Lines On Dreadful Instagram Poetry by S.A.Todd The Society June 12, 2022 Culture, Humor, Poetry 24 Comments . “Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing” —Lines On Dreadful Instagram Poetry A halitosis belch of steam Spewed out in words. Ream after ream Of cheese puff, air-stuffed offerings Of child’s-art-in-thought-bubble things We all have pondered, never wrote, Because to waste the time to quote Self-evident reality Just champions banality. Do not mistake this righteous rant As envy of the ignorant. I know why you do what you do— Sometimes, I like a burger too! But when that burger tastes like dirt You make complaint, though risking hurt (When calling spade a spade, aloud) From missiles hurled by baying crowd Who think all criticism cruel The purview of the snobbish fool Who’d understand, if he but could Ignore the trees, adore the wood. To worship what it represents (Mere bonus points if it makes sense) And elevate word-salad dribbling Stream of random stanza’d scribbling To the heights of the profound. Empowered, he would come around! Nevermore would he abscond from the inch deep and mile wide pond Where rules the self-love muse they follow Though their words, when tapped, ring hollow Faulty lightbulb, twee and trite, That heats up, sure, but sheds no light. I should not speak unless it’s nice— Perhaps my ‘Likes’ will pay the price? “Look down only if helping up” And venerate the half-full cup. I’ll get back on my spot, and smile Perhaps I’ll like it, in a while? Mistaking fireflies for stars And smudge on lens for life on Mars. . . S.A. Todd lives in the North-East of England, and fell in love with Tennyson as a child, igniting a love of classical poetry in him which persists to this day. A volume of his collected works—‘Deeds And Abstracts – A Poetry Collection’—is available on Amazon. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 24 Responses Shaun C. Duncan June 12, 2022 You had me from the opening line, but the whole piece is the perfect blend of poetic skill and scathing commentary that makes satire such a satisfying form both to read and write. And just when I thought contemporary poetry could not reach a lower ebb, I see the phrase “Instagram Poetry” and realise that as bad as we might think things are, they can always get much, much worse. Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 Thanks Shaun. Full disclosure – I’ve had, and continue to have, an Instagram presence for my writing. I’ve met some very nice people, some of whom display no small skill and flair in their imagery and expression, notwithstanding that their preference is something very freeform rather than structured. But, boy, the bad stuff – of which there is much and more- is the absolutely *worst* kind of face-clawingly awful tat that exists. It’s so bad that I wonder if it’s actually really good satire in disguise. If I were a cynical man, putting out a single picture with a hand-sketched flower on the corner that exhorts ‘I am empowered / like the sun and wind / fierce endless mother’ and ending up with multi-million pound book deals and speaking tours out of churning out hundreds of these a month, the defence could reasonably be that I well know it’s tripe but that I am ‘working the room’ and simply parting the fool from his money before someone else does it. If I were a cynical man… – Steve Reply Brian Yapko June 12, 2022 if there is a more dramatic opening line than ”a halitosis belch of steam” then i’m not aware of it. s.a. – this is such a fantastic poem which scores so many points and has so many memorable laughs, lines & truths (i’m reeling over that “baying crowd who think all criticism cruel”), that i deeply wish i had written it myself. Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 Thanks Brian, glad you liked it! Much like modern art, it’s such an embarrasingly ‘target rich environment’ for satire that it’s almost too easy. I consider the act of laughing out loud in public at the patently absurd both a pleasure and moral duty – if only to remind yourself and reassure others that the Emperor really *is* naked, despite so many folks gasping at the radiance of his fresh new haute couture! – Steve. