Tag: poetry

Scratching the Surface of Instagram Poets

Instagram poets like Rupi Kaur, Charly Cox, and Fariha Róisín have taken over the Millenial creative realm and have devoured the hearts and minds of impressionable youth.

It has been said that these poets misuse what William Carlos Williams did. William Carlos Williams was an actual poet at the head of the Modernist movement who invented the ingenious line-breaks these Insta-poets now supposedly exploit. Rupi Kaur has gone on record and said she treats her poetry “like a business.” By the rules of logic, you can then presume she is not writing actual poetry. None of them are. But if you’re curious what they write about, and how they write, read on.

 

 

Timothy Green from Press-Enterprise established this not-writing-actual-poetry nonsense in a kinder way:

Instagram poetry is the exact opposite (of real poetry). It’s self-aware and entirely useful. It is designed to sell and so it sells. It’s not exploration, but expression. Rather than poesis, it is mimos, “to mimic,” or better the Latin mirari, “to look at and admire.” Rather than a door to new meaning, it’s a mirror held up to the reader, reflecting and rendering beautifully back what the reader already knows.

 

image via amazon

 

Rupi Kaur confronts taboo and turns it into cliché. She mixes metaphors and writes inelegantly. In her first book, Milk and Honey, there are lines like, “he put his hands on my mind” and “how can I help I begged my heart…”

However you feel about the discussions she has with her internal organs, this Indian-Canadian writer has a massive following. I never thought I’d say that about a poet, maybe about a Rolling Stone, but not someone who calls themselves a poet.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Charly Cox uses mental health as her taboo. In her book, She Must Be Mad, you can see she swings from pole to pole when it comes to line breaks, and doesn’t believe in revision. It’s about more words, more alliteration, like, “spanking new anticipation twirling twines that tie knots in your chest, frayed ends tickling your stomach to stir hot queasy…”

…did someone say queasy? It’s a stream of consciousness modern-day extravaganza! James Joyce jubilation? No. Not quite. Look, the problem with Cox is that she isn’t confronting anything; even if this prose-laden punctuation-less madness is followed by a pared-down ‘poem’ (ugh) she ends up just confronting boy-craziness which is not taboo, not outrageous. It seems people are purposely searching for a lack of originality. Are people just not up for a challenge anymore?

 

Image via Amazon

 

Then you have Fariha Róisín, who could possibly have something to offer. She identifies as a queer Muslim femme and chooses to talk a bit about it In her Insta-poetry book, How to Cure a Ghost. I don’t mean to imply that her background and how she identifies is what makes her interesting. Rather it’s because she rambles on and on, dancing around the point.

She does the line break thing without knowing who she learned it from. If her rambling were compressed, cut, it could be something more impressive. She writes, “…it’s no coincidence I turned out like this…a condition abbu refused to accept…all the sorrows of our sad, sad nations.”

Is it wrong to want a poet who is almost saying something to actually say it? For pages she goes on the way a seventh-grade jazz saxophonist might riff.

 

 

So there are many more Insta-poets, like Wilder Poetry, Atticus, Blythe Baird, Amanda Lovelace and so on. They all pretty much do the same thing.

Here’s the formula:

  1. Pick a topic that deals with something illicit like sexuality, abuse, and so on
  2. Make something with line breaks
  3. Make sure it’s in a wordswag font!
  4. Post to Instagram

Once they get popular enough to move up the ladder, publishing houses like to divide their books into four sections. It is a kind of pre-determined script for more insta-poets to come.

So, if you like aphorisms if you like word magnets then go ahead, but to rephrase what Green said, it isn’t poetry. We scratched the surface of some of Instagram Poets, but it seems there isn’t much below. In fact, after reading some of these ticker-tape word parades, I suggest everyone read real poets. Support those who are creating magic through craft and technique. Try Jean Valentine’s The Door in the Moutain. She’s not easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is, though. That’s a cliche, only because it’s true.

 

 

 

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Joni Mitchell Publishes Private Poetry from the 70s

Joni Mitchell, the esteemed singer-songwriter of the 70s, is publishing a collection of handwritten lyrics and artwork titled Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings. Though Mitchell is most well known for her music, this mysterious work has been a part of her unique character for decades.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Morning Glory on the Vine was originally created in 1971. Mitchell created 100 copies, including a personal signature with each one, before distributing the work to her closest friends. This will be the first time that the extremely intimate work will be available for public consumption.

