Spoken word


Today I took my juniors to watch some poets from HBO's Def Poetry Jam, which I have never seen, but I am interested in slam culture and spoken word and all these things (though not so interested that I have ever actually attended anything) (let alone participated). But I like to see poetry living and alive when so many have given it up as dead.

Anyway, the headliner was Shihan and he was entertaining. But the kids were only marginally more capable of being good for him than they are for me, and he takes his charisma and crowd control on the road.

He had two poems in particular that I liked, "Song Speaks" and "Love Like" (which can be found here), and I though I would talk about them and write about them here at Tehachapiltdownman. However, when I found them online, the words seemed a little limp and dead.

And if I can't appreciate Longfellow today--he was the Most Popular Man in the Universe 150 years ago--is it because I have never walked to the lyceum and listened rapt to his tales of Gitchee Gumee and then cried and laughed and sighed with a smile and been filled by the living words as they ran from the poet's mouth and down his long beard and into the audience.

The audience, where I sit, and I listen, and think eh to that one but oh this one is brilliant and says something I have never heard before--not even imagined--and this, this is what poetry is! and why have I never known this before because it is beautiful and it matters and it is real and it's like my head is lying on the poet's chest and listening to the sound of his heart beating. And that is poetry.


Or, to be absolutely prosaic, maybe it's just a matter of poor punctuation.....

1 comment:

  1. Did you know Lauryn Hill was on Def Poetry Jam a few months ago? Not that I'm, you know, so obsessed with her that I need to relate her to whatever you're talking about.

    Okay, I am.