Is poetry a form of art that can adapt to modern society?
Technology’s development in modern society has been one of the greatest catalysts for change and progress. Almost everything is becoming digital. But can everything become digitalized? Does anything lose value as it becomes infused into our ever digital world?
If on Valentine’s Day your significant other takes off your blindfold to reveal a room covered in rose petals and burning candles. He sits you down on the bed and pulls out his phone from his pocket and hands it to you to read. Displayed on the screen is a poem by Roger McGough and Brian Patten:
Love is feeling cold in the back of vans
Love is a fanclub with only two fans
Love is walking holding paintstained hands
Love is fish and chips on winter nights
Love is blankets full of strange delights
Love is when you don’t put out the light
Love is the presents in Christmas shops
Love is when you’re feeling Top of the Pops
Love is what happens when the music stops
Love is white panties lying all forlorn
Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm
Love is when you have to leave at dawn
Love is you and love is me
Love is prison and love is free
Love’s what’s there when you are away from me
Love is… ”
Did your heart melt? What if I described a scene where instead of pulling his phone out of his pocket, he pulled out a crumped and folded piece of paper. His hands were shaking a little bit as he unraveled the handwritten poem. His voice trembles for a second before he steadies it and reads through its entirety. Reread the poem out loud. Poetry is meant to be heard. Poetry on paper just feels different than poetry on a screen. It somehow loses its authenticity, its sincerity.
There are seven new apps for poetry available on iOS and Android: POETRY, Instant Poetry, Verses, Shakespeare Sonnets Free, Shakespeare, Poet’s Pad, and Poetry Daily. They include various rhyming and writing tools, and they provide countless poems to scroll through. But does having poetry on a small cell phone screen devalue it?