freud, like any other theorist, offers a complex theoretical perspective and its relationship to any text must be explained in-depth. I think this is why the analyses get so long sometimes. Freud himself talked about an inevitable over-determination where we inject new values into interpretation; it’s unavoidable, but it’s also part of the interpretive process.
– greyject5 years ago
I, personally love applying a critical lens to all forms of literary writing, especially poetry. With that being said, certain works require different lenses: historical and cultural studies, psychoanalytical, post colonial and race studies, Queer studies, deconstructionist, Feminism, Marxism, and reader response. There are numerous literary lenses to explore, all of which have their strengths and their weaknesses. – danielle5775 years ago
Kerouac wrote on endless sheets of paper while doing speed, while Hemingway tortured himself for months over paragraphs. For me, the questions are: Did Kerouac accidentally leave more of himself on paper or did Hemingway? And - especially if the latter is the greater unconscious revealer of self - is there no way to block unconscious intent regardless of process? – Tigey5 years ago
In the last decade, the rise of writing poetry in order to raise cultural issues has taken off in a Border town called Laredo, Texas. The city neighbors Mexico and is delved in rich Mexican and American culture. It is balanced by both struggle, hardship, and endearment. This topic obviously does not have to focus on how slam poetry has specifically transformed this city, but it can explore how the Slam Poetry organization has transformed cities to be more expressive, literate, creative, and engaging with its own and surrounding communities. This topic could take many targeted perspectives, really; as long as it displays how empowering spoken word and the freedom of free speech guides society.
I really love this specific take on slam poetry. – MichelleAjodah5 years ago
Prosody has become almost a dying art in poetry, both on and off the age. With a rise in spoken-word, modern writing styles has kind of thrown the traditional rule-book out the window. But is proper meter and rhyme scheme a thing of Shakespearean past? Perhaps, by reviving the techniques behind the art form, we can reach a new level of creativity when it comes to poetry.
Also, the writer could definitely look into education courses, workshops, etc. to see how they teach the rules before the artist breaks them. – Jaye Freeland5 years ago
Recently I have started writing poetry as part of my doctorate of Education program where I am using poetic inquiry in an Autoetnograhical Arts Based Research framework. I am finding that, for the most part, the poems have a mind of their own...and while some are free form others take on rhythm and rhyme...with the result that the poem will generally seek unexpected paths... – bdecker5 years ago
In any form of art, whether it be film, poetry, or literature, some of it is very abstract. So abstract, that some people assert that perhaps it is lacking in actual meaning. Many students in an Intro. to Creative Media class I am taking has postulated that David Lynch’s films are void of meaning because they are so abstract and ambiguous. Is this something that should be thought? That simply because we cannot conceive of the artists’ intention that perhaps there is none?
Maybe the artist finds it funny that there is no meaning his meaning is to show that people find meaning in anything? Or maybe he has no meaning, but it's meaning is a study on what people come up with? I honestly am not the hugest fan of trying to find meaning. Poetry, literature, film, I think it's all how you perceive it. If it evokes emotion in you. If you find it clever, relatable, beautiful. What's more important: what the author meant? Or what it means to you. And honestly, unless an author specifically says what he means, it's all speculation anyway. And from that standpoint as far as scholarly analysis goes, everyone's opinion is valid and all opinions can be discussed. – Tatijana6 years ago
Lynch's films are surreal because their narratives are essentially dictated by dream logic. They usually have so much meaning (too much for some) that they can present a very difficult challenge for a mind unconditioned for the processing of such abstractions. His idiom demands a special discipline, much like learning a foreign language. Because his films don't conform to mainstream methods for conveying ideas they can seem too far beyond one’s capacity to process and that leads to frustration, resulting in unfair pronouncements of his work being “void of meaning.” As an artist myself, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a piece of work completely “void of meaning.” A piece of art may have meaning that’s inane or pedestrian, but just placing oneself within the process of producing something stimulates meaning. Even if that meaning is simply, “I create, therefore I am”
– kublahken6 years ago
I don't know if this a direction you'd want to go, and I don't have much knowledge in the way of film critique. But you could, exploring meaningless, bring up existentialism. Citing Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, Foucault, and the like, could help explain the meaningless portrayed on screen. You could even maybe start with Derrida and explain his beliefs about language being a fruitless endeavor that doesn't actual convey anything of ontological substance, just concepts that lead onto each other. Then, you could move to Camus and absurdism and explain how, once seeking meaning is thrown to the wayside, the viewer and artist are free to enjoy the pure aesthetic value of the subject or piece being viewed. Like an art informed nihilism or something. haha – PGJackson6 years ago
There is great unbalance between the popularity of works of prose and works of poetry in today’s world. Everyone and their mother has read a novel or two, and you might even hear them recommend one. Poetry, on the other hand, seems to be something hidden from mainstream conversation and even recognition. I can go on naming celebrated contemporary authors and novelists, while the only poet I can think of as being worthy of "celebrity" status is Billy Collins. That is not to say that there are not skilled or renowned poets today, but it seems that neither they nor their work are nearly as recognized. Why might this be?
I'm curious about this too. I'm an English major, and I regularly read novels for fun, but I almost never do that with poetry. I don't know if it's because poetry is just plain harder to read than novels (and has that always been a thing? or is it just a modern development?), but maybe also because of one being seen as more "academic." Most people's first introduction to a novel is something fun like Magic Treehouse, but most people first introduction to poetry is probably like analyzing sonnets in high school English class. I actually hadn't even read anything by Billy Collins until this summer - and that was because I had a friend give me a collection of his poems, and I just decided to read it for fun. It probably also has something to do with the fact that novels 'feel' more accessible because they're more similar to film and other modes of storytelling, but also because poetry isn't even really concerned with storytelling a lot of the time? – thekellyfornian6 years ago
This is awesome, I love this topic. It is extremely unbalanced in todays world, and I frequently hear people saying they don't write or read poetry because it is "too difficult", or they think it's silly. I see a lack of appreciation in some readers and even writers. I am sad to see it is not being recognized in contemporary culture, so I would be interested to see where someone takes this. – emilyinmannyc6 years ago
it is because of strong and rich prose fiction of your culture. novels, short stories, and drama they have really strong annals but in my country poetry is so strong and rich all of the people know about poets and poetry even though the ancient ones.they memorize poems but they know less about prose. as I know ancient cultures have rich poetry history. it will be more amazing, if you consider these points that I have mentioned. – Elahe Almasi6 years ago
This really, really needs to be addressed!! – Tessnoonan6 years ago
Poetry tends to be difficult to understand. It requires more patience than prose. Social media has shrunk our attention spans, making it less likely that people will read anything, let alone poetry, which typically must be read several times to fully appreciate it. – JLaurenceCohen6 years ago
Good topic! I would like to think about "reading poetry" under the influence of interpretation. How the interpretation (poetry critique, texts trying to explain poems...) can ruin or help our interest on poetry? – laricouto6 years ago
It is confusing....If social media has shrunk our attention spans, I would think that poetry (rather than novels) would fit that medium. It just isn't taken seriously. MUSIC
is. Poetry has become more of personal expression, rather than a storytelling medium as someone else mentioned. That could have something to do with it. – Candice Evenson6 years ago
Poetry in books and on the page may not still have the popularity they used to, but I think the rise of slam poetry is something worth noting. – MichelleAjodah6 years ago