I recently borrowed two books of poetry from my friend, Jayna: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.
Both were written with excellent use of language. Both had themes that were important and well done. Lovelace’s work centered around one main topic: the princess and how she went from damsel to queen. Kaur’s poetry targeted other topics and stories.
I was warned about some of the content, but there were a couple poems in Milk and Honey that were more graphic than I wanted to read. But they weren’t as bad as many novels published today. Poetry is meant to make you feel something, so there were poems that made me uncomfortable probably because they were meant to.
When I finished reading these books in one sitting, I was curious and glanced over the reviews. Some of the biggest complaints from poorer reviews were things like: “these poems sound like Tumblr posts” or “this isn’t poetry”.
free verse (noun, Prosody) – 1. verse that does not follow a fixed metrical pattern (from dictionary.com)
free verse (noun) – poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular meter (from google.com)
Just because it’s not their definition of poetry doesn’t make it “not poetry”. I’ve read multiple collections of poems where people make similar complaints, and while they have the right to their opinion, making this claim doesn’t make them sound any smarter or more sophisticated. Poetry just is. It doesn’t need everyone nodding and says, “Ah yes, that is definitely a poem.”
If someone wants more structure, rhymes, patterns, etc., that is perfectly okay. I just don’t understand how they can try to rip a book apart because it doesn’t fit their definition of poetry.
Now I will say this. Poetry, like I said, is meant to make you feel something, like many art forms do. There were a couple pages here and there where there were only two lines written, and I didn’t stop and really consider them. But maybe that’s due to my lack of relation to some of the topics. Like all books, there are mixed reviews, and these are mixed even within myself.
Well written? Yes. Important to the reader? I’m sure they’re important to multiple readers.
Will I read these again? Not likely.
Am I glad that I read them? Absolutely.
Today, most the poems I see are free verse. Honestly, I don’t care why. As long as they’re pouring their souls into their work, I can respect it. So to these writers, I say thank you. Thank you for using your talent and showing it to the world to try to make it a little more beautiful, a little lighter, and offer a bridge to yourself for anyone who relates to cross.