THE RISE OF MICROPOETRY

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Submitted Date 12/01/2019
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"You know, I thought I had to become like a pop star or like an actress to get here." These were the playful yet sensible words of Rupi Kaur to the host of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Certainly an uncommon guest for the talk show, Kaur was being interviewed because of the success of her poetry collection, "The Sun and Her Flowers." Through sharing her micropoetry, mainly on Tumblr and Instagram, Kaur has gained a loyal young following, which resulted in her 2017 poetry book appearing on multiple best-sellers list within just weeks of its publication.

If you're like me, your first experiences with micropoetry, or short poems, came through grade school acrostics (where the first letter of each line spells out a word when read vertically) and haikus (Japenese poetry that requires a restricted number of syllables across three lines). Although many of us were educated based on the notion that a poet's artistic ability and appeal is showcased through expressing creatvity in fixed poetic forms, contemporary poetry has largely moved away from strict standards. Hence, micropoetry nowadays may have little in common except that it is brief. And, the prominence of social media and self-publishing has given it a resurge.

The popularity of poems nowadays seems to be based more on the writer's ability to succinctly capture the emotive and taboo aspects of the human experience. Readers seek short memorable quotes that can help them get through their hectic day-to-day lives and that they can easily share with others. I personally find it refreshing that more writers are sharing short poems without feeling the need to restrict their syllables or follow a specific cadence. I also support the widening of the artistic space to include more voices. Thanks to technology, you don't have to be a comedian to share a laugh-out-loud moment, and you don't have to be a full-time writer to inspire others with your poetic thoughts. If you are an active writer; however, you can quickly join this movement by selecting the most striking lines from poems that you have already written. To develop a fan base, it most important that you post regularly to the platform of their choice and create a consistent aesthetic that helps your followers build familiarity with you. While their isn't a standard word count for a brief poem, it shouldn't be more than you'd put on a postcard. In fact, micropoetry has come to look a lot like digital postcards, as poets often place their poems within a photograph, have them accompanied by a sketch, or use interesting borders and graphic design.

Below are some micropoems from Instagram for your enjoyment! You can use the hashtags #micropoetry #twitterpoem #shortpoem and #instapoetry to discover or post micropoety.

rupikaur_ https://www.instagram.com/p/BxtMFQLhlBt/

atticuspoetry https://www.instagram.com/p/B3AJrdCg9-S/

wilderpoetry https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwmb09uJLZw/

nikita_gill https://www.instagram.com/p/BkSyrg5nmzE/

andreahopethepoet https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwosm7WAAwr/

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  • Ashley Aker 1 day, 9 hours ago

    There are a number of great poets on this site! I love reading those posts in the morning. I think poetry has loosened up its standards as you have mentioned. It certainly makes the art feel attainable for those that are less confident in their abilities. I'm in the middle of Bukowski's What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through The Fire. Many of his works sound like inebriated ramblings. I don't connect with all of them, but when I do I end up thinking about it all day. Rumi's book I gifted last year for the holidays. I wonder if those same poems would qualify in poetry contests or magazines? Micro poetry has made its way on social media, but what about other mediums? Is it accepted among established poets that uphold the craft in the highest standard?