About Spoken Word Poetry
"We're both from the same train
it's just that when we got off we dispersed
and there was this great big advert on the station that read:
'Blame others for what is wrong with this world.'"
~ Amy Naylor
What is spoken word poetry?
Well It's just as it sounds: poetry that is lifted from the page and spoken. But it's more than just spoken, it's performed. It's like poetry meets theatre. Or rap, depending on your take of the art form.
The stories that are told can be about any subject that regular poetry covers but you'll often find that it can become incredibly personal and emotional. It can also become preachy. Or it can just be plain old entertaining. There really are no limits.
During poetry performances the speaker will build up into a climax, practically rapping the words they speak as the subject begins to become more and more dramatic before dropping back down again.
Dynamics like this are what makes the art of performance poetry so entertaining.
It's also great to see the words acted out with hand movements, facial expressions and vocal expressions. All these things create new and deeper meaning to the poem that is being performed to create greater understanding and empathy from the listening audience.
While the form of a poem and the way it is presented on the page is as important as the words themselves, so is the way they are performed in the case of spoken word.
This is the first I saw of Spoken Word and I was hooked.
There are often competitions held in relation to spoken word poetry in which many poets take their turns to speak during different stages.
These performances are great because they become truly interactive with the audience who yell and clap and jeer in response to the words being told. As things become more dramatic within the poem the noise levels rise, making the whole poetry experience even more exciting.
There is so much emotion being sparked in a room full of people who all share the same understanding.
An example from a poetry slam
Writing poetry is a great way of understanding yourself and your own emotions. But performing poetry is an even more effective way of releasing those emotions and connecting with an audience of people who may feel the same way, have felt the same way, or will take influence from your words.
It is incredibly scary at first, especially if you are performing something that is close to heart, because it creates an honesty that leads to vulnerability. But this in itself can be very empowering.
Poetry doesn't just have to be performed at slams, clubs or open mics.
The internet holds a huge and incredible platform for poetry performance and it means that the audience really isn't limited. Anyone from around the world can view, enjoy and relate to the poem being told.
YouTube is growing as a popular platform for poetry. If you have a little explore yourself, there is so much that you can find.
From every age, gender, background ect. There is so much out there.
The single most emotional performance I have encountered so far
You can purchase MP3s or CDs of Spoken Word
Have you ever attended a poetry slam or spoken word performance?
"If anybody says anything different
They're accused of being naive.
But I could say the same about you
For believing what you read."
~ Amy Naylor