I really enjoy spoken word. It’s entertaining and I acknowledge how much courage it takes to present one’s self in-front of a crowd only to grasp their attention by only with his/her voice. I also acknowledge how much influence spoken word is in hip-hop. Hip-hop is my favorite genre of music and most of hip-hop is spoken word but just with a beat behind it. I liked the film we watched on spoken word, Louder Than a Bomb (2011). It felt good seeing the kids making the best out of their situation, by coming to this class everyday and doing what it takes to preform at the spoken word event that was held. May sound obvious, but throughout watching Louder Than a Bomb, I learned that the amount of work one puts into something will always show at the end. I don’t know of any spoken word poets but I have seen some live throughout my life. Watching is one thing but like with most, seeing is its own thing. One of the things I remembered when I saw a live spoken word performance was not just the poet, but the audience’s reaction to the poet. The poet I saw put so much pain in his piece it had some individuals tearing up and most faces with a sense of sympathy.
Spoken word poetry is something I see more often now than written poetry, but I don’t have a preference really, it depends on mood and what my mind thinks I need. There are more lounges people go to perform or listen to hear those works of art. In the documentary we watched in class “ louder than a bomb” it showed me a lot of different styles of spoken word and how serious and important it is to a lot of individuals. Spoken word gave a lot of those student hope and a coping mechanism. A pen to a paper to express how they felt and let the world know how they felt. Expressing how much they go through, to dreams and aspirations, to things people just don’t want to discuss. I use to write poetry when I needed a way to calm down but didn’t want to tell anyone at the moment. I applaud them for the courage to go in front of audience and share their work, it could be intimidating sometimes.
I view rap as a way of poetry as well from different artist like Tupac, Floetry, and H.E.R artist from different decades some from rap and some for R&B backgrounds. From Tupac’s keep your head up and H.E.R songs pigment and against me, and Floetry’s say yes ; it’s all poetry and it’s raw with a touch of melodies behind it. It’s excited to see poetry incorporated in rap, I also liked how it was depicted in the movie ” Love Beats Rhymes”.
Spoken word poetry is one of my favorite forms of poetry so when I knew it was going to be taught i was excited. My favorite spoken word poem that we reading class was Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Hair” It’s a poem that speaks about the beauty standards of Latina women and that straigtening hair their hair to look more like people outside of their culture is “Whitening” I didn’t connect with this poem personally but there are plenty of women out here today that feel like they have to live up to or be in tuned with some kind of standard thats placed on that. When it comes to spoken word and older kinds of texts, I prefer older text. I like the vintage feel that comes with older text and I’m interested in the type of vocabulary that they use. Like Emily Dickinsons we grow accustomed to the dark. Spoken word just feels a lil to modern to me cause thats what it mostly speaks on, recent matters.
I don’t really think I’d be able to preform spoken word because I don’t really have a loud voice, so all that yelling will definitly tire me out after a few words. I do feel like I’d be able to write it though, and have someone more fit preform it for me. One spoken word poet that i Know of is one of my previous teachers. He wrote really good spoken word poems and is actually the person who made me gain interest in the whole style. He doesn’t have anything online though unfortunately. I feel as though spoken word poetry closely connects to the sub-genre of hip-hop battle rap. It’s like a more aggressive form of spoken word where your more getting at the other person than you are speaking on a crucial matter.
One of the spoken word poems I read that was my favorite is Franny Choi’s “Pop Goes Korea” because I like the way this poem paints an image of South Korea and touches on the true reality of South Korea. In the poem, it states, “Strawberry-cheeked gourmet popsicle ladies who stayed out all night drinking midori sours and somersaulting over their polka-pineapple platform heels.” When I imagine this in my mind, I see a array of colors popping here and there and people dressed in very colorful clothes. This seems very colorful and all but then we transition to the dark side of South Korea. The poem mentions, “The Korean headcount for celebrity suicides as a result of online persecution by fans is nine in the past five years.” This is something that a lot of people don’t know about Korean idols but Franny manages to bring this detail to attention in her poem. Franny talks about the bright streets of Seoul at night and the reality of South Korea. The spoken word poem that I can’t connect with is Franny Choi “Choi Jeong Min” because I don’t use a English name, unlike many other Asian people, who use an English name in America. My name is simply Chinese written in pinyin so I don’t have a English name. The poem points out that “These are the shields for the names we speak in the dark.” In America, her family uses English names instead of their real names. When using your real name, you show pride for your homeland, but Franny and her family can’t since they use English names.
I don’t think I can perform spoken word poetry because I have a shy and timid personality and, thus, cannot speak in front of a large crowd of people. Spoken poems are intended for performances, which I most likely cannot do. I can try but I will most likely be very quiet and won’t make a huge impression on the audience, since I cannot show how passionate I am about a certain poem. When you watch videos of spoken poem, you can see and feel the author/person’s passion about the poem but I, on the other hand, cannot show that. I am the complete opposite of what you want when reading a spoken poem, which is why I probably can’t perform spoken word poetry.
When I watched, Louder Than A Bomb, I could see that all of the poets were passionate and really put their soul into their writing. Some of the high schoolers were willing to basically tell their life story to strangers; the girl who spoke of her inattentive mother and sick younger brother or the guy talking about how he felt before his nephew was born. Now I myself have never written poetry nor did I have a poetry class in my high school. But I remember when I was little, my older sister would write poetry and read it to me. I found the movie to be very inspiring as the poets used art to discuss challenging topics going on in their lives and going on in the world. There were poems about racism, about police brutality, about ghetto living and how dangerous that is.
