From the Epic to the epigraph, poetry has continuously developed due to new trends and audiences. Today, more than ever before, poetry is constantly circulated through technology and easily available to all readers. Yet with a wider availability comes a wider variety. Most popular today seems to be the poetry of aesthetics—books with sketches, photographs, and short phrases. Famous poetry books such as Milk and Honey and Pillow Thoughts dominate the market by combining visual art with simple language. Other poets such as Morgan Harper Nichols utilize social media to promote their works. It is no surprise that poetry has become so widely circulated on social media as literature tends to reflect societal norms. We are a technology-driven society that seeks instant gratification and our literature reflects this.
While aesthetic poetry can be beautiful and exciting to read, we seem to be abandoning the techniques established in the classics. Devices such as form and rhyme are being abandoned and replaced by free verse to the point of resembling quotations. However, removing these elements creates a more accessible text for readers of all levels. To appreciate the aesthetic texts one does not need to be knowledgeable about literature. The main ideas are straightforward without requiring a deeper understanding.
Despite lacking conventional poetic devices, some modern poets have produced excellent work. R.M. Drake, for example, has been a favorite of mine. His books incorporate drawings and emotional poetry that can be relatable for all readers.
The combination of poetry with art produces a more aesthetically pleasing product than poetry ever has before. After all, the aim of poetry is to elevate that which seems trivial into works of art. As long as this goal is achieved and appreciated by an audience, the means and format do not seem to be as important. The purpose of language prevails in any format as long as the human essence continues to be expressed.