Poetry in the 21st Century

I’ve loved poetry ever since I accidentally picked up my brother’s 10th standard poetry book ,and happened to come across a poem on gloves and lions, portraying a lady’s vanity and a count’s quicksilver movements. Ever since then, poems have spoken a language of emotions that are difficult to spell out and even more difficult to portray. Poetry opened a door filled with creative liberties and lovely visual concepts ranging from absolutely fantastic landscapes to the ever common idiot box. Kipling’s ‘If’  gave me motivation while KEat’s ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ taught me the destructive potential of love.

Today, I find poetry not only in books, but in every virtual screen I look at. Be it Facebook, Instagram or various other platforms, we find people putting their points across via poems. It is beautiful how poems help people heal and understand many scenarios that would be difficult to grasp otherwise. Technology today has given people the platform needed for them to self- publish their works. Every poem is a click away, catering to a wide variety of genres. We find budding poets in various media platforms. There is raw talent waiting just a click away.

Technology is revolutionizing the entire publishing industry. It’s the age of Instagram and Facebook wherein we see budding new poets and writers taking the spotlight one at a time. Rupi Kaur, one of the famed names in the world of poetry, self published and popularized her content via Instagram. Today, she does world tours and her books are a raging success. Her Instagram account has 3 million followers. Her beautiful poems talk about self-love, the power of healing and most importantly, empowerment. Her poems are act as tools, creating awareness among people through the power of the written word. They heal and enlighten readers with the knowledge and experience of emotions. She educates and moves us, one post at a time.

The internet has brought people closer and bridged the cultural differences we might have had. Places no longer seem very far away, people no longer too different. Social media goes a long way in doing this. People from every nook and corner can put forward their thoughts on different matters and have their voices heard. Who would have thought that a place for uploading pictures will give a platform to poetry.

We find very few people going to bookstores and buying poetry books. Statistically speaking , only about 1%of the entire population buys books on poems anymore. That’s a very dicey source of livelihood. But now with the help of Instagram and Tumblr , uploading poetry via posts makes for a good source of income. The more popular you get, the more income your posts garner for you. Poetry is by nature more portable, which helps as the short form lends itself well to the new online world- shorter reads are screen friendly.

If social media doesn’t give you enough content, fear not, for apps have our back. There are a wide range of apps showcasing an even wider variety of poems. Terribly Tiny Tales launched their own app giving many budding writers a platform to showcase their talents. Mirakee, another poetry app, showcases quotes, poems, stories, micro-tales and other kinds of write-ups. While these are apps helping budding writers, we also have apps that showcase all kinds of poetry by poets across the world.

If the great poets of the past centuries were alive in today’s day of technology and intense social media, not only would we have a smashing collection of poems and write-ups but also a collection that would be accessible to people across the world, and not just a handful of selected people. Emily Dickinson’s obvious dislike of household work and her views on paying social calls would have become a trending notion, hailed by women everywhere. John Keats’ poetry bemoaning one-sided love would have found a number of broken-hearted anguished empathizers. We are indeed lucky to have been born in an age where our voices and opinions find platforms to shine on and the kind of attention that creates awareness, food for thought and bridges gaps between people. Today’s social media platforms have indeed made the pen mightier than the sword, changing the world one verse at a time.

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