A Dangerous Trend in Contemporary Poetry

There seems to be a trend emerging in poetry, which you might be familiar with, particularly in self published work. It goes something like this:

Let me write you

a poem

in a certain format

that breaks up

my sentence

into several


- the end.

(And here there will be a drawing of a heart with roots around it or flowers.)

There will be a few words in italics to add emotion to the poem and the title of the poem will usually go at the end.

This trend makes for easy reading which no doubt adds to its popularity – no meanings are lost or too obscure for the reader because the important parts of the poem have been segmented. I would also argue, however, that this trend, following other poets popularity and book sales off the back of this format before, lacks originality.

This is not to say that books which follow this format and style have no substance and there are some exceptions, of course, to my complaint of originality. However, it seems to me that poetry is about individual style and that it is a more interesting read if a writer ‘thinks outside of the box’ or is unaware of ‘where they fit within the wider poetry scene’. Writing for yourself, in a style which you have developed, creates complex and exciting compositions which are unique.

I understand that styles of writing are developed from influences (and so you may find yourself mimicking your writing idols), but perhaps now this should become part of the editing process: What is MY voice and am I portraying myself as a unique, individual writer?

Do you agree? Leave your comments below!

A good book to end 2017:

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Goodreads Giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/272569-this-is-not-a-spectacle