Digital Mini Reviews | You Say Poetry, But I Say Misery!

Hi there!

Growing up, I’ve learned to hate poetry with a passion. Teachers would force it upon us, making it near impossible to interpret something someone wrote in a verse without being told what it REALLY means, as if the poet had spoken to them in person, telling them what it was all SUPPOSED to mean!

It’s only much later in my life, probably when I started blogging, that I gave poetry a second chance. I wanted to see if I’d appreciate it better now that, musically, rap was my favourite genre and you couldn’t possibly do rap without a good lyrical game.

This is when I discovered the incredible subjectivity of poetry. Its power over you when read at the right time, at the right moment, at the right place, was astonishing. The meaning you give the words is where the soul of poetry simply lies at! There’s never one way to appreciate poetry, it speaks to you on a spiritual level.

When I recently dove head first into my digital reading phase, one of the things that popped up in my recommendations where a bunch of free Kindle “Instagram” poem collections, many of which I’ve seen pass by my feed here and then in the past years too.

Let’s just say that I had a blast realizing that they just weren’t my thing. At. All.


This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).

Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads page.
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! ๐Ÿคฃ

2am Thoughts by Makenzie Campbell.

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Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Poetry.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†.

I’m not sure how this was considered poetry by anyone but here we are. It is essentially a recap of one individual’s journey through a relationship from dusk to dawn (yep… it doesn’t focus only on 2 am thoughts).

Exploring the longing for love, the discovery of love, the downfall of love, the torment of loss, and the recovery from loss, this was a quick read that explored various formatting, from short sequences of “strategically” organized words to paragraphs, as the clock ticks away (although the journey takes place over multiple months).

Love Her Wild by Atticus Poetry.

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Publisher: Atria Books.
Pages: 224.
Format: Digital Poetry.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†.

This is where I started to conclude that these “Instagram” poetry collections were getting out of hand. For these to even be called poetry is a shame for newer generations. Not only does it employ extremely simple vocabulary and expressions, but it is also evokes nothing innovative in any way, shape, or form. Some pages offer some cute relatable verses-that-don’t-rhyme moments that you’ll want to use at some party to see how many people will be impressed by you, but otherwise, this collection of a mishmash of “poems” exploring love, loss, and everything in between, is nothing special at all.

The Dark Between Stars by Atticus Poetry.

The Dark Between Stars: Poems: Atticus: 9781982104863: Books - Amazon.ca
Publisher: Atria Books.
Pages: 240.
Format: Digital Poetry.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†.

As I was thinking that maybe I just didn’t give this Atticus guy enough of a chance, I picked up this one… And bang. I was convinced that most of his poetry just needs to be read at the right moment in your life for the reader to really find them inspirational. In fact, they often sound like motivational speeches, if not just fancy metaphors of finding the right person to love and of our inability to express the passion we have for that one person.

Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia.

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Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Pages: 71.
Format: Digital Poetry.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†.

The interesting part of this collection is that it mostly tries to motivate the reader into spreading their wings and flying off, to not get locked down in doubts and fears.

Otherwise, many of these “poems” tend to struggle to be inspiring and remain mundane in their conception.

Dear Midnight by Zack Grey.

43824575. sy475
Publisher: Independently published.
Pages: 85.
Format: Digital Poetry.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†.

Split into three parts, this is a collection that attempts to illustrate the internal psychological struggle of moving on from a toxic relationship as you taint your life with the mistakes of the past. While some “poems” had a fun structure to them, despite their insanely short length (of maybe five words?), most of the time I came back to wondering how these got published…


Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! ๐Ÿ˜

TILL NEXT TIME,

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43 comments

  • Well, all I can say is that here they donโ€™t force Poetry on us at school๐Ÿ˜… That said, Iโ€™ve tried reading poetry at times, but Iโ€™ve never really understood it, and canโ€™t say I like it. So this is something I know I will never be checking out Iโ€™m sorry to say๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Looks like your second chance to poetry in digital reading phase didn’t turn out well. ๐Ÿ˜ I don’t read poetry as I don’t think I can interpret it right. I tried once, i didn’t get it and I’m not going to read poetry ever. But I agree I like it in music.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Ha man! Bummer! Wel I’ve only ever read Les Fleurs du Mal and it didn’t make em want to read poetry even if from time to time a poem I read will move me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve always struggled with poetry, especially the more modern kind. I’m old fashioned in that I prefer it to rhyme, like in music. I got into studying some of the more classic verse when I was at university. Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays won me over for a while, then some of Blake’s poems. But I have to admit that I hardly read it these days. Do you like any of the older poets?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The most modern kind, these “Instagram” poems, don’t have much in common with the classic ones that I’ve run into throughout my life, whether it’s Shakespeare or anyone else! I have a list of classic poets that I want to visit in the near future just so I can discover poetry properly but these collections made me realize that they just weren’t for me hahah

