Facebook is a haven for both the inspiring and infuriating. Today I saw the latter on my feed, and this particular one has spurred me to blog.
Obviously, this is a screencap of a conversation between two people. I paste it here because it was shared on Instagram and Facebook, which I take to mean it’s for sharing with people. However, since the accounts this was shared on are private, I shall not divulge the name of the person who said this nor of the one who posted it. I merely want to share the cause of my irk.
One of the poster’s comments was this:
She’s “good” (in the sense that she reached the minimum requirements to be considered “good”) but the way that people are gaga over her work…..parang…people, she’s not THAT good! Her pieces are half-baked and are so….meh…. There are a LOT of better authors out there.Parang si Cara Delevigne. Di naman ganoon talaga kaganda pero ang daming naloloka sa kanya. (Like Cara Delevigne. She’s not really that beautiful, but a lot go gaga over her.)
I asked the poster what “the minimum requirements to be considered good” were, and the reply to me was the following:
I am not in a position to answer that since I do not find anything I like in her work And I was told that <college literary portfolio> people do not like her work
I like Lang Leav’s work. You could say that I’m a fan, but in no way do I go crazy over her work. However, I do recognize the “merit” in her poetry. Her words are plain. Her rhyme and rhythm simple. Her metaphors and figurative language easily comprehensible. She is no Nick Joaquin, Vladimir Nabokov (have you read his love letters?), or Pablo Neruda, BUT her poetry is able to reach people, which is more than I can say for Shakespeare, who, for all his brilliance, easily alienates potential lovers of literature.
Lang Leav’s work is great material for introducing people to the beauty of poetry. I accept that she’s not the be-all and end-all of poetry, but I believe it’s no reason to decry her work. My students have come to appreciate poetry because of her work, and they’ve opened up to the possibility of more complex literature because they weren’t immediately turned off.
THIS, my dear friends, is why I will always defend Lang Leav.
Here are two other opinions on Lang Leav, her work, and of “accessible literature.”