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Spoken Word Poetry - Please Share And Discuss (1 Viewer)

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
While I enjoy reading poetry I much prefer spoken word. HOW the poet/reader conveys the meaning (or not) using the voice (for me) adds another dimension and is more powerful than flat words on a page. Some may argue they prefer to add their own voice. What is your preference?

Quoted from Wikipedia
Spoken word refers to an oral poetic performance art that is based mainly on the poem as well as the performer's aesthetic qualities. It is a late 20th century continuation of an ancient oral artistic tradition that focuses on the aesthetics of recitation and word play, such as the performer's live intonation and voice inflection. Spoken word is a "catchall" term that includes any kind of poetry recited aloud, including poetry readings, poetry slams, jazz poetry, and hip hop music, and can include comedy routines and prose monologues.[1] Unlike written poetry, the poetic text takes its quality less from the visual aesthetics on a page, but depends more on phonaesthetics, or the aesthetics of sound.

Tonight I discovered

Pandemic (Spoken Word) by Blake Allen​

and was blown away ... I replayed several times and subscribed.


Enjoy!
If I saw this poem on the page I'd probably just skip over and move on.


ETA: If you have recorded your poetry please share the link here.
 
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PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Read by Shane Morris - A legendary piece of reflective poetry written by Walter D. Wintle, a poet who lived in the late 19th

Believe in yourself!
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
Spoken word is its own art form, a fusion of preformance artistry and poetry. I can rhyme, but I am a very awkward weirdo who avoids cameras.
 
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Darkkin

WF Veterans
I prefer just the voice so I can close my eyes... listen and relax.

Why not record your poems without a video like the one I posted above. Your poetry is MAGICAL :)
There is very definitely magic in the 'Ways, but my speech patterns and rate are almost 30% faster than that of an average person. Given the density and complexities of the pieces, readers/listeners would need subtitles to make anu sense out of it.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
There is very definitely magic in the 'Ways, but my speech patterns and rate are almost 30% faster than that of an average person. Given the density and complexities of the pieces, readers/listeners would need subtitles to make anu sense out of it.
Have you considered working with another member/friend or colleague to record the 'Ways'?
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
All the poems that I really love I’ve read in my mind first so that the information is direct and I can experience my own feelings and thoughts without thinking of how someone else feels or thinks about the words.

But then after my own discoveries, or maybe during I get interested in what the author thinks and feels and means about their own poem. A while back I looked for poems read by the authors I love on YouTube (obviously, this wouldn’t work with Shakespeare) and had about 20 of them I posted. I love learning about the author’s voice, about how it seems they felt that poem (at least at that reading and what they divulge) sometimes they will tell you more about how that poem was born and what it meant to them and that will often fuel my imagination further with my main aim of understanding te kaleidoscope of the human condition.

After that I’m okay to hear anyone read a poem and maybe get interested in how they read it if they seem passionate about it. Recently how Tom Hiddleston reads poems has been interesting and relaxing. I don’t want to be soothed by poems, though, if that isn’t their intent. Most poems have other ambitions than to soothe—- but it’s okay if the poem has already been read at least once by myself without any other human filter so that I know what thoughts and feelings it inspires for me.

It’s okay to be different than me. My sister in law didn’t realize Billie Collins is funny until she heard him read. So it really added a lot to her experience. The important thing is to read and hear poetry. That should be encouraged.
 
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PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
After that I’m okay to hear anyone read a poem and maybe get interested in how they read it if they seem passionate about it. Recently how Tom Hiddleston reads poems has been interesting and relaxing. I don’t want to be soothed by poems, though, if that isn’t their intent. Most poems have other ambitions than to soothe—- but it’s okay if the poem has already been read at least once by myself without any other human filter so that I know what thoughts and feelings it inspires for me.
Thanks, Lyralen. I found Tom Hiddleson reading poetry on YouTube.

30 minutes of poetry with Tom Hiddleston | Ximalaya FM Compilation | 12 poems​


His introduction to the reading is interesting

"A poem may mean many different things to many different people. Each individual's interpretation will depend on their frame of mind and their experience. How the words make them think or feel"

This makes me realise while the poet may craft the poem based on their experience it is the reader who makes the poem their own based on their own life's experience. Can a poet who has never suffered from depression, sorrow or love write from the heart about such topics?
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
Have you considered working with another member/friend or colleague to record the 'Ways'?
This is rooted in my complete terror of group projects and/or being an inconvenience to others. I don't know how to people effectively when it comes to something that really matters to me.

- D.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Thanks, Lyralen. I found Tom Hiddleson reading poetry on YouTube.

30 minutes of poetry with Tom Hiddleston | Ximalaya FM Compilation | 12 poems​


His introduction to the reading is interesting

"A poem may mean many different things to many different people. Each individual's interpretation will depend on their frame of mind and their experience. How the words make them think or feel"

This makes me realise while the poet may craft the poem based on their experience it is the reader who makes the poem their own based on their own life's experience. Can a poet who has never suffered from depression, sorrow or love write from the heart about such topics?
If the poet didn't experience something, I don't know why they would try writing about it as if they had. I would think inauthenticity would be easily detected.

But can a reader who hasn't experienced depression, sorrow or love understand poems by people who have? Maybe if their imagination is good enough...otherwise, how much of the poem do they miss? Or does that matter? If readers stretch even a little bit, isn't that all that can be hoped?

I think it only matters to me if, for instance, I argue with my sister in law about Billie Collins being able to be humorous and sad at the same time.... Comparing notes on poems with others is interesting as we all experience so differently. It can be like comparing sex. Someone who hasn't experienced sex might sit there listening, wondering what it's all about, constructing some kind of understanding out of the information and their imagination. Or for someone who has experienced sex only in a negative light, listening might not be a pleasant experience, but might exacerbate feelings of having something taken from them or being shut out or whatever other feelings there could be. Some listeners might feel "Oh yes, that's exactly what it is like for me." I don't think poems are different than other communication. I think the original thoughts and experience still belong to the poet, and what I experienced in reaction while reading is what belongs to me.
 
