Slam Poetry

It’s the beginning of December now so of course Christmas is on the way, much to my excitement. However, what’s been occupying my mind recently is poetry. Slam poetry in particular. As it is studied at school, I think it is viewed in a very two dimensional form of analysing and going through robotic, almost mindless processes in order to get the grades, and this is where I think slam poetry makes a difference.

For those of you who don’t know, slam poetry is a version of the artform which is written with the intention of being performed at poetry slams, and is also referred to as spoken word (please forgive me if this is wrong). In my opinion, the performance emphasises life and the meaning of the poems, whilst also making it more accessible as the tone and emotion portrayed in the poet’s voice can communicate the ideas as well as the words themselves.

The poets who I’ve been falling in love with recently are Savannah Brown and Olivia Gatwood, who are the more well-known female poets associated with slam poetry as a lot of their work is posted on online platforms such as YouTube. Savannah Brown herself is a youtuber, meaning she posts about herself and her experiences, making her poems more understandable and easier for the reader / listener to recognise the viewpoint in which she’s coming from. Both women discuss subjects such as sexism and mental health in their work, topics that are now more regularly brought up but still need more attention shone on them. As poetry is such a powerful artform, I think it is an amazing way for raw emotion to be broadcasted, as sometimes plain speech and sentences cannot reach the same places that it is able to.

Following my interest in poetry, I have decided to embark on a journey of my own with it, by writing my own. I’ve started small and simple to ease myself in, by beginning with haikus, a form of Japanese poetry which is made up of only three lines, with 5 syllables in the first, followed by 7 and 5 once again. However, I have been finding it hard to be able to communicate an idea with a mere 19 syllables, and although it is nice not completing it fully, it can leave me wanting to write more.

Along with writing I hope to be able to learn a few poems off by heart, ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ by Olivia Gatwood and ‘Couldn’t Care More’ by Savannah Brown being the more noteworthy. As it is probably obvious by now, I have only been focusing on a few poets, all of them female so far so I plan to expand my range (by also expanding my Christmas wish list).

All in all I do view poetry as a valuable art form, as I do believe that is what it is: art. With this, therefore, I think it should be introduced and taught in this way, so it is something more students come to love and have a passion for rather than a select few. As poetry is far too beautiful to waste with under-appreciation.

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