Friday, October 15, 2010

The thing about poetry

I’m changing. It’s been a long process, but it makes me a different man. I’ve opened up to new experiences and find joy. Take poetry for example, as a youth I read only what was required of me. As a young adult I avoided verse. At nearly 50, I search old book stores for poetry collections and works by my favorite poets. I listen to a new poem every day during my drive to work. And, I’ve started writing my own verse.

I’ve branched out recently and opened up to spoken word poetry. It’s been a slow process. I found that I must confront my own prejudices before I could enjoy the performance. My prejudices are not racial – I’ve always thought of the spoken work set as posers (for lake of a better word). I’ve come to think differently. In fact, the word authentic comes to mind. I thank YouTube for that as I’ve watched hundreds of performances in a just a few months, a feat that was nearly impossible only a few years ago. Spoken word combines the poet’s rhythm, pacing, and verse into a medium I find appealing. When I hear a good performance, it moves me. I may not understand the poet’s point of view, like in the performance shown above, but I am still moved. I’ll think about his performance for days and when sated, I will hunt for more.

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