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?

  • 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. Jankowski 3 years 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 Deibler 3 years ago

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