Jada Mathurin

Professor jewel




Spoken Word Poetry : An Annotated Bibliography 


Angelou Maya. “Alone” 1975.

The poem Alone by Maya Angelou, is written as the narrator thinks about life and its meaning. The poems speaker is lying in bed thinking and searching for answers when she realizes she has the answers.She concludes that people need each other because no one can really and truly face life alone. The theme of people needing people resonates through many of Maya Angelou’s work. Having to live through discrimination and the civil rights movement and beyond .During the early 20th centry has showed her many lifes failures and successes. The number of times Maya Angelou says the words and emphasizes  ‘ Alone ,all alone /nobody,but nobody/ can make it out here alone’ shows the importance and main idea of the poem. This literacy narrative appears in the movie ‘Poetic Justice’ where it shows the theory pathos where she is convincing the audience that hard times are coming and these are the times that people need to help one another to help them through their suffering 


Angelou Maya. “Phenomenal Woman”

This poem “ Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou is written to describe how women are seen in society and how she actually is. The poem clearly illustrates that no matter how a woman is , she is still noticed in a crowd femininity is a blessing in disguise. How women can stand bold and beautiful to the world in this new century. I would say the rhetorical appeal would be Logos the author wants the audience to understand that being a woman is a blessing , as that is God’s gift to nature to protect balance and nurture. The strength a woman holds can in no way be measured and how balances life and the situation that come in front of her , no matter what. She tried to persuade her audience to believe that having confidence to face the world, no matter the scenario may be the most challenging task. In this poem Maya vividly reminds the reader of the strength a beautiful woman has also radiates,energy,wisdom and belief. 


H.E.R. “Lord is coming”

This poem “ Lord is coming” by H.E.R starts off as a spoken-word screed disapproving   materialism,racism and talks about how immarnet families are being separated. As the choir dresses in all balck humming the tune she talks Police brutality drug abuse and depression and how it all goes unnoticed until someone is suicidal. The poet wants her audience to know We don’t learn from our Idols if we keep repeating the same cycle. We have the same rights as white people but do we really get the same treatment it’s a fact that they separate us from the truth but during these are the devil’s times the Lord is coming to save us free. The rhetorical theory this poem is Logos because she has details and facts to support her claim. 


Jeanty Alex Pierre. Book ‘H.E.R’ published in 2012

In this book the author does not claim to be a great poet but a great observer of her. In each poem he explains the strength a woman has and the beauty. I feel like this connects well with pathos the author wants the reader to know the feelings of being loved . This is a beautiful expression of heartfelt emotion using short and gratifying sentiments.

Shakur Tupac. “I cry” – 

The poem “I cry” by Tupac Shakur is written to explain that people were not really there to feel what tupac felt. He had to endure all his pain and sorrow by himself. I also feel like he talks about how the world was a very dangerous place for people of color to live due to police brutality, even though it does not clearly specify it. Tupac wants his audience to know that even though it is noticeable that he is sad and in tears , no one seems to understand what he is truly feeling. The rhetorical analysis for this poem is pathos because tupac expresses that people don’t really care about his emotions and would father focus on themselves and not the hardships that others have to endure.   


Keys Alicia . P.O.W

The poem P.O.W ( prisoner of words) written by alicia keys is describing how it feels to feel alone and feeling like you can’t say anything you want to say because you’re afraid no one would listen or even take your thoughts into consideration.  She’s trapped by so many emotions and words that she doesn’t know what to do. The poet wants the audience to know People who stuffer with their emotions and feeling trapped in their minds actually want someone to help but are afraid that  no one will understand them. Alicia says “ I should stop to speak but I stop and stay silent and now I’ve Made my own hard bed inside this prison of words unsaid” she expresses the difficulty she faces to be understood and to express herself. Her lack of expression has also led to her being sad, miserable and suffering. She states that her lack of words has somehow become her own doing which leads to her misery. For many, it also leads to guilt because they try not to hurt other people’s feeling but then they really aren’t trying to take individual feelings into consideration. I believe the rhetorical appeal is pathos the poet uses the metaphors  ‘prison’ ‘gun’ ‘solitary confinement to persuade the audience to feel empathy and for them to connect with her. 

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