Did you know that poetry as an art form predates written text? Some sources even pin it down to prehistoric times, where hunting poetry was a thing! All over the world, poetry evolved differently, and the earliest versions of poetry were perhaps sung or recited before being written down. Today, poetry is certainly a big thing in literature, and there are also many different types of poetry available. We’re not here to discuss the specifics, but rather, to introduce you to some talented Malaysian poets on Instagram! Who knows, you might get inspired by them, and become an Insta-poet as well!
1) Charissa Ong Ty
Charissa’s poems are mainly about love, family, and self-reflection, and she draws her inspiration from non-fiction books and personal events. She writes to encourage independent self-evaluation, empathy and tolerance in readers by challenging their current perspectives on what they think is right and wrong. When she writes, she writes to gain a better understanding of herself, and to increase the amount of quality readers and writers in Malaysia. The author of best-selling books Midnight Monologues and Daylight Dialogues, as well as the founder of local publishing house Penwings Publishing, Charissa posts one new poem a week at @cotypoems.
2) Azalia Suhaimi
Azalia Suhaimi knows and believes in the power of words, and the thought that her words could possibly change someone’s life in some way is one of her biggest inspirations to write. As a mother, she frequently posts about motherhood, as well as self-care. Azalia Suhaimi posts at least once a week at @azaliasuhaimi, though she can post up to thrice in a week if she’s having a good week! Recognising her passion for writing since a young age, she believes that the skills and passions we have should be used for a bigger purpose. As such, she hopes that her words could uplift the spirits of mothers embarking on the challenging journey of new motherhood, particularly for the cause of maternal mental health, and to let new mothers know they are not alone. Like many other writers, she aspires to have her manuscript picked up by a big publisher, and to become a best-selling book.
3) Zack Shah
Zack writes poems about love and romance, depression and mental health, as well as philosophy. He will also be exploring darker, more “taboo” themes like sex, substance abuse, and self-harm (though only in the metaphorical sense), as well as occult and fantasy themes! As for his inspiration, he draws them from personal experiences, universal tropes, clichés, other books, songs, quotes, and even memes. You’ll be able to find published pieces of his work on his Instagram account at @zackshahpoet, though he rarely posts unpublished pieces. Zack writes because he thinks it’s creative self-expression and sublimation; to enjoy both the process and the product. He hopes to become an internationally acclaimed poet and author, and to publish at least one book of poems and short stories a year.
4) Germaine Thai
Germaine has always loved reading and writing, and her favourite subject in secondary school was English Literature. In her words, “There’s something really beautiful about a string of words with a melodic cadence.” Writing serves as a creative outlet for expressing her thoughts and feelings, which helped her understand herself a lot better. Drawing upon themes of love, loss, and life, Germaine is inspired by personal experiences, as well as stories everywhere, including daily conversations and snippets from movies, books and random places. By sharing pieces of her work with her friends and family, she realised that they were relatable, which spurred her to keep writing and hoping that the poems will resonate and encourage someone else out there who might be feeling the same way. Germaine posts once a week at @germainethai_quotes!
SY draws her main inspiration from self-discovery, healing from traumas, and topics about mental health. As such, it’s no surprise that her works centre around themes of mental health and recovery, as well as romance. SY’s reason for writing is simple: she writes because she feels “heard” that way. With her writing, she hopes to connect with other people who feel the same, but don’t know how to express their feelings. She thinks that this connection could help them with their journey of healing, and she hopes to be a published author one day as well! SY posts her work at @writtenbysy, sometimes once a week, or sometimes once a month.
6) Anna Alycia
Anna loves to write poetry with deep meaning about love and life, particularly self-love. She’s inspired by her own real-life experiences and stories around her, and she always writes poetry based on what she feels at the time. Most often, she posts a poem a day, and is even active in participating activities that are related to poetry. When Anna started to realise that not all feelings were easily expressed, she started writing poetry, in which she found solace. With her writing, she hopes to reach a wider range of audience, who might be able to reflect their feelings through her work, and maybe to understand themselves a little better too. You can read more of her work at @anna.poetry_, or purchase her debut book Petrichor: Growth After Rain.