Spoken Word Poetry, I admire thee

Recently  a friend linked me to a video of a spoken word poet, Omar Musa and his poem ‘Fireflies’, a poem that powerfully expresses the story of a young refugee girl and her resoundingly common story of hope met with disappointment as she journeyed from her homeland to Australia. Whilst the issue of immigration can be argued from many different perspectives, this isn’t what I found to be the most interesting. I found the medium of spoken word poetry to be so captivating, I felt drawn into this story of a girl, who used to put fireflies in a jar. I wanted to share this amazing poet’s talent with everyone and I found myself telling everyone I know about this ‘completely profound and honest’ poet whose words deeply moved my imagination and painted such pictures on the ceilings of my mind that stayed there like the pristine Sistine chapel.

I wonder what it is that makes this type of poetry so deeply affecting. Perhaps it is the eye contact that you make with the person that is so genuinely and passionately expressing these stories, frustrations and truths. I think that for me, I don’t always encounter such a vivid and articulate language. This language is also alive, it is spirited, it is real. Sometimes I think we relegate poetry to rhyming couplets and only look to the past as sources of poetic example. One line that continues to run on repeat, echoing through the small winding corridours of my brain,

” My generation bloomed with the blood of artists, who sent messages in glass bottles that ended up lodged in bleached coral and humanity was a deep fossil to fossicked someday by a people other than us.”

I’m constantly meditating on this line, fascinated by the rhythm and the imagery. In some ways I feel rather clumsy attempting to analyse these passages. I can’t seem to express the feeling that this poetry evokes in me, alas, I am not a profound wordsmith, and so it is probably best that I leave the poetry to stand for itself. Here are a few links to poetry that I find interesting, if anyone has any other links to share, please do! I would absolutely love to hear more!

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet and teacher. She gave a TEDtalk in 2011 in which she explains what spoken word poetry is and how she started in spoken word poetry. For those who are interested, its a really interesting talk and her poem at the start is compelling.

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