Instapoetry is not poor because it is genuine, it is poor because that is all it is.

A well-written, fun and fascinating read:

No Filter: How the nicest place online created the worst, most popular poetry – Soraya Roberts – The Baffler – January 24, 2018

But here it is: [Rupi Kaur’s] poetry, and much of Instapoetry, is poor. This poetry is not poor because it is genuine, it is poor because that is all it is. To do more than that, regardless of talent, requires time, and, by its very definition, Instapoetry has none. Ezra Pound’s epic collection of poems The Cantos took decades to complete. Maya Angelou has said she has found poetry the most challenging of all her professions: “When I come close to saying what I want to, I’m over the moon. Even if it’s just six lines, I pull out the champagne. But until then, my goodness, those lines worry me like a mosquito in the ear.” Even Rimbaud, who was already composing his best work in adolescence, conceded in his “Letter of the Seer,” “The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses.” Time is what is required to think, the kind of thinking that allows the poet to imbue each individual word with a world of meaning. Harold Bloom described canonical writing as that which demands rereading, William Empson that it needs to work for readers with divergent opinions, provoking a variety of responses and interpretations. All of this implies a richness, a complexity, a variety of strata. The majority of Instapoetry has none of this. It is almost exclusively a banal vessel of self-care, equivalent to an affirmation, designed for young women of a certain privileged position and disposition, one that is entirely self-absorbed. The genre’s batheticisms remove specificity, to avoid alienation, supplanting them with the sort of platitude you find on a department store tea towel. Because this is what Instapoetry is—it is not art, it is a good to be sold, or, less, regrammed. Its value is quantity not quality.

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