• ReBecca DeFazio

Modern Poetry

Trending Now: Free Form Poetry - Everything Goes!

Poetry has always been a beautiful piece of art and although it may not have always been the most popular, it has definitely made it’s way there! Poetry has become a huge trend in the past 10 or so years; more and more publishers have decided that poetry is a top seller and people are obsessed, moved, and truly in love with the words that are now shared all over the world daily through multiple platforms. With all of this growth, a few things have come to be true about poetry now that weren’t necessarily true before; making it a whole new way to write and express yourself!

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” —Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Everyone knows what poetry is; they learned about it in school and probably wrote a few poems in their teenage years as a way to release their angst but now poetry has become more than just an old way of creating something romantic on Valentine’s day or for teenagers learning “how to life.” It has become a huge movement. Especially for women writers and women writers of color!

I noticed this old form of expression, reappearing a lot on Tumblr in about 2008/2009. I was just finishing high school and getting ready to go to college where I would study for a bachelors degree in English, Creative Writing, that there was an incredibly large writing community on Tumblr that would share everything from poetry, to short stories, to novel excepts, and even entire novels! Along with literature and writing homework assignments, that would be discussed, given feedback, shared, liked, etc. Though, in 2012, I believe it died down a lot and people had started moving away from poetry, short stories, and novels and more towards general life blogging and V-logging.

Fast forward to 2014/2015, you now have Instagram, which, is rapidly becoming a huge space full of people who share pictures with captions multiples times a day. When I joined the Instagram writing community in 2016, I was amazed by how many poets were there and also how many poets had moved from platforms like Tumblr to Instagram! Poets that I had known (in what seemed like a past life) and even had talked to, etc, were now famous and published!

Publishing is something that usually goes hand in hand when it comes to writing and writers, right? Not really, as it takes a lot of work to find the right publisher for you and some have had to try and try again to get their foot in the door; J.K. Rowling herself got turned down 12 times with Harry Potter!! With this new popularity status of modern poetry and expressing yourself through these poems, there has also been major additions to the publishing world…. Self publishing! Between 2000/2002 a bunch of websites opened up their online doors to a whole new world; being able to upload your manuscript and publish it yourself! Then Amazon picked it up and made it even more easily accessible by helping you create a beautiful book with their KDP program as well as placing that book on their website for anyone in the world to buy!

Tons and tons of now popular poetry writers have made their way into traditional publishing houses like Andrews McMeel (one of the most popular publishing houses for poets) by self publishing their books and proving their worth, writers like, Amanda Lovelace, her spouse Cyrus Parker, Rupi Kaur, and so many more! Some of these new poets that are making their name through this modern poetry movement have also brought in a few new things, or should I say, took away a few things: RULES.

“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat." —Robert Frost

In this modern poetry movement, poetry has become not only more available, it has become more elaborate. Poems with art beside them to give you not just mental stimulation and emotional stimulation, but also visual stimulation. Pairing beautiful, heartbreaking, and truly magical pieces of art with the words creates an entirely unique experience. Modern poetry also needs no capitalization or punctuation! Leaving the way one reads it, understands it, and interprets it all up to the reader. These are all very popular trends; free flowing poetry that follows no rules but evokes feelings that you would have never imagined. With this, “no rules” style, so many people have been made to feel comfortable and welcome in the writing communities across many platforms, giving more and more people a voice!

This movement has also brought back the use of typewriters; the aesthetic of “being a writer” has come back into full swing and everyone is loving it! These typewriters are of course, not just bought for their beauty; they are functional and being used to create beautiful works of art that are then shared all across Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more.

All of these things are good, in my opinion, but they are not the best part of this modern poetry movement. Perhaps the best part about this movement is that people are using poetry to heal, to confront their demons, to speak their truths, to stand up against their oppressors, and to ultimately find their voices.

There are tons of women who have shared their stories through the Instagram poetry and writing community. Stories of abuse, rape, childhood trauma, along with sharing their feelings towards the need for equality, LGBTQ+ rights, racism, and more! There are writers and sub-writing communities that are dedicated to spreading awareness and ending the stigma surrounding mental health discussions, stories, and experiences as well. These writers are making huge impacts in other’s lives and creating a bigger, safer, and larger space for people to share and connect on these specific issues…issues that they may not be comfortable to talk about or write about anywhere else. This platform has given so much space for writers in general to share their craft, their opinions, their secrets, their stories, and in return receive love and connection from like minded people from all over the world.

“Poetry is emotion, passion, love, grief—everything that is human. It is not for zombies by zombies." —F. Sionil Jose

I am in no way saying that Instagram or the writing communities that lie across the internet are perfect. They are far from that, as everything that is on the internet and in the world in general is sure to have its problems, but modern poetry is something that I hold very dear to my heart. I am very thankful that there are spaces for it to be shared, for these beautiful connections to be made, for these careers to blossom, and for openness to end stigma around important issues.