Disclaimer: Originally published in January 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
Instagram is one application (apart from Facebook) that has taken the millennial generation by storm.
Originally started as a platform to share professional photographs, it has now become a ticker-tape of daily updates from the lives of everyone from your favourite celebrities to your old classmates from school.
Poets of Instagram
However, there are some people who use Instagram for a purpose other than sharing updates on their daily doings- they use it to upload and share poetry.
That’s right, poetry is often shared on Instagram in the form of couplets, haikus, and other very brief formats with minimalistic punctuation, often accompanied by a small sketch relevant to the subject.
Thanks to the use of hashtags like #poetsofinstagram, #instapoets, #poemsporn and so on, their poetry is made available to thousands of interested readers on Instagram itself and has built them a sizeable fan base.
These poets have capitalised on this, and many have published books of their Instapoetry, for example, Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, and the more recent The Sun and Her Flowers.
The Appeal of Instapoetry
Often very brief and concise, Instapoetry is meant to grab the attention of the idle scroller, and also deliver a punch right in the “feels.” To achieve this, relatable subjects are often used by poets, such as self-love, heartbreak, and recovery from mental illness.
These emotions are experienced by a wide range of millennials, irrespective of nationality or cultural background, and as a result, many are pushed to hit that “like” button.
The Generation of Acceptance
Instapoetry is probably what the millennial generation needs right now, for several reasons. We are a generation that has embraced our flaws and shortcomings, and to a large extent, celebrated them.
The movement of body positivity- embracing one’s physical flaws, and accepting that not all bodies fulfil the standards of “conventional beauty” is something that’s been written about extensively on all forms of social media, Instagram being a popular destination for poets to express themselves in a concise way.
Talking About Taboos
The millennial generation is also a pioneer in the field of talking about “taboo” subjects that the previous generations sometimes shied away from.
Examples are gender identity, physical and emotional abuse, sexuality, and mental illness.
Once again, Instagram functions as a platform to break boundaries and safely write stanzas on these topics that provide comfort and support to readers who can relate.
Most poems on Instagram follow a certain visual aesthetic- they are usually in a neat, easily readable font, like Calibri or Courier New, on a plain background or one of handmade paper for mild texture, and an accompanying illustration or a real flower or leaf to add a whimsical element to the post.
Such aesthetics are very pleasing to the eye, and the fact that the text can be read at a glance is an added bonus, adding to the “shareability” of Instapoetry- a beautiful, bittersweet way to connect emotions across readers.
Image Credits: Google Images