I came across this article recently, and I'm not the only one. On Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and forums the old debate flared again: Are InstaPoets actual poets? A fair number of people respond with a resounding "no".
The argument against Instagram poetry can be summed up like this:
1. It's too simple.
2. It blends in other elements (like graphics and self-help).
3. It won't bring more readers to other/real poetry.
The last point is the easiest to push aside. If all poetry is supposed to open the door for readers to find other poets, no one is a real poet. Poetry is losing its readers, and poets have bemoaned that fact for ages. Why are we asking InstaPoets to shoulder something we (in the "superior" community) haven't accomplished? It's malarkey.
Then again, maybe they are helping the poetic landscape.
The point where Instagram poetry is discounted due to other elements is also trash. Putting a poem with a piece of visual art isn't real poetry? They best not tell any poet-illustrator, collaborative artist exhibit, or ekphrasis writer. Poetry isn't meant to motivate you or help you in some way? Do the people spouting this dreck even read poetry? A good poem can change (or even save) a life!
Art is subjective, so "quality" will always be dependent upon who is critiquing it. Are the pieces on Instagram not technically poetry? Some of them. I've read work in literary magazines editors classified as poetry but I didn't. Does that mean the work isn't legit? As far as complexity goes, does every poem have to contain seven layers of meaning... minimum? Poets often drive readers away because they try for intellectual/deep and land in obscurity/condescension.
The naysayers of Instagram poetry believe it's a fad doomed to fall fast. Why all the animosity? Something as brief as a footfall shouldn't matter. Could the reason be... envy?
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