Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me any more, with how often it has happened in the past, but leave it to me to end up embracing something I didn’t like, wasn’t good at, or both. In this case, it’s modern poetry, and I have come to embrace it in a big way! Now, only time will tell if it lasts, or if it will fade, but I have taken the steps to help it last.
Modern poetry something I didn’t “get” until about a week and half ago, after having been exposed to the poetry of Indian-born Canadian poet (and Instagram poet) Rupi Kaur. Once I did, I also created a writing style for punctuation and line breaks that could also relay to the reader how I would read the poem, since recitation is such a big part of conveying meanings and feelings in poetry. I had to create this writing style for me to be consistent in my writing, but also for my reading of it later, since modern poetry has no guidance for its proper reading. This is unlike other classic poetic forms, like sonnets, where with the iambic pentameter, one knew exactly how it was intended to have been read. Or even with Emily Dickinson’s dashing punctuation style to identify pauses at the ends of some lines. I’ve kept her general approach, but given how slowly I’m reading aloud my newly written modern poems, I might ultimately get away from it all together and just rely on line breaks and stanza breaks for pauses. We’ll see. It’s all experimental in this early stage, as it should be.
I made these writing style, and writing voice, changes after 1870 mostly structured poems (i.e. having form names like sonnets and haiku), written over about 29 years! It was a monumental shift, even if some of the new poetry read closely to poetry I had written over many years, with removal of but a few constraints mandated by any kind of form still left in my poetry, from loose rhymes to syllabic count. The shift was monumental enough that the moment I started thinking about how I would show these poems differently on my poetry blog, I had inklings of wanting a new blog. I wanted a cleaner look focused on just the poems, without all the other stuff I had attached to them like on my poetry blog like dates, tags, categories, and especially notes that only I would mostly care about but rarely ever look over again. I could do this with a redesign, which I began. However, the thought of tweaking the layout of 1870 posts, and piling something new on top of it all weighed heavily on me that it didn’t take me long to break. A few days later, I opted for a new poetry blog.
unstructured is my new poetry blog (or was with new name). As the name implies, it is unstructured, in layout and in the structure of the modern poems I am trying my hands at writing. With it, I took my desire for a minimalist blog layout to the extreme. There is nothing to each post except the poems and their titles! As a result, you don’t even need to click through on the poems, negating “views” for my blog! Further, unless you read the post in the WordPress reader, you can’t even “Like” it without clicking through on it because the button to do so doesn’t appear on any page showing a collection of posts! The full minimalism is outlined on the blog’s description page, of why it looks as it does. But that’s all fine and good. I’m not trying to garner views, followers, or anything like that. I’m just working on getting a better feel for modern poetry by trying to write more of it, and like with the writing seen on this blog, I’ll have to make my way through a lot of bad ones to start before I’ll be decent at it. Then, maybe I’ll pay WordPress some money to get some more control over my blog layout and such.
So if you’re in the mood for some mostly bad modern poetry to start with, or more likely wanting to see a really minimalist design to put focus on your writing (Baskerville 2 layout), head over and have a look! To that end, if you do like that look but want to track readership of posts, you can always put an Insert Read More break either after some initial text, or before any text if you didn’t want to show half a poem at a time, and make readers judge your poem or posts by its title to decide which one to click through and see more of. And do feel free to give any feedback, good or bad. I don’t mind. I’ll analyze it and be sure to take it in the proper context. Thanks!