The digital world brings poetry back to its life
“If you have never stood with the oppressed there is still time
lift them” – Rupi Kaur
Dharshana Kathiresan, INN/Chennai, @Infodeaofficial
The potential of words is simply colossal and that is something we have definitely seen throughout the globe. Given that poets and poetry have created revolutions in our history, we can always expect it to happen again in the future.
Another added advantage in practicing poetry is the arena (social media platforms) that technology has given us with. Several poets have risen to international fame on Instagram, Tumblr and various other sites.
Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur became famous through Instagram and now her poetry collection ‘Milk and Honey’ has sold 2.5 million copies and more.
Meanwhile, Thailand-based poet Lang Leav, has four best-selling poetry collections and more than two million followers on social media.
Several others like Aranya Johar, Rahul Kaushik, Priya Malik, Megha Rao, etc. have inspired so many aesthetes via their online platforms.
Far from being extinct, poetry is today diverse, popular and powerful. It does not fear politics and it allows youngsters to express their angst, without having to stick to barriers.
It is giving them a new voice and forum, while teaching them about empathy and awareness. Rising interest in spoken word poetry, social media platforms like Instagram and YourQuote, and the hundreds of venues hosting poetry events have all contributed to making poetry more accessible and relatable to the youth.
Individual space is enhanced in these social platforms and that makes it easy for people to record their views. Also, poets elevate the spirit of inspiration among these netizens, thereby bringing them into the vibrant sphere of art.
People have grouped in poetry slams, online poetry sessions, and webinar discussions to bond over their love for poetry, to spread awareness, to share art, to appreciate one another, and the foremost, to share their love for languages.
Several poetry lovers have found it hard to keep in touch with their sense of art in the absence of such platforms. Online profiles and poetry pages have helped them to organise poetry meets, spoken word sessions, etc and to include a wide range of poets from various cities.
These artists feel that writing is a way of healing and knowing oneself. They ensure that the time spent on social media is productive and that has helped them unlock the writers hidden in so many households.
Social media’s outreach has aided in bringing poets of various locations together. Take the example of YourQuote, a social media platform for writers, which consists of more than 2.5 million users, mostly youngsters from Indian cities and towns. More than 50 per cent of these writers are engaged with regional languages.
Instagram is another prominent platform where many young poets have emerged, especially at the global stage. Many have turned their suffering into art and found solace in writing poems and sharing them from their handles. This platform has helped the younger generation to relate with poetry and made it simpler for them.
This art has become a whole new cultural movement. English language poets recite poems on topics which were earlier considered as taboo-like gender bias, mental illness, violence against women, menstrual health, patriarchy, casteism, racism- and that has created a space for empowerment, bringing people forward to share their experiences.
Hindustani poets are now far more recognized after their participation in digital sites.
People express their love, emotions, daily encounters, dissent against crime and oppression through their rhythmic verses. Political undertones can be felt in various gatherings.
For many youngsters, poetry has become a tool of defiance and protest. The protest can be against any form of authority or the political climate at large.
A sense of solidarity is prominently seen among these poets, as they tend to evolve through their shared love for poetry. Poetic gatherings have also given them the opportunity to break the confinements that society imposes on them and binds them together with like-minded artists.