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve never heard of Instagram poetry collections. Over the years, including those in school, I’ve found I just don’t get most poetry but that there has always been some that really resonated with me. Granted, I’ve rarely read self-published work, mostly sticking to published “classics”. I fully acknowledge there are many people out there who never get a chance through established publishing channels who are just as good or better than any officially published author, but there’s also a much, much larger pool of far less worthwhile work out there. So I’ve tended to use publishers, or the idea of being a classic, as a way of narrowing in on stuff perhaps more worth my time, knowing I’ll risk overlooking something good and sometimes reading something not so good. But considering how little poetry I end up reading I find that works for me. I actually enjoy the large poetry anthologies they’d assign us in college because they had such a diverse and large number of works to try. From there I could look for works by specific poets. I suppose it makes sense given how much speculative fiction I read that I’ve always enjoyed the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (A Dream Within a Dream is one of my favorites). For the last few months I’ve had a book by Robert Browning sitting near my computer and I’ll occassionally read another poem from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’d be stunned by what they’re like, especially if you’ve got a general idea of what classic poems were like. It stuns me that these really pass for poetry for newer generation.

      When I started my blog, I started off reading and reviewing a large batch of self-published work too, not really knowing how the industry worked until later. I don’t do it much at all nowadays. I’ve got my favourite publishers and stick to their books, especially for SFF. The 2 self-published “Instagram poetry” collection featured here were simply recommended through Kindle and I picked them up without thinking twice, assuming that they were known by those who read and loved these kinds of books too. I find that the risk of picking up a mediocre story within self-published works is just too high for me now to risk going there anymore too…

      I like the idea of reading a poem here and then from a collection of classics. I think it’s something I’ll end up doing too. I have a huge Edgar Allan Poe volume that I’ve been dying to try but never made time for it too. I should use that strategy for it…

      Like

  • I didn’t hate poetry at school. It’s something that I enjoyed analysing. That’s till I got to university and realised that my complete absence of any musical ability meant that I couldn’t understand beats in a poem and what stressed/unstressed sounds were, amongst other things.
    Fast forward to today and I feel like modern poetry, as you so eloquently put it, is strategically placed words and might be better as spoken word (which I think is better).
    Basically not sure if I’ve found any modern poetry I like either ๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can only imagine how sophisticated some poetry actually is when you know how to break them down, but being able to do so does seem to open up a whole other level of analysis that makes reading them so much more interesting! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      It’s true that as spoken word, a lot of these would seem so appealing though. While I doubt I’ll try any more of these ever again, I am excited to just stick to more “classical” poems that have been published.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m still holding out hope for some good modern poetry! I recently read The Poet X, and while some of it fell into that ‘instagram’ style of poetry, I liked a lot of it (the author and character do slam poetry but it worked well written down too).

        Liked by 1 person

  • Like you, I wasn;’t a fan of poetry while in school either. For the very same reason – 9/10 my interpretation of it would be “wrong.” I think I was just too creative for my teachers to handle.
    Then, during my uni years, I dabbled in writing poems myself. I received mostly positive feedback. I have not really written poetry since…
    I don’t choose it over prose, but I don’t mind it. IF I can get something out of it and make sense.
    When it comes to Instagram poetry, I heard that people do that to introduce poetry to the masses. Kids these days are not really interested in lofty writing. The classics we enjoyed, they see as boring. Hell, some don’t read and are proud of it. So, some people think it’s their duty to educate such people using the media used by the newbies. And you know what? I think it does reach the intended target audience. (But not necessarily us)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can somehow imagine you too perfectly, giving the teacher a hard time with your out-of-the-blue interpretations! ๐Ÿ˜›

      I’d love to see you give us a piece of poetry in one your posts someday, maybe double-challenge yourself in doing a prompt, but in the format of a poem! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I agree with you. I think the target audience of these Instagram poems is perfect, after all, they’re quick to read when you land on such pictures, you don’t need to think hard, they force you to relate to them with recent events in your own life, and they indeed work for many. Definitely not meant for us though…

