Like a lot of artistic mediums, poetry can sometimes seem to be an exclusive area that doesn’t always speak to or appeal to the masses. Much as large numbers of people won’t necessarily see the fine art in a gallery the readership for published poetry is often relatively small. In some strange way the traditional among us may enjoy the exclusivity of this situation and whilst society often pretends to be all inclusive it often fails to reach out to and support those who really need a voice. It is perhaps no surprise then that the explosion of technology and with it the growth of the internet has resulted in some truly innovative and progressive developments.
Much as the musical artists feared the advent of social media would crush their industry, writers might suspect that the integrity of the art form would be compromised and worse still the paying public cease to buy their work! What has emerged however in both these fields is a leveling of the playing field and an injection of innovation and raw talent that is refreshing at the very least.
Easy to Publish
In the field of literature and especially that of poetry it can be an arduous process to find those interested in publishing your work. The costs associated with this process are significant and rarely do poets make a living wage, more typically supporting themselves by other means. Additionally, the very nature of this format suggests the reader will benefit from hearing the poetry in its spoken form and ideally by the poets themselves. This all serves to narrow the field and opportunities for sharing and highlighting the poet’s work.
The advent of the Internet has increased, several folds, the opportunities for everyone to find their voice if they so wish and let it be heard. Poetry is a subjective medium and one that has areas of structure but also a medium that lends itself to experimentation of format and subject matter. Poetry is also a way of expressing a reaction to something of the moment and like poetry throughout time can tell us something about the poet in an often emotionally charged way.
Easy to Share
With the advent of social media, the poet can quickly and effectively create a picture in words and share that with the world in an instant. Then the world at large can access this commentary and be moved, informed and ultimately enriched by its content. This level of access is surely the best development the poet could hope for and now we are witnessing a growth of interest and interaction, a dialogue that will only serve to broaden the audience base and introduce new generations to the amazing power of the written word in a world that is too often focused on visual imagery alone.
Not only that, publishing poetry online does not replace the wonderful notion of the printed word on paper. Many of these new age poets and many established ones too are finding that the substantial following they have online translates to book deals and increased sales in this traditional medium. Ultimately poetry is alive and well and thriving in the online climate.
Long may it continue!