Trending Verses: What’s Popular in Today’s Poetics

These are the trending verses of the 2020s.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

What Are Trending Verses in Today’s Poetics

Our world is full of voices, and poetry is a powerful instrument to capture that soundscape. A vibrant and dynamic energy electrifies the poetry scene as we navigate the modern age. 

Framing the Digital Age

Much of our lives have become so intertwined with technology. As such, trending verses must not shy away from this reality. 

Modern poets are embracing the language and tools of the digital age, incorporating elements like emojis, hashtags, and even snippets of code into their work. This isn’t just about trendy gimmicks. It’s about exploring the impact of technology on communication, identity, and our sense of self in a hyper-connected world.

Imagine a poem punctuated by a carefully placed emoji, which may capture the raw ache of heartbreak in a way words alone might struggle to convey. Or consider a poem structured like a Twitter thread, unfolding a narrative in bite-sized pieces, mirroring the piecemeal way we often consume information online.

Technology’s influence goes beyond mere symbols. 

Poets are now delving into the complex relationship between humans and machines. They explore themes of artificial intelligence, the ambiguity between what is real and what isn’t, and the anxieties and possibilities that arise from our ever-increasing reliance on technology.

The Rise of Climate Poetry

Climate change is no longer a distant threat. Its urgency is finding a voice in a powerful and unexpected place: poetry. Coined “climate poetry,” this movement uses evocative language to depict the Earth’s transformations, from scorching heat waves to rising seas.

Climate poems range in tone. Some lament vanishing ecosystems and displaced communities. Others focus on resilience, urging action, and celebrating the beauty of the natural world still worth fighting for.

This surge in climate poetry reflects a growing desire for an emotional connection with the issue. While crucial, facts and figures can feel distant. By weaving personal experiences and vivid imagery, climate poetry allows readers to viscerally experience the environmental crisis viscerally, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and hope for change.

Beyond the Fixed Form

Innovation remains a cornerstone of poetry. While traditional forms like sonnets and haikus still have their place, contemporary poets constantly push the boundaries of form to create new ways of conveying their message.

Visual poetry is one such example. Poets experiment with typography, layout, and visual elements like drawings to create poems that are as much a visual experience as a reading experience. Concrete poetry takes this a step further, where the arrangement of words on the page becomes part of the poem’s meaning.

The structure can also be a playground for experimentation. Poems might abandon traditional stanzas altogether, employing free verse or fragmented narratives to capture the complexities of the modern experience. The possibilities are endless, and this constant exploration ensures that poetry remains a dynamic and evolving art form.

Identity and Intersectionality

The 2020s are witnessing a powerful movement towards amplifying marginalized voices. Poets are delving deeper into themes of identity, exploring the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, and class. They are giving voice to experiences that have been historically silenced, creating a more nuanced and inclusive representation of the human experience.

This exploration of identity often involves the concept of intersectionality, acknowledging the layered aspects of our identities and how they shape our experiences. A poem by a black woman might explore the intersection of race and gender, while a poem by a disabled person might challenge societal perceptions of ability.

This focus on identity isn’t just about self-reflection. It’s about challenging stereotypes, fostering empathy, and ultimately creating a world where everyone feels seen and heard.

The Trending Verses of Now

Poetry will continue to evolve alongside society, with its ability to capture the essence of human experience. As we grapple with the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, these emerging themes offer a glimpse into the preoccupations of our time. 

Contemporary poetry is not a monolithic entity but a tapestry woven from diverse voices, each adding a unique thread to the rich history of this timeless art form. 

By exploring these trending themes, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit, fostering empathy, sparking dialogue, and reminding us of the enduring power of words.

Brion K. Hanks is a modern poet who is constantly honing his craft. His anthology of poems, Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose, is a great example of his knowledge and understanding of trending verses.