 

 

Mitchell choose to publish Morning Glory on the Vine with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in celebration of her 75th birthday. In addition to Mitchell’s poetry and artwork included in the original version, the published version will also feature a new introduction written by Mitchell.

 

Joni Mitchell’s Art/Image via Canadian Art Junkie

 

Many of Mitchell’s pals are also included within the work, as the artist painted several portraits modeled after her famous friends. For example, Neil Young, Georgia O’Keefe, and David Crosby, all have portraits handmade by Mitchell herself.

Morning Glory on the Vine is available to purchase online and in bookstores now.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image via Pitchfork 

8 Poetic Pablo Neruda Quotes to Bring Love in Your Life

On Oct 21, 1971 Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in Chile in 1904, Neruda had a lifelong passion for poetry, publishing his debut collection, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despairin 1924. He’s one of the most celebrated poets in history, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Here are some of the most insightful quotes from Pablo Neruda’s poetry and life!

 

Image via NObelPrize.Org

1. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

 

2. As if you were on fire from within. // The moon lives in the lining of your skin.

 

3. Laughter is the language of the soul.

Image via npr

4. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.

5. You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

image via the Poetry Foundation

6. And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.

 

7. I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

Image via hurriyetdailynews

8. Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us

Featured image via NewsClick

On This Day: Poetry Author Pablo Neruda Won the Nobel Prize!

Pablo Neruda was a fascinating character. Born in 1904, he started writing poetry at age 13 and wrote in a wide variety of styles including surrealism, historical epics, political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems. One of his most famous includes Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair which became famous and rather infamous for its eroticism. It was first published in 1924 and became Neruda’s most famous work, going onto sell twenty million copies worldwide.

Image via Amazon

In addition to his poetic accomplishment, Pablo Neruda was internationally recognized as a diplomat, fostering relations between Chile and the world. However, he came under scrutiny when President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla outlawed communism and a warrant was issued for his arrest on account of Neruda’s own communist beliefs. Neruda hid in a basement for months before escaping into the mountains and fleeing to Argentina. He later returned to Chile and became a close advisor to President Salvador Allende. During this time, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, dramatically recounting his escape years earlier during his lecture at the event.

He died in 1973 when a military coup overthrew Allende’s government. His death is suspected as foul play: he was initially hospitalized for cancer and was reported to have died of a heart failure. However, in 2015 examination of his death found evidence he may have been given an injection that killed him, likely due to enemies that were overthrowing the regime he was loyal to. The case is still being looked at but Spanish medical doctors have reported it is highly likely Neruda did not perish of heart failure as was claimed.

Whatever the case, Neruda is a fascinating politician, diplomat, and a masterful poet. Celebrate his winning of the Nobel Prize today and crack open a few of his poem collections. We recommend:

The Poetry of Pablo Neruda.

The Essential Neruda 

Love Poems. 

Featured Image via Wikipedia

Here Is The Shortlist For The T.S. Eliot Prize

The T.S. Eliot Foundation announced the shortlist for the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize. Considered one of the most prestigious prizes any poet can win, the winner of this prize will receive 25,000 pounds with the 10 shortlisted poets receiving 1,500 pounds each. The list itself includes some noticeable standouts.

 

 

Jay Bernard is a debut poet and was nominated for Surge, a collection of poems about the 1981 New Cross Fire that killed 13 black people. He joins previous T.S. Eliot prize winner Sharon Olds who was nominated for her poem Arias, following the intimate thoughts of a young woman.

 

Jay Bernard | Image Via Wikipedia

 

A common theme amongst the nominees is the discussion of controversial topics. This includes debut poet Alexander Anaxagorou, who’s poem After The Formalities talks about racial abuse. Fiona Benson’s Vertigo & Ghost series depicts Zeus as a serial rapist. Ilya Kaminsky’s the Deaf Republic follows an occupied country persecuting deaf boys.

 

Alexander Anaxagorou | Image Via The Independent

 

John Burnside, chairman of the judges for the prize, feels very confident in this year’s nominees:

 

In an excellent year for poetry, the judges read over 150 collections from every corner of these islands, and beyond. Each had its own vital energy, its own argument to make, its own celebration or requiem to offer, and we knew that settling upon 10 from so many fine books would be difficult. Nevertheless, as our deliberations progressed, the same titles kept coming to the fore.

 

You can read the full list of nominees here.

 

 

Featured Image Via Poetry Foundation