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Poetry Vs Social Media

poet Anonymous


Indie said:I definitely feel that. There have been times I've walked into the arena and it's always worth it, but it never stops being terrifying.

poet Anonymous

I think social media has made modern poetry superficial.

Most of the poetry you see circulated on various websites are not even really poems, just banal platitudes, really.

Rupi Kaur is actually a great example of this. No hate to her hustle, but personally, I find her poetry to be some of the most uninspiring, boring, juvenile poetry I have ever read. And for whatever reason, this is always the kind of poetry that shoots to popularity online.

Strangeways_Rob
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Doesn't this merely accentuate the opinion of many that poetry is elitist? Not sure who, really, gets to decide what is 'good' or 'bad' poetry. Folk scribble for myriads of reasons & if they find it cathartic, enjoyable (or whatever) then more power to them. There are very few poets who make a living from the craft.

poet Anonymous

Strangeways_Rob said:Doesn't this merely accentuate the opinion of many that poetry is elitist. Not sure who, really, gets to decide what is 'good' or 'bad' poetry.

I kinda have to agree with this.

I guess it depends how you frame it — I mean you can say that “zomggg social media has ruined the art of poetry” or I guess you can embrace it.

I have an exceptionally dear friend of mine who is pushing 60 and has recently joined Instagram. He’s never used it before. When I asked why the sudden interest, his exact words were “you’ve gotta move with the times, man”… and I think that’s the best answer I’ve ever received. I guess we flow in the direction of the river. It’s being open to change.

Short, accessible poetry is an art form all of its own.

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Taken from 1 of the articles you provided earlier in thread:

“Rebecca Watts (a prize-shortlisted poet in her own right) was commissioned to review it (Hollie McNish collection) for poetry journal PN Review, but submitted, instead, an essay in which she decried “the rise of a cohort of young female poets who are currently being lauded by the poetic establishment for their ‘honesty’ and ‘accessibility’ – buzzwords for the open denigration of intellectual engagement and rejection of craft”. She declined to review Plum on the grounds that “to do so … would imply that it deserves to be taken seriously as poetry”.”

Rebecca Watts’ attitude really grinds my gears. It’s just divisive snobbery. Can’t we live in a world where ‘serious,’ ‘honest’ and ‘accessible’ (again, who decides these categories?) poetry co-exist and compliment each other? Just think it’s a shame. Of all the art forms, poetry is the least popular. Why?

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Strangeways_Rob said:
She declined to review Plum on the grounds that “to do so … would imply that it deserves to be taken seriously as poetry


I've read Hollie McNish's poetry, and Rebecca Watts can go sit on a cactus.

Now, I'll let y'all get back to your discussion.

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Strangeways_Rob said:Taken from 1 of the articles you provided earlier in thread:

“Rebecca Watts (a prize-shortlisted poet in her own right) was commissioned to review it (Hollie McNish collection) for poetry journal PN Review, but submitted, instead, an essay in which she decried “the rise of a cohort of young female poets who are currently being lauded by the poetic establishment for their ‘honesty’ and ‘accessibility’ – buzzwords for the open denigration of intellectual engagement and rejection of craft”. She declined to review Plum on the grounds that “to do so … would imply that it deserves to be taken seriously as poetry”.”

Rebecca Watts’ attitude really grinds my gears. It’s just divisive snobbery. Can’t we live in a world where ‘serious,’ ‘honest’ and ‘accessible’ (again, who decides these categories?) poetry co-exist and compliment each other? Just think it’s a shame. Of all the art forms, poetry is the least popular. Why?



Response found here:

https://holliepoetry.com/2018/01/21/pn-review/

... mcnish was never one to mince her words🤣
i honestly relate to the frustration in her response

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paperstains said:

I've read Hollie McNish's poetry, and Rebecca Watts can go sit on a cactus.

Now, I'll let y'all get back to your discussion.


McNish is very humble, funny & human IMHO. Cactus? That counts as entertainment in some households

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_feral said:


Response found here:

https://holliepoetry.com/2018/01/21/pn-review/

... mcnish was never one to mince her words🤣
i honestly relate to the frustration in her response


Thanks for that. That essay is so dismal. Think McNish won that little battle.  I've read some Watts. She's a fine writer (sterile and emotionless IMHO), but what is all this snobbery about the short form? Don't start on me those who rage against the notion that (popular) music lyricists are not poets. Off top of my head, Cave, Costello, Cohen, Dylan, Morrissey, Hawley, Terry Hall, Heaton, Hawley blow their own poetry out of the water.

