Am I a fan of it? Do I write it? What do I think of the genre of lovey dovey poetry? And does it have a place in literature?
Well, to start with, I’m not a fan of “romance poetry”. But, I am? I really enjoy a good love poem. Something that is sweet, or sarcastic, or dark, or conveying some deeper message using the theme of love. Or maybe just commenting on love by using that theme. So you could say I’m a fan. I’m a fan of professional love poetry. Poems that make a point. Make a statement. Speak on something of the human experience other than sex and the “you complete me” idea.
I am not a fan of Instagram love poetry.
I’ll say it again. I do not like the love “poetry” on Instagram.
It’s in quotes for a reason. I don’t think you can say, “you.” And call it poetry. I mean, that’s a dramatic example however there’s a lot of that out there. Two or three words with this false pretense of being deep, philosophical, and clever. But that’s not what poetry is about. Not to me.
To me, poetry punches. It leaves a mark. It leaves a taste in your mouth. It’s memorable. Poetry has form. Even when it’s formless, that’s a form. There’s a rhythm to the words. A special way that phrases sound. Each letter can be picked for a purpose.
I’m not saying I expect everyone to be a master. But typing up a five word poem on a typewriting app because you’re edgy? Uh-uh. Not here for it.
The problem is, that people think that this is poetry when it isn’t. People are familiar with this brand of romantic poetry and it’s gained traction. It makes poets who write actual poetry look crazy. Because who wants to read several stanzas and develop a connection to a poem when you can scroll through a million posts that are six words long?
Then comes the second issue. Love poetry is not all poetry.
And just so we’re clear, when I say love poetry, I’m not talking about the good stuff. From here on out, let’s just assume that when I say love poetry I’m talking about the bad Instagram trash.
So the second issue, there’s so many types of poetry. I’m not even talking form wise. I’m talking subject matter. I myself have written splatterpunk, dark fiction, nature oriented pieces, and so many more. I have a whole collection about death. Another about witches. Another about religion and the concept of the devil. There are so many topics.
And so many authors on these topics.
So when there’s a big group of people who only know love poetry, it’s frustrating. Because there is so much out there.
It does poetry a disservice.
It’s similar to those who say yoga is boring. And running is boring. And poetry is dumb. It’s all love letters.
Except that it isn’t.
There are so many authors out there crafting really cool, memorable, important pieces that discuss both the human condition and the state of the world.
Let’s move onto the next question. Do I write it?
Yessir, I do.
Now, this is important. I have some poetry that is love stuff out on my Instagram (@lunatic_writer) and I hope that people can see there is a secondary theme to all of them.
I do have poetry that is romance poetry that I don’t ever publish. Because here’s an important thing. There’s poetry for public consumption and poetry for me, me and my husband, me and family. Not everything I write has to be out there and not everything should be.
Some poetry is really super cheesy. Sometimes I write a ten letter poem on a napkin for someone to see. That doesn’t need to published, does it? It’s not a radical thought or a deep revelation. It’s just letting someone know that I love them.
To me, the intended purpose of poetry has to be examined. Am I doing this to be cool and relevant? Am I doing this to be edgy? Am I doing this to appear deep. Or am I doing this to bring light to something? Am I doing this to impact someone? Am I doing this to prove a point?
So if I’m reading this stuff that’s only here to be cool and look deep, I don’t like it. I don’t think it has a place in actual published literature. I don’t. Writing six words isn’t that hard. Here look:
I am a ghost of love.
Not hard. Just did. Ten seconds maybe.
And that’s my fundamental problem with this kind of writing. No work goes into it. No editing needs to be done. It’s just a blip, a moment in time. But because it’s so quick and so small it snags the attention of people and it looks like poetry. But it isn’t. It’s a sentence. That’s all.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But to classify it as poetry, to publish it as poetry, and to act like it’s some huge deal is a lie.
Now, I’m not saying I hate it all. Sometimes I like just scrolling through and reading some. But I don’t consider it reading poetry because my brain is on autopilot. Just a little.
I like it sometimes. But most of the time, I’m bored of it because it’s the same sauce just with different foods underneath it. Same flavors, different spices.
No hate goes out to these authors or these people because boy, are they doing better than me right now. But just a different opinion than the one most commonly voiced.
What do you think?
Do you like this stuff? Are you even exposed to this stuff? At what point does poetry lose its essence enough to no longer be considered poetry?