On Quitting Social Media: A Poem

In lieu of my usual Secret Library column this Friday, an announcement – not a particularly momentous one – and a poem. Yesterday, I made the decision to leave Twitter for good. This is nothing to do with my experience of running the @InterestingLit account (which has, 99.9% of the time, been nothing but positive, and has led to some thoughtful and illuminating comments from like-minded followers), but with the general air of toxicity pervading the site. When I joined in 2009, it was a community of bright-eyed people who wanted to indulge in their nerdy interests and who seemed, universally, to be full of enthusiasm for this new social network which enabled you to spend some time connecting with people you wouldn’t usually meet in ‘real life’.

Sadly, those halcyon days are no more.

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8 of the Best Poems about Shopping and Consumerism

Shopping and consumerism, the culture of buying things – especially things we don’t strictly ‘need’ – may not be as popular a topic for poets as beautiful landscapes or falling in love, but especially in the last hundred years or so, many poets have explored the attraction of shopping and shops, and the lure of advertising, in modern life.

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Five of the Best Poems about Social Media and Texting

Social media has changed poetry, at least in terms of the sheer number of people who now read poems on a regular basis, or buy poems (Rupi Kaur’s collection Milk and Honey was a runaway bestseller). This has led to fierce debates about what poetry is and what it should be (see, for instance, Rebecca Watts’ takedown of the Instapoets), but whatever one’s view, it is undeniable that social media has led to more people than ever before publishing, and reading, poetry of some kind.

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10 of the Best Poems about Knights and Chivalry

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Poets have often written about the days of chivalry, giving us gripping narrative poems about noble knights and brave kings, or romantic lyrics about knights saving damsels … or being brought under seductive women’s spells. Below, we introduce ten of the very best poems about chivalry, knights, and noble deeds from a bygone era.

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