I, like anyone else, appreciate the exposure the internet gives us. But with any increase of content, you are subjecting yourself to both more good, as well as more bad.
I, like anyone else, appreciate the exposure the internet gives us. Anyone can be somebody! Isn’t that great? For example, right now I am technically a writer. Who the hell gets to do that? This surefire piece of word vomit is going to get published on a blog that isn’t mine – a fabulous opportunity. If this were 30 years ago, I would have to hope that the “newspaper” would be interested in this kind of informal writing – which I can tell you right now, they wouldn’t be, because newspapers are for fancy people.
The volume of writers, or at least the volume of writing we get to see, has increased, and as with any increase of content, you are subjecting yourself to both more good, as well as more bad. I’m torn on this topic, because on one hand, I think anyone who is brave enough to make something and put it out into the world is admirable. On the other hand, I have to assume that the increase in poor work, has dragged down the average quota, and therefore, we think things that are bad, are good (compared to the onslaught of garbage that is newly available to us). Does that make sense?
So, when I discovered Instagram poetry, I thought, “How fun, we can all commiserate over men who don’t appreciate us together.” We all know age old sentiments like, “He loved her, but he couldn’t handle her.” And, “She was too wild to be contained in a heart shaped jar.” And my all time favourite, “She missed you, but she didn’t want you back.”
You’re going through something, and then you see your thought imitated back to you, perfectly articulated by someone else. If that’s not the point of art, WHAT IS? Harmless stuff. OR SO I THOUGHT.
Then, I found out how much Rupi Kaur made for her “poetry book”, The Sun And Her Flowers. Did you know, that this woman, this poet, made the Top 30 Under 30 List, according to Forbes, for selling half a million copies of a book that LITERALLY shares sentiments such as:
You must love yourself before attempting to love somebody else.
First of all, that is a sentiment, that is not poetry. That is a common statement. A fact I’ve heard regurgitated by various sources, several times. People are reposting it like “WHOA never heard that one before!” Are you kidding? For Christmas, my friend got me The Sun And Her Flowers. I made (what I thought was a funny) Instagram story about it, poking fun at the basic sentences Rupi gets paid to write, which somehow people think is GENIUS POETRY. Everyone gets poetry all of a sudden, eh? THAT’S the message here. That you can read the sentence:
Your absence is a missing limb. (THAT IS THE WHOLE POEM!)
And not only understand poetry like some sort of asshole literary savant, you can pay this woman millions of dollars for saying something that we already feel?
The joke is, when I did my Instagram rant (which usually yields a good number of positive reviews) – I got mainly negative responses. “What are you talking about, this book is sooo good.”
My point isn’t even that it’s bad! I’ll explain my point using this metaphor: You don’t watch every RomCom in the world, miss the classics, and then call yourself a Film Buff. You cannot read an idea that is already floating around, miss all the historical poetry, and act like this chick compares to T.S. Eliot. I’m not even an asshole literary savant! I’m just saying, the bar for poetry is obviously lowered if we are able to think this:
You have sadness living in places where sadness shouldn’t live.
Is a GROUND BREAKING CONCEPT! WHAT?
Bottom line, congratulations to this Canadian poet for making a wild name for herself. Respect to that. But to those who think this is revolutionary shit, I just need to know, am I missing something? THAT’S ALL I’M SAYING! END OF RANT!