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 12, 2022 This magnificent poem is not only scathingly spot-on, but also hilarious and exceedingly well written. I’m with Brian on this one – I too wish I had written it myself. I particularly like, “Faulty lightbulb, twee and trite,/That heats up, sure, but sheds no light.” – original, inspirational, and all-in-all, a halitosis-belch-of-steam-free, spearmint-fresh marvel. Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 Many thanks Susan, pleased you enjoyed it. That lightbulb part you mention is one of my favourite little barbs of a piece veritably bristling with spikes! – Steve Reply Paul Freeman June 12, 2022 The Instagram poet shouts ‘Yikes!’ each day when his readership spikes. Who cares that his ‘verse’ is unsound and perverse as long as it racks up the likes. Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 The thrill of the ‘Like’ and its dopamine hit is the aim of the game – so who cares if it’s……….. not very good? – Steve Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 (That was a reply to you Paul, but I clearly neglected to hit the correct button…) Reply Paul Freeman June 12, 2022 You hit the wrong button!? No ‘like’ for you, then! Cheryl Corey June 12, 2022 There’s a lot to like … no, love. “word-salad dribbling … stanza’d scribbling”; “twee and trite” (is that a British thing?). Well done! Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 Thanks Cheryl. Tea and crumpets would be a British thing maybe, but things that are twee and trite usually lurk in their thousands on Instapoetry feeds – excessive sentimentality, dull, overused and unoriginal thoughtblobs masquerading as the purest distallation of ‘My Truth’ (TM). – Steve Reply Yael June 12, 2022 This was an amusing read all the way to the end, where “Mistaking fireflies for stars And smudge on lens for life on Mars.” delivered the cherry on the top of this sugar cream puff of levity. Thanks for the entertainment! Reply S.A.Todd June 12, 2022 You are most welcome! – Steve Reply C.B. Anderson June 12, 2022 This just might be, Steve, what formal poetry will look like in the post-Post-Modernist era. Reply S.A.Todd June 13, 2022 Who knows, C.B? Vive la resistance, in the meantime! – Steve Reply Russel Winick June 13, 2022 Steve – I loved every line of this poem! It’s great in every way. Russel Reply S.A.Todd June 13, 2022 Thanks for taking time out of your day to read it Russel, glad it hit the spot! – Steve Reply Jeff Eardley June 13, 2022 Fellow Englishman, this is so good, I have to keep re-reading. There are so many great lines. I love “word-salad dribbling,” “inch deep and mile wide pond,” and the superb final two lines. Thank you for this amazing piece of writing. Reply S.A.Todd June 13, 2022 Much obliged for your kind words, Jeff. It seems to have struck a chord with quite a few folks, so “job’s a good ‘un” as they say! – Steve Reply Talbot June 13, 2022 Here’s a rupi kaur “poem” to illustrate just how dreadful it can be: __________________________ love is not cruel we are cruel love is not a game we have made a game out of love ____________________________ As S. A. Todd’s poem above states: mere bonus points if it makes sense. Reply S.A.Todd June 14, 2022 This is a person who has sold over 10 million copies of her poetry books, which have been translated into 42 languages. Good luck to her from a business point of view, I guess. Regarding the translation point, it’d be intriguing to learn whether it’s equally as vapid and vacuous in, say, Mandarin or Hindi? It reminds me of another piece I wrote in tribute to this type of miniature trainwreck a while back (which is in my book ‘Deeds And Abstracts’ on Amazon, unashamed plug) : A ruby on a leaf ___________ Your fierce empowered daughters must fly free in the sunshine of hope to follow their hearts But to just follow is not enough they must subscribe too erm master your rage or your rage will master you yes that’ll do #TruismIsTrue Reply Talbot June 14, 2022 Yeah, undoubtedly she knows how to sell her stuff. She’s a savvy user of social media and the like. How much that’s worth outside her lifetime we’ll see, though her poetry doesn’t quite scream “timeless” to me (whatever that word ends up meaning poetically). Also, the bit about “they must subscribe too” made me chuckle. Joseph S. Salemi June 18, 2022 Kaur’s poetry is like a Hallmark Card on valium. In a drug-addled culture, no wonder she’s popular. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.