      Liked by 1 person

  • I had so much fun reading this Lashaan, though I’m sorry you didn’t really like any of them ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s true however that the things we often see on Instagram can seem quite catchy but may be a bit “empty” in the end.. It would be really interesting to have your opinions on “proper” poetry books though ๐Ÿ˜Š Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahahah I would’ve laughed at myself too. You should’ve seen me throw my arms in the air reading some of these “poems”… I couldn’t believe that people would ADORE these. I do plan on reading more “serious” poetry books in the near future though. I need to fix this… ร‰chec catatrosphique… as soon as possible hahaha ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Haha I can totally relate ๐Ÿ˜‚ I always had a hard time understanding poetry when they’re so hard to read! Except for musical lyrics, of course. And as for the “Instagram” poems, I agree that they can be so short and blunt that I wonder how they even made any money ๐Ÿ˜… However I really enjoyed Shel Silverstein’s poetry when I was younger. They can be so fun to read because they’re so punny, and they also come with some hilarious cartoon drawings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s especially those instances were a teacher would try and make us understand a certain poem only for everyone to be wrong that made me less inclined to WANT to understand any poem afterward hahah

      I have nooooo idea if these poetry collections even bring them much money, but I guess it’s more than nothing at all, to just collect a bunch of Instagram posts into one, with some photos to make it a bit prettier too.

      I definitely plan on reading more classical poets just to cleanse my pallet too hahaha Thanks for reading, Rebecca! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Sry, I couldn’t help laughing at your reviews and in particular your post title, but I do of course feel bad that your venture into poetry didn’t turn out more successful. I don’t read poetry, doubt very much how I would get on with it, seeing that I sometimes struggle with novels, which are written in an overly poetic language. Probably, there is poetry out there that each of us would enjoy, but do we have the patience to search for it? Based on your recent experience, I am leaning towards no…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha I laughed in misery through these books too! ๐Ÿ˜› I also find my title superior to all the verses from these poetry collections… None of them ever rhymed too! And here I thought I’d have fun rhyming things in my head while reading. Nop… Not even!

      I’m thinking of giving more classical poets a try in the future, but I’m definitely done with these “Instagram” poets hahahah

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely, your title rhymed and it had a catchy rhythm as well – I can so envisage an angry rapper yelling “You Say Poetry, but I Say Misery” accompanied by aggressive hand gestures! ๐Ÿ˜

        Liked by 1 person

  • I can so relate to this. Poetry was not my forte in school, especially when you had the class at 9am with a teacher that had the most monotone voice in the world. To this day, I’m still wary of poetry and while I follow quite a few of the instagram poets, I’ve only ever bought one of their collections and that was mainly down to the illustrations haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell me about it. I never got a teacher passionate and inspiring enough to make the poems sound good too hahahah I think coming across these on Instagram will make it much more tolerable though. Can’t blame you for the illustrations though! Those are indeed pretty exquisite. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  • LOOOL, I love this! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    I’m honestly impressed you managed to torture yourself with so many of these “poets” and their little monstrosities.

    I like poetry, or rather like reading certain poets. I feel the best of them have an uncanny ability to distill universal experience into a string of very personal words. Macrocosm in microcosm. But they are rare, as rare as true masters anywhere. The rest of the modern “poets”? I think they’re not unlike Myers and her Twilight, or Harlequin romances, only with less words ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahah you know me and self-inflicted torture. I’ve done plenty of it with comics! But, it was much more tolerable here, especially considering how short these are. Each page could have “poems” of maybe… not even 4-5 words, sometimes! That’s what goes for “Instagram” poems nowadays!!!

      I absolutely agree with you though. That ability to create macrocosm within microcosm is what I thoroughly prefer! And I fully share your opinion of modern “poets”. It’s definitely not my cup of tea. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  • Well, I think it’s safe to say that I will stay far away from all of these. Poetry isn’t my thing at all. I still can’t get behind poems that don’t rhyme. I’m impressed that you gave the genre several opportunities, though. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  • School spoiled poetry for me too, so I’ve only read a few and don’t think I’m great at judging them. I tend to lean more toward those with an obvious rhyming scheme. I haven’t read any of these, but I think I have a collection by Makenzie Campbell. Enjoyed reading your mini reviews here though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that I’ve eliminated “Instagram” poetry from my reading queue, I’ll probably stick to classic poetry unless I realize they are for me either hahah Hope you have a better time with Campbell’s collection, Zezee! Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

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