OPINION: Rupi Kaur butchers modern poetry

By Giselle Palomera

The Instagram poet Rupi Kaur has changed poetry culture with over simplicity and a Tumblr-like style that destroys the complexity of poetry.

Simplicity can co-exist with complexity in poetry.

Poets like R.H Sin and Louise Gluck have found ways to use simplicity in poetry without losing  the complexity of their meaning.

Kaur has been an upcoming poet in the social media realm with over 1.9 million followers.

If her poems were originally published on social media, why didn’t she pursue that idea and trademark a new social media poetry style?

Instead, she published a book of her poetry posts that takes away from the complexity of poetry.

Her poems are more like posts she thought of on the spot that lack insight and context.

Although insta-poetry is a new form of poetry that is fitting to our generation, it doesn’t provide a deeper insight on life or poetry.

“A poem has a beginning, a middle and an end. A work of art — whether sculpture or painting — has edges,” said Robert Hass, an American poet.

Kaur’s poetry is good, but  what it lacks is structure.

It almost sounds silly to set rules to poetry, but in the literary world, there are ideas and ways that work and others that do not.

Kaur chose the right topics for her books, which are why she has such an extensive following.

She is broad and covers many controversial topics in her poems.

The topics she writes about are topics that have been under scrutiny since America elected a misogynistic white man as president.

She also writes about abuse, rejection, love, pain, her relationship with her father and the ways she has been treated by men and women.

The only arguable accomplishment Kaur has had with her work is that she has oversimplified the basic concepts of poetry so much that the most basic reader can understand her thoughts.

This can be upsetting to some poets who have built their  careers around the idea of writing poems that can’t be so easily cracked or interpreted.

“Your voice alone drives me to tears,” is a poem that appears in “Milk and Honey.”

Sounds more like a title than a complete poem.

“Milk and Honey,” is the first published book that Kaur has.

Her second book is now out titled, “The sun and her flowers,” which follows the same style of post-like poems.

Kaur’s poems seem like she typed in the middle of her thought and then finished the rest of the poem in her head.

Kaur uses the same style as a Tweet to write poetry and for that reason

Kaur’s books are now mixed in with all the literary geniuses like Charles Bukowski, Robert Frost, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Emily Dickens, at bookstores who have made honorable contributions to society through their rhetoric and poetry.

Many of these poets have changed the way poetry is written and interpreted but for Kaur there is not much hope to make positive change to poetry.

“If you are not enough for yourself, you will never be enough for someone else,” says Kaur in a poem.

Strong women who read that poem can have a thousand questions come to mind.

A poet like this should be analyzed to understand the message she is giving off.

This poem gives off a strong message that sounds like a fact when it is not.

There is no context or further insight on why she believes this or why this applies to her.

She never seems to expand her thoughts any further than that.

Kaur deserves the freedom to have flaws in her writing but to do so on her Instagram page not in the literary world.

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