Okies. Had my tuppence worth here. Carry on Healthy to debate.

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Strangeways_Rob said:

Thanks for that. That essay is so dismal. Think McNish won that little battle.  I've read some Watts. She's a fine writer (sterile and emotionless IMHO), but what is all this snobbery about the short form? Don't start on me those who rage against the notion that (popular) music lyricists are not poets. Off top of my head, Cave, Costello, Cohen, Dylan, Morrissey, Hawley, Terry Hall, Heaton, Hawley blow their own poetry out of the water.

Okies. Had my tuppence worth here. Carry on Healthy to debate.



i'm not going to speculate because im not highly educated in english literature, i came out with a B and a C in english gcse and that's as far as it went, yes i have indulged in some classical poets over the years growing up and there are a few i've come to love, however, i think mcnish brings up a very good point while mentioning the poets she's brought up in her response, they extend and give that accessibility to the ordinary folk in todays age, before them there was raymond carver and charles bukowski who broke down that barrier in their use of sparse language, short forms and yes the unapologetic use of  simple language and swear words throughout their poems, it brings character and doesn't hide behind metaphors or images like the classics before them, poetry has evolved in many different ways and people are not hiding behind it and it's not considered a hidden or private matter anymore, maybe the literary establishment doesn't realise that or simply fail to see the art behind it at all, just my humble opinion, it doesn't make it right of course, but here we are 🤣 i think it was an interesting response and she remained rather respectful considering watt's build up of harsh criticism while reviewing her, if you can call it a review

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Only 1 in my circle of friends has a serious poetry interest. The rest wouldn’t cross the room to read a poem and yet I have seen them cry over a song, film, TV programme or novel. Poetry seems to carry a stigma. Think it was Runes who recently wrote about English teaching in schools. Surely kids are more likely to engage with Hollie McNish than, say, Milton or Chaucer. Shakespeare is such a British institution it would be akin to removing % from the Maths syllabus.

Education is pretty irrelevant, unless one tutors. I have a BA & MA & only mention that as I from a staunch working class background and faced daily battles with the Home Counties & Private School cognoscenti. This seems to be a specific UK (& our class system) phenomenon.  I am no more or less credible to pass comment on a poem. I did engage with books from a very early age, but only cos Mum & Dad were very encouraging. They weren’t well read or educated, just a wealth of life experiences.

Think the answer may lie somewhere in the angles of accessibility. Dunno really. If people enjoy reading poetry, just allow them their pleasure, without fear of judgement. I confess to being a metaphor whore and in the grand scheme of things, they probably amount to little. Just have always enjoyed their creation. I try to purchase at least 1 contemporary poet book or anthology a week. It's good to support independent publishers, but find a session with a writer on my sofa very relaxing!

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I’d like to echo Rob’s statement above. Poetry has never been a profitable medium in terms of basic profit. Even Shakespeare survived by writing plays, not sonnets. Poetry requires private reading and reflection, where even (popular, as opposed to classic) novels can be discussed in groups.

That’s partly why Harry Potter was such a phenomenon. It was soap opera, basically, where adults and children alike could fret over the characters, but because it was in a book as opposed to on a TV screen that gave it an air of something intellectual.

If you’re writing poetry because you expect to make a living from it, well, all I can say is the bald truth, which is that people aren’t willing to pay for it. Not on the scale that you’re probably imagining, anyway.

Every single famous poet you’ve read and enjoyed had a different source of income. Sylvia Plath? Academic and occasional journalist. Emily Dickinson? Daughter and spinster of a middle-class household. Edgar Allan Poe? Seller of pulp tales to “penny dreadful” magazines. William Shakespeare? Actor and theatre producer.

With regards to social media, it’s fine for promoting your poetry, but you need to look at it in a subjective way and perhaps most importantly (if you care about poetry at all), guard your personal self as much as you can. At some point you need to decide whether you want to be an artist or a celebrity. Both can make money, but only one is selling their personality.

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True enough, I'm forced to sell drugs so I can put food on the table for the childer


I suppose one of the not bad things about social media is there are opportunities to be published and on occasion earn a little money



poet Anonymous

@runes… what if you’re a celebrated artist? 👀

poet Anonymous

To be honest, I opened this thread to gauge peoples feelings before I do a podcast episode on the subject. If anything, this all illustrates how varied people’s views are about the subject. So thank you for clarifying that.

Anybody that has a burning desire to talk about it, please let me know :)

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