My Thoughts on Spoken Word Poetry

Prior to taking this class, I was familiar with spoken word poetry. It’s actually the only kind of poetry that I enjoy. I’ve gone to an open mic night at the Nuyorican Cafe in the Lower East Side a few years back. It was definitely a unique experience that I would like to repeat. The passion the poets speak with is something that the audience can feel, I certainly felt it.  I enjoy spoken word because I feel like there’s more feeling or emotion in the poem. There’s something about a poem being performed that makes it different to me than one that is  meant to be read. My least favorite poems are those written in Shakespeare’s time. I find them extremely difficult to understand as the English language was different then. I particularly enjoyed Franny Choi’s “Choi Jeong Min”. This poem spoke to me because I can relate to it. As a minority and being raised by immigrant parents, I can relate to the difficulties she experienced with her Korean name. My parents thought carefully about the names they gave me and my siblings for the reason of not being discriminated against. They knew we’d face enough difficulties being minorities and dark skinned, they didn’t want to add to that by giving us a traditional Dominican name difficult to pronounce in English like Nicaury.

She also speaks about American’s stealing our culture and selling it back to us for profit. This is something I feel strongly about and was happy to know that another minority group experiences the same as us blacks and Hispanics. Another reason I enjoy spoken word is because it reminds me of my favorite music genre, hip-hop. In hip-hop music, artist not only rhyme words but speak about real life issues. Rappers like Tupac, Common and Mos Def use a style of rapping that sounds very similar to spoken word poetry. Songs like Dear Mama and Ghetto Gospel by Tupac are indeed rap songs but have a different flow or tone and its delivery is more like spoken word poetry. I personally don’t write poetry. I tried when I was younger but wasn’t really interested in it. Although I enjoy spoken word, I don’t listen to it or watch it often. I really enjoyed the film Louder Than a Bomb because it broke the stereotype of who or what a poet should be or look like. I love that those kids used poetry as a therapeutic tool to deal with their personal issues as well as a hobby. Some even their poetry a little more seriously than others, which to me is amazing because where they came from I can imagine is very easy to get caught up in negativity.

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5 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Spoken Word Poetry

  1. Maya H.

    I enjoyed Franny Choi’s ” Choi Jeong Min ” too as I found it to be very relatable. Nobody, absolutely nobody has a perfect life. And when I was little, I was picked on because I went to an expensive private school and was one of the only three black kids. So I can understand how Choi felt and though I thought the poem to be very long, she expressed her emotions and point eloquently.

    I found Louder Than A Bomb to be a good movie because all the teens were putting their negative emotions into something positive. They were letting their voices be heard in a health and productive way.

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  2. kenisha Charles

    I agree with what you are saying, one of the things about being a minority is language barriers. The first thing to get missed construed is a person’s name and often it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but a name holds and identity. It is an individual’s past, present, and future.

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  3. Nina Bannett

    I didn’t know much about spoken word poetry until I decided to teach this course. I appreciate it much more than I did a few years ago. While I do write poetry, it isn’t really spoken word. I”m glad to hear that you enjoyed Franny Choi’s poetry-I think she’s extremely talented. Her first book is coming out in 2019.

    Reply
  4. Nina Bannett

    I didn’t know much about spoken word poetry until I decided to teach this course. I appreciate it much more than I did a few years ago. While I do write poetry, it isn’t really spoken word. I”m glad to hear that you enjoyed Franny Choi’s poetry-I think she’s extremely talented. Her first book is coming out in 2019.

    Reply

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