Poetry is a genre within literature that is characterized by its beautiful words and lyrical style. Many poetic devices and styles of poetry have been preserved for many centuries from rhyme schemes to types of poems (like the haiku or limerick or the tanka). On one hand, poetry is an ancient form of literature and storytelling that dates back to Homer and the ancient storytellers. On the other, poetry is a very new format that blends many modern perspectives and tastes into its words.
The blend between the olden days and modern era is actually extremely powerful and also elegant. Great poets write are able to take advantage of the structures that were presented by old styles of poetry to tell new stories and share new ideas that are important in today’s society. For example, rhyme schemes, pacing, and poetic devices have worked and still continue to work. Poetic structures also drive emphasis to certain words and certain areas. Think about something like an iambic pentameter. As a reader, you know where the down beats are and thus what words people will naturally focus on.
Or perhaps the formatting of poems. The way poems are laid out can call special attention to things in the poems. There are many tried and true ways that have worked for centuries to place emphasis and lead the reader’s eyes along poems.
The central themes of the poems have changed over time and actually reflect what the times cared about. In ancient times, poetry often recounted the feats and feats of warriors in combat, while in the Middle Ages, romantic poetry gained importance. Today, poems focus on social issues, equality, peace, and emotions. Poetry has always been an important form of expression and thus reflects the changing times and beliefs. Poetry has become a tool over time to convey new ideas and share what people care about. At one point, it was military victories. Today, it’s the environment. Or human rights. Or equality. Check out places like Button Poetry or Youth Speaks for prime examples of this.
In today’s world, poetry is a beautiful and artistic way to express oneself and be heard in the sea of noise. While everybody in politics argues and fights. There’s fake news and contentious debates. Poetry shines through as a simple and elegant way to fight for what the people believe in. A way that is both engraved in our path, and tied to our future.
Rupi Kaur is one example of such a poet that has done well in this new age. Not only is she extremely famous for her writing, she has also positively impacted many and influenced many with her words. Poetry sites like Instagram, Commaful, and AllPoetry have given rise to new breeds of poets.
She’s certainly a controversial figure. Many have said that her poems aren’t actual poems. Others have challenged that her poems are extremely superficial and have no depth. One thing is certain, however, her poetry has touched many people and influenced many lives.
There are a number of modern self-published poetry authors as well, focusing on reaching the masses with short bite-sized poems. These poets leverage online platforms to reach poetry lovers and sell poetry books. Another controversial style and move.
Poetry is special in that way. It means something different to everybody. To some, it might be junk. To others its art. But what’s important, is that the words are touching somebody. Impacting lives. Leading to new and interesting discussions and ideas.
Because that has been poetry’s impact on history. And poetry’s impact on society today.