Poetry: A form of expression so pure , so raw and so beautiful , it can only be felt deep within the soul …
For centuries poets have inspired, enriched and awakened our souls, while allowing us a
rare glimpse into theirs. Embracing our very essence with their words we are at once transformed and for just a moment, we find ourselves lost, gloriously lost, in a time without constraint, as we become one with the poet. It is said: “The eyes are windows to the soul.” I believe it is through words the window remains open. For only in words written, read, sung and spoken with a purpose to enlighten, can we begin to appreciate the sheer significance poetry brings to us.
As a poet, writer and aspiring novelist, I was honored to have been asked by Rajnish Mishra poet and editor of PPP Ezine to write on the topic ‘The Contemporary Scene of English Poetry in America’. Inspired by the great words of William Shakespeare, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrette Browning, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein and the countless amazing poets that have since followed suit; I delve into the research with exuberant enthusiasm and find to my joy and delight, poetry is not only alive and well in the United States of America, but thriving elsewhere throughout the world too.
Of course, this revelation is not surprising. Poetry will always be contemporary, and how
can it not be? Poetry resides in the very core of our being… With the increased rapid growth of social media, poetry has found a new home in Twitter, Instagram , and Facebook in addition to the multitude of various online publications, ezines, journals and blogs; thus enabling a new generation of poets to emerge. Poets who not only inspire as they share their poetic wisdom with us, but also do so instantaneously worldwide, thanks to the use of modern technology. Poets such as: Rupi Kaur, Tracy K. Smith, Elyane Youssef, Tina Chang, Melissa Mendelson, Richard Blanco, Suli Breaks, Joanne Olivieri, Sarah Kay, Steve Roggenbuck, Christopher Poindexter and the list goes one of incredible wordsmiths.
Mainstream media also has seen a resurgence in poetry, as it is now considered the newest trend of expressing one’s views or opinions, whether it be political, social or simply to entertain. From singers and song lyricists to performance artists, rappers and yes even, athletes; everyone it seems is putting pen to paper or scribing online as they embrace the poetry scene. Basketball star and legend great Kobe Bryant chose to announce his retirement in the form of a poem, – https://www.theplayerstribune.com/dear-basketball and recently performed slam poetry on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon https://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show Hollywood too shares the limelight with poetry. As actors James Franco, Amber Tamblym and Joseph Gordon-Levitt founder of Hit RECord https://hitrecord.org/ (a collaborative production company that brings together artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers and yes, poets ) just to name a few , explore their inner poet.
As one delves deeper into the contemporary poetry scene, it is clearly apparent the abundant array of talent out there. From your traditional classrooms/universities and local
coffee houses, to the more non-traditional online platforms; poetry is just about everywhere you look, sometimes even showing up in the most random of places. Whether it be scribbled on a sidewalk, scrawled across the wall of a building, or painted in the sky as a message of love, poetry is hip once again.
Furthermore, written word is not the only form of contemporary poetry making a comeback, spoken word and slam poetry have also become quite popular. Poets and performing artists can now share their words via the internet with just a simple click, courtesy of YouTube and other video sharing websites. Spoken word gives a wholly new perspective to the poem, for it allows the poet to share through voice their personal interpretation of the written piece.
In conclusion, The Contemporary Scene of English Poetry in America, or for that matter, anywhere in this vast amazing world of ours, in one word “Universal.” For poetry truly is a universal language. Poetry speaks its mind long before being asked. Not only does it convey the poet’s deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but shapes them into words of beauty, that illuminate the mind, capture the heart and free our souls, as we journey through the open window…
Rupi Kaur- https://rupikaur.com/
Tracy K. Smith- https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/tracy-k-smith
Melissa Mendelson- https://www.mbliterary.com/melissa-mendelson
Richard Blanco- https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/richard-blanco
Suli Breaks- http://sulibreaks.com/
Sarah Kay- http://www.kaysarahsera.com/about
Steve Roggenbuck- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Roggenbuck
Christopher Poindexter http://
Elyane Youssef- https://www.elephantjournal.com/author/elyane-youssef
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- @hitRECordJoe
Amber Tamblyn- https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/amber-tamblyn
Lynn Long is a poet, writer, aspiring novelist, as well as a daydreamer and firm believer in the impossible. She has been published in the following ezines, journals and online publications: Stanzaic Stylings, PPP Ezine, Antarctica Journal, Contributing artist at HitRECord.org and Scriggler.com