I myself hate public speaking, I’m too nervous and shy to do it, but these people put their fears aside and put their hearts forward. The stylings of the second winning group wrote and expressed their poems like rap music. Now I personally am not fond of rap music, but they did it in a way that I could understand and feel what they were saying. When Professor Bannett put up Franny Choi’s ” Choi Jeong Min “, I enjoyed the poem. I could relate to it because I know what it’s like to have others put you down to the point where you want to change yourself completely just to win their approval. But Like Choi, I understand the importance of loving who you are, just the way you are.
During my high school senior years i discovered spoken word poetry. i found it invigorating and the perfect excuse to voice my opinions on matters that i would not normally speak about in public. Conversations such as race, inequality, politics, sex and feminism, that would normally be offensive, were uncovered to the ears of those who would shy away from them. Spoken word poetry was my escape from societies unspoken rules on what one should and shouldn’t speak on in public. It was also the reason that i chose to do this poetry class, other than it fitting a CUNY requirement. One of the spoken word poets that we covered and that i connected with was Elizabeth Acevedo.
Elizabeth Acevedo is a New York times best selling author of the award-winning novel “The Poet x” as well as the holder of other awards. her poets explore the demographics of Dominican people and African people. exploring history and comparing it to now. One of my favorite poems she wrote is entitled “Hair” . With its strong meanings, such as appreciation of past; slavery and self love, in my opinion it is one of her best poems. Having natural hair like her, i find myself connecting with her messages on a more personal level. I would describe spoken word poetry as song without any musical background, just the lyrics, flowing to the speakers own rhythm.
In the film we watched, Louder Than a Bomb, the performances by the high schoolers surprised me because of their ability to express their deepest thoughts and emotions in front of so many people. These students clearly loved and were passionate about what they were doing. Speaking about your most personal feelings and experiences is scary and I cannot imagine doing that because of all the pressure that would be on me. I learned from this movie that spoken word poetry is a type of art that can be used to successfully express yourself in cases where you might have no other way to comfortably express yourself.
I do not think I would be able to perform spoken word poetry because it is one thing to have someone read your poems/writing, but it is completely different when I would have to get up in front of people and read it to them without suppressing my emotion. There are definitely strong connections between spoken word poetry and contemporary music. Specifically with rap because rap is essentially spoken word in a different form. Many rappers incorporate verses into their music that have less or no music in the background so that it sounds exactly like spoken word.
When I think of Spoken Word poetry, I think of someone speaking from their head and their heart. At the same time trying to relate to the audience, while speaking about their own experiences. Spoken word could be an outlet from actually writing a certain type of poetry, spoken word is more creative writing during your free time, words that you don’t have to actually worry about if they are written in a certain way. When people have to perform their spoken word poems out loud its almost like a performance in the sense that its very theatrical and their voices make you feel their emotion at the time.
I don’t think I could perform a spoken word poem in front of a crowd right now, but with practice of the craft, I wouldn’t mind. In class we read the poem “Puerto Rican Obituary” by Pedro Pietri and his poem was not only longer than a lot of the other poems we read in class but the way the speaker was trying to connect with its audience was deep. Even the film we watched in class “Louder Than a Bomb” with all the spoken word artists, everyone had a different style and a different way of performing their poem which was good to see.
When I think about spoken word poetry I envision someone speaking about their own truth. And how they feel about what is a reality to them. I believe spoken word poetry has more dept, and creates more of a genuine connection because the topics are often about the speaker’s observation or reality. Even if you may not agree to what the speaker is saying there is still a message and it wants and needs to be heard.
I do not think I have enough courage to perform a spoken word poetry because based on my observation about spoken word there is always a message. I think it will be hard for me to channel into my deeper emotions and put it on display. And I don’t believe I have an important enough message or point of view that I wish to bring to light. Spoken word poetry is heavily based on being passionate and that’s a trait as of right now I don’t think I have. But I do enjoy experiencing spoken word poetry like Pedro Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary and the film Louder than a Bomb(2011). The two bodies of works were very inspiring and it made me think about my own experiences because I was born from another country and I am a person of color. And those are some topics that were strongly focused upon in the two bodies of works.
Spoken word poetry is poetry that is written on paper and yet performed out loud for an audience. I for one would like to say that this type of poetry is one of my favorites. It allows you to emotionally connect to the poet while vividly seeing there body language. It is one of the most effective forms of poetry if you’re trying to get a message across to your audience. For instance, in the movie “Louder than a Bomb”, Nova Venerable presented this poem named Cody. In my opinion it was an emotional poem. She was explaining the struggles her little brother had to go through and how she pretty much raised him as her own kid. However, her body language was Positive when she would speak of him but when she spoke on her parents contribution you could tell her body language changed along with her tone showing this deep sense of sadness.
I myself have never been to a spoken word poetry performance. I would like to go to one and experience it lively because even while watching it I get into it. It’s a well developed passionate form of poetry in which I can say I enjoy better than poetry written on paper. In class, we actually read a spoken word it was Pedro Pietri’s “Puerto Rican Obituary” and you could just tell the difference from an average poem besides the length.