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If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a poet, or a writer of some type. If you’re not a poet, but enjoy reading poetry, then you are awesome and one of my favorite people in the world. There are not nearly enough people out there who are like you, enjoying poetry because it’s a pleasure to read.
The above video sums up a lot of my thoughts on why I decided to join Instagram in April 2018 to share my poetry, but I have a few more closing thoughts to add. The average person, someone who isn't a literature major or taking English classes in school or university, likely won't even pick up a book of poetry again in their lives. Poetry has a reputation of being those old, classic poems, which are hard to appreciate unless you're really getting in deep with analysis and learning to enjoy it. Since I do come from a background of formally studying literature, I have found ways to enjoy the classics. However, it took a long time for reach that point; in high school, though I loved writing, I hated most of my English classes. It really wasn’t until I was an undergraduate in college when I was truly able to dig through the archaic language and find the hidden gems in classical poetry.
It’s quite likely that even I, an active writer and a poet, may not have ever learned to appreciate classical poetry if I had chosen to pursue a more practical discipline in college. With that said, how can poets expect the general public to enjoy their work if people are never exposed to how fantastic poetry can be?
Instagram has such huge potential to make poetry modern, relevant, and approachable to anyone. It's exciting to be part of a community, absolutely, but it's just as exciting to see poetry as a medium making a comeback and becoming something people talk about. Platforms such as Instagram have the unique chance to breathe new life into ancient art forms.
This poking at a much larger topic, but literature in general is becoming something that is commonly consumed digitally. I love sitting down under a blanket, with a cup of a coffee, and with a nice paperback book, but I honestly don’t get the chance to read that way very often. I usually read when I’m on the train going to work. Even a paper book lover like me needs to admit that it’s a heck of a lot easier to be on the go with a Kindle than it is with a regular book.
As novels become enjoyed as ebooks more frequently, poetry is going through a similar metamorphosis. We don’t immediately think of a social media platform like Instagram as a source of poetry, but it is a digital medium that has the opportunity to be even more influential than ebooks. If you buy an ebook, whether it’s prose or poetry, it’s because you read periodically, perhaps frequently, and that one has caught your interest.
With poetry on Instagram, you have the chance to engage a new audience, reach out to people who aren’t frequent readers, and hook them in with your words. Instagram has the chance to bring literature to people in a way they can appreciate and enjoy easily. People aren’t giving up on reading, they’re just doing it in a new way. With so many fresh minds on Instagram sharing their poetry, many of the poems you’ll come across cover topics that appeal to modern readers. We can relate to poetry of any age if we try, but Instapoetry can be much easier to digest for people who are new to enjoying the medium.
Since this entire piece is about being an Instapoet, I’m going to do a little shameless promotion. If you are interested in being part of this literary movement, look for me as @SleeplessAuthoress on Instagram.