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Darkkin

WF Veterans
If the poet didn't experience something, I don't know why they would try writing about it as if they had. I would think inauthenticity would be easily detected.

Devil's Advocate time. This line is reaching to censor absolutely every topic of imagination known to the human mind. (The old write what you know is the biggest load of tripe ever coined). There are people, who through no fault of their own cannot get out, cannot do things they want to write about. (The fantasy genre explains itself because it doesn't exist).

Emotion is the fuel that powers the engine of creation and most writers, especially those with an ND, (brains more prone to things like depression and emotional extremes), tend to have flashpoint ignitions. And by the very nature of our brains we have imaginations that are as powerful and as tangible as reality much of the time. With the double empathy indemnity, we can get a pretty accurate reading on an emotion, we might not have personally experienced. (Ever wonder why readers tend to be more empathetic? It is because they read, they contemplate characters' emotions and motives). A good artist can render a drawing that can fool observers into thinking that it a photograph. Good writers can do the exact same thing.

I've written sequences of flight on whimsical creatures, but I am terrified of heights. Yet no one has looked at these sequences and said: This seems fake, like you've never flown. Hypersensory context is a tool that is hardwired into our brains. Who hasn't jumped off a swing as a kid? Who hasn't had that gut tingling thrill as gravity takes over? It is a blink in the story of life, but that context imprints, the sensations remembered. It is the exact same with emotions. We draw information from our surroundings, which often includes books.

For spoken word to be effective, the reader needs to resonate with the mood, content, and context of a work. How many mediocre love poems have been penned when a writer was consumed by their 'lived' moment? But when those 'true' experience pieces go to a reader, they are glaringly one dimensional. How many poems on depression exist because a writer watched someone close to them battle with it? Just because they don't have the affliction doesn't mean they cannot be an effective observer and translator of the situation.

I've never climbed a mountain, but I know how different stones feel under my fingers and toes. I know how snow numbs my hands to the point of pain, etc.

Spoken word is the exact same thing. It is translating observed context into a tangible reality, whether you have lived the experience or not. It is the voice of the writer that comes through in print, but it is their experience (lived or imagined), when spoken aloud. When I proof read, I read aloud. I know what my stuff sounds like and it is not Shakespearian iambic. It is an accelerated, chaotic trochee. It is a pattern too aberrant to be accepted. My pattern would bother most, the way the 'natural' smoothness of iambic bothers me. It just feels 'off'.

I think a writer with a vivid imagination, engaging style, and charm has a much greater chance of winning over their audience than fervent, prosiac honest guy with his love poem could. Which act would you as a listener believe? The reader of the nonsense you know is nonsense or the almost farcical ferver? Also consider which one, one encounters more frequently, it isn't the nonsense.

Writing, reading...it is a con game. The very best cons steal hours out of our day as we escape into fabricated constructs of knowledge and/or imagination. Whether we read, write, watch, or listen we are doing it for gain be it a hint of pleasure, relief, to learn, or just a bit of fun.

One final observation. I honestly think there is a big difference between an organic reader, (work read by the author) and work present by trained actors (e.g. Tom Hiddleston). One is actual spoken word, organic poetry slam type, spoken word, and the other is acting, good acting, but still a scene.
 
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Llyralen

Senior Member
@Darkkin I said what I did because I am usually not worried about poets not knowing what they are talking about. If I’m enjoying and/or empathizing with the piece then I trust the poet is sincere about what they are writing about.

I talked about imagination and stretching for readers. I didn’t mean to say we writers don’t have imagination either. I’m not seeking to censor anyone. Emily Dickinson’s “I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea.” Or something close to that is coming to my mind.

It usually happens with young writers but if the writer isn’t sincere or is out of their depth, the imagination didn’t stretch far enough for their subject without a little travel, for instance, you can tell, of course. But believe me, I’m not someone who boxes anyone in. I also won’t be boxed in myself. A strong reaction to my statement is something I’m very sympathetic to.
 
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Darkkin

WF Veterans
A better way to phrase write what you know, is start from where you are. Start with context you know and work out from the center. As an autistic, as a writer, I tend to be very literal and to take things at face value as well. But there is something to be said for a powerful imagination and decent research. Good writers know how to do their homework and make their work tangible even if they do not have the ability or resources to travel. More crucially, if a writer earnestly believes in their work they tend to put in more effort and that effort translates itself pretty readily to the reader.

Read enough and it is pretty easy to pick up a working repetoire of usable information. Having access to as much information as we do in this day and age, travel is not a requisite to be a believable writer. And the more one reads, writes, and learns the stronger one's skill set becomes. I have a stack of travel guides I use solely for research, not because I have been to any of these places, but because I need tangible information.

It is about knowing one's audience and one's own content. Given the fact that the avergae IQ hovers at around 100, it is not hard to be a believable writer. Most readers are not looking at a poem going: Wow this guy has never had depression or had his heart broken. This author has no idea what it feels like to by ostracized...etc. It is the difference between reading and critique. The vast majority of readers are not reading to analyse the believability of a work. They are reading to escape and one thing they don't want to do is have to think to hard about what they are reading. Authors who make their readers work to understand the what they are reading rarely make a splash in mainstream publishing, a major exception being the fantasy genre.

The same can be said for listening to spoken word poerty. People do not want to have to work to understand what they just heard. They aren't interested in the deeper meanings, they just want distraction.
 
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