Last week I uploaded a post about some “unpopular” opinions of mine that have to do with fiction novels. This week I’m going to be talking about some more controversial opinions I have about poetry in general. Here are my top 5 unpopular opinions about poetry:
Not all Poetry has to Rhyme
- Not all poetry has to rhyme. I saw an article the other day that went into the author’s opinion that poetry has to rhyme to be considered poetry since that is the genre’s defining characteristic to separate it from other styles of writing. It was an extremely well written and well thought out article. However, I disagree! I think what distinguishes poetry from other types of writing is much more complex than that. Visual presentation, different line structures, length, and content are just some of the factors that can distinguish poetry from a different style of writing. I think free verse poetry is an extremely valid structure of poetry, that can be lyrical and has a unique flow without having to rhyme. Some free verse poetry does follow a rhyme or meter structure at least slightly and some does not. However it’s the content of free verse poetry that discusses a topic in depth, appeals to the senses and showcases imagery that in my opinion, makes it a perfectly valid form of poetry.
The Pretentious Environment Turns People Away
2. Poetry’s pretentious environment turns people away. It needs to be discussed. I have a deeply rooted love for poetry and I love to seek out spaces where I can share this love with others. However, especially when I was first starting out and becoming brave enough to join clubs or classes, it was extremely discouraging how snobby the poetry environment can be. If you don’t share a fascination for certain classics or you dare to wander over to the world of contemporary poetry, you are sometimes made to feel like you don’t understand poetry as well as others. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true. Shakespeare is my worst nightmare to this day. I don’t enjoy his content or even the structure of his poetry. I do have an appreciation though for the innovation he brought to poetry and the history that he’s made. This mindset is how more people need to approach poetry. What inspires and fascinates one poet, may completely bore another, but that doesn’t make you a bad poet! It just makes you a poet with different preferences and that is perfectly fine. We should be excited and inviting when someone shares a love for poetry. We should never be guilty of being gatekeepers based off our own personal opinions.
Why do so many People Hate Slam Poetry?
3. Why do so many people hate slam poetry?? I know, I know. I just got done talking about how everyone is entitled to their own preferences and I meant it. I’m not upset at this fact, I’m just truly fascinated why some people hate slam poetry so deeply. I agree that just because you call it slam poetry, doesn’t necessarily make it poetry. Still, I have been in the audience to witness how a passionate reading can infuse a poem with so much life and inspire the audience in a completely different way than written poetry can. I think slam poetry is so mesmerizing and unique. I especially think it’s great when conveying an extremely strong emotion or discussing social issues. If you’re not a fan of slam poetry, let me know in the comments! There’s no judgement here, I am just genuinely curious.
Rap is poetry. Like I’ve been saying throughout this article, poetry comes in so many different forms and I don’t think any of us have the right to gatekeep what “real poetry” is. I don’t think that every single rap song is a poem necessarily but so much of it is. So many rap songs have a consistent rhyme structure, appeal to the senses, showcase imagery, and just in general align with the structure of a typical poem in so many ways. Why are so many people insistent that rap is not poetry? I think at some point we have to be honest about the toxic attitude that can take over the poetry world. When rappers or other poets use explicit language, discuss social issues, or discuss the reality of their economic class, it may not be pretty or romantic but guess what? It’s poetry! You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to read it but we need to give credit where credit is due. There is some legendary poetic talent in the world of rap and it is “real poetry” in every sense.
Poetry Doesn’t Have to be Deep
5. Poetry doesn’t have to be deep. For a brief moment I hated poetry and when I think back to why, it was because in order to be considered a well respected poet it seemed like I wasn’t allowed to have any fun. I have always been a deep thinker with deep emotions and poetry helps me put that into words. I’ve always had a deep love for similes, metaphors, symbolism and those themes are rich in poetry. However, in the words of my mom “Sometimes the water is just blue.” Sometimes there is no symbolism, metaphor, or deeper meaning. Sometimes the water is just blue and I want to write about a silly and meaningless topic just because it’s fun. However, if you want to write poetry with a more complex meaning then go for it! The number one rule to poetry is simple; be authentic. If you’re feeling like you have a heavy heart and want to talk about it then go for it. If you’re having a light hearted day and you want to write a poem just to see if you can pull off a random rhyme structure then do it. I just think we are at our best and our poetry is at its best when we’re authentic and open to other people’s interpretations.
Do you agree or disagree with any of these opinions? Do you have any unpopular opinions of your own? Let me know in the comments down below!