Instapoetry is ubiquitous. It can be found on every social media platform and the books themselves are sold in millions of copies. I have also hopped on the bandwagon of Instapoetry some time ago when I discovered Rupi Kaur’s books and was very curious to know more of this modern type of poetry. I have been trying to untangle the secret of it ever since, and I definitely need to share my views with you, my fellow readers!
What is Instapoetry?
Just to quickly explain what Instapoetry is! According to Wikipedia (sorry for this very unreliable source of knowledge, but we all know it’s also pretty accurate source of knowledge!), Instapoetry is “a style of poetry that emerged as a result of social media. This type of poetry is written specifically for sharing, most commonly on Instagram, but also Twitter and Tumblr. The form usually consists of short direct lines in aesthetically pleasing fonts that are sometimes accompanied by an image or drawing, with or without a rhyme scheme.” In other words, it’s a short poem touching sensitive topics, such as love, abuse, body image or racism etc., presenting it in a aesthetic form, and usually including a hand-made drawing as well.
Instapoetry has caused some controversy among the readers, poetry readers and social media users; there are many who find it a liberating and personal form of art, and there are other who simply say that clicking ‘Enter’ doesn’t make it poetry.
My thoughts on Instapoetry
So far, I have read Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers, and just recently I’ve finished The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace.
To begin with, my general opinion is, I am somewhere in-between liking and disliking this type of poetry. I don’t hate it and I don’t love it, but I am still not sure whether I like it or dislike it. There are a couple of things I find difficult to understand and like, but there are a couple others that touch my soul and make me stop and think about the universe.
I do find Rupi Kaur’s poems slightly more interesting than Amanda Lovelace’s. I think Rupi Kaur’s poetry is more intentional, thought-through and bitter, whereas Amanda Lovelace’s poems seem to me like… she really did just press ‘Enter’. I hope it’s not because I read Kaur’s poetry first and got completely indulged in it, and then became a bit more critical of it, but simply because Lovelace’s book seemes very quick, easy, and not that thought-provoking.
Rupi Kaur focuses a lot on the topics of femininity, body image, love and relationships, and that really speaks to me. Her poems are of varied length, some are short and bitter and other are a bit longer and almost storyline-based. She never uses uppercase letters, and there is no punctuation. What I like the most about her poetry is that it’s simple, yet deals with heavy topics, thought-provoking and very personal. Some of the poems, when read at the right time, can also be very uplifting (I’m talking about us girls!). On the other hand, and that’s a general opinion about Instapoetry as well, a lot of her poems sound like empty words to me. Common knowledge included in three verses and provided with a drawing don’t really make up to poetry… Nevertheless, I liked her two books of poetry, and I am actually looking forward to her next one being released in 2020!
Amanda Lovelace’s poetry didn’t quite interest me. It was such a quick read that I didn’t have time to stop and think about what she’s trying to present. Her poems were much heavier than Kaur’s, dealing with such topics as abuse, death and regret, and yet I kind of skimmed through it without hesitation. What I disliked was also the use of & instead of an and – I know it’s a small thing, but I understood it as though the poetess didn’t have time to properly type ‘and’, and got lost in this whole quickiness of the poetry.
In spite of the controversy surrounding Instapoetry, I am intrigued by it and I know I want to read more of it! I think it can be a hit or a miss, and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you find it interesting, liberating, and you want to support young poets with their personal stories, then why not! Obviously, not every Instapoet is a good Instapoet, and many of the poems do look like they’ve been scribbled during lunchtime, but if you’ve found good ones that unleash your deepest thoughts, then why not embrace them!
What do you think about Instapoetry? Do you like any of the poets? And can you recommend any other books? Let me know in the comments 🙂