Although Instagram is generally thought of as a platform filled with perfectly-composed selfies or pictures of felines, or of exotic vacations and food porn, there’s a whole world of inspirational poetry waiting for our curious eye amidst all the scrolling through the random posts. In times when social media is blamed often for making us read less, Instagram has helped make poetry hip again making it a finger tap away; resurrecting the art in a boundless, unsolicited fashion. Well, let me introduce you to a new brand of poets: Instapoets. Poetry is no longer the genre that we lose touch with; Instagram providing the coolest platform to these budding literary giants, transforming the medium into a veritable smorgasbord of inspiration, profundity, and awesomeness! And interestingly, this Illuminati of creative vision are just in their early adulthood!
Working well for the millennials suffering from a strong case of attention deficit, the warm words, typewriter font on yellowed or white background and an occasional accompanying sketch are like a welcome hug; soothing the void in their lives and giving words to feelings trapped deep inside.
The coolest thing about Instagram poetry is that it has to fit inside the cropped square (sorry, all the Homers, you’d hardly be welcomed here). Young, beautiful and “insta-famous” is the new cool! And there is still integrity in creating art. The rise of the Instapoet started in 2012 when New Zealand-based Lang Leav, writing excessively on love and heartbreak started garnering unprecedented fame. And the rest is history, or so they say!
Social Media can be highly influential when it comes to making art, a muse for the creative soul when it gets the reception that it desires. Everything on social media is about the “aesthetic”, so these writers and poets strive on the connection that they make through their words or art. And this sure does wonders when it comes to trashing our weird image of English Literature students constantly having a glass of wine in one hand, and a copy of something like Kafka in the other, reading it in a darkly lit room; these are people like us with hardly a Fine Arts degree but a heart that feels and the power of expression to make us feel something!
Using minimalist words that strike a raw nerve in you with their oh-so relatable-ness, it is little wonder that Instapoetry works wonders, making it accessible to an audience that’s hardly ever offline! And these closeted writers struck gold, taking up to Instagram like fish to water, thriving on the fame solely on the basis on their talent, feeding an audience too lazy to ever touch a book!
However, short poetry isn’t necessarily easier to write, it requires great precision, the poet having to pack a lot of raw emotion and symbolism into a very small space, making it crisp and poignant and not to forget, highly aesthetic, fully depending on the talent and an understanding of what will resonate quickly with the readers in a short span of time. The themes range from heartbreak, love, feminism, erotica to issues plaguing the world currently in English, Hindi, Urdu, French etc. capturing the eye of the poetry hungry soul. Feels are guaranteed thereafter.
Nonetheless, these writers too face scorn and criticism, given their choice of themes (that are sometimes controversial and don’t go down to well with the audience) and due to the lack of emotion in some of their pieces; it’s all a part and parcel of making your thoughts public. Poetry is becoming sexy again but it being a viable career option is still a debatable issue. Notwithstanding the negativity that sometimes seems to loom large on the future of instapoetry, these poets are writing for a generation that hardly can be bothered with the stamp of literary credibility. As long as your poetry is simple, and tugs at one’s heartstrings, people will continue to heart your posts.
Some famous examples of instapoets that exist at this intersection of artistic mediums, creating work that conveys meaningful concepts through a combination of written words and images and resonates with our lives are Atticus, Tyler Knott Gregson, R.M Drake, Christopher Poindexter, Trista Mateer, Alicia Cook, Nikita Gill, to name a few.
So, before we dismiss Instagram as just another millennial obsessively naive social medium, it’s imperative to take note of these literary celebrities that have created a ripple in the writing industry with their Instagram profiles! Kudos to poetry that’s hip again in the Age Of Instagram!