More poets, please. Poets have become dinosaurs amongst humans currently. Today, poetry has been reduced to one-word sentences or bound to one stanza. Writers like Atticus, Rupi Kaur, Lauren Eden, have fallen into the growing trend of Instagram poetry, of short poems. While short poems are not necessarily a bad thing, a few are actually pretty good and hold the same power as excerpting a quote from your famous historical figure. Although we all like a lovely crisp poem that is a short poem possessing depth that strikes us to our core, Instagram poetry has left the poetry section of bookstores barren wastelands.
Poetry is subjective, like most of the arts. What constitutes a good or bad poem lies strictly in the reader following the end of a good poem. With the thousands of short poetries posted on Instagram by various poetry fanatics, there is little to no hard copies of poetry books. Why? Why are poetry books becoming extinct? There was once a time when you could wander into a store with the shelves stocked to the gills in Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Billy Collins, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), T.S. Eliot, and many more.
Today, the shelves are barren. The other day I went into Barnes and Noble, walked over to the poetry section, and nearly fainted at how small the selection was on the shelf. Not only was the shelf small, but most of the authors listed above were non-existent. I went to a series of other Barnes and Noble, leaving disappointed like the first. Each said they could order me the books online to delivered to the store, which is nice, but ultimately just an extra trip. What happened to the ability to grab a collection of poems off the shelves and enjoy a nice cup of joe in a Barnes and Noble? What happened to bars having poetry readings on a Wednesday night that wasn't slam poetry? I am sure these places exist in some regions of the state and country, but more poetry pushes more of these events at more abundant locations.
Then after realizing this, I began to ask some writers I knew why poetry has become this fading art. Most of the writers agreed with the fact that people don't make any money for poetry. A few amounts of those writers blamed the Instagram poetry trend I mentioned in the opening paragraph. A smaller quantity claimed, "there just isn't any good poetry anymore."
Poetry is an art form that breathes life into our soul. To a writer, poetry is our religion, it is our church and our creative holy water. What I am asking from this article is to call for more poets. Write that phrase you have restlessly mulling over in your mind before bed. Submit various works to different online publishers, create a chapbook of poems, and approach the editor with your ideas. Self-publish your work on paperback copies, write a collection of poetry and get those poems on the shelves. Read poems to your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend. For poets to make any real money or career, there must be more of us. A dream takes more than one person to be achieved. One voice is heard, but a mob cannot be ignored. Bring back this art, revive our pulse. Please give us your beauty, and we the readers will return the favor. Write. More. Be. Poetic.