POETRY TO BE SPOKEN, NOT TO BE READ

NOTE: Part of the joy of retirement is both the learning and the sharing of what I call “fascinations.” Sometimes those fascinations are things I knew before retirement. Sometimes the information is fascinating, fun and new to me. This week I give to you four entertaining and trivial fascinating fascinations. I hope you enjoy them.


I have always been fascinated by what is called spoken word poetry, and particularly by one poet…a woman named Sarah Kay.

Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. It’s described as poetry that is not intended to just sit on a page, but to be spoken in front of an audience.

And, to me, it is fantastic.

When you first listen, it takes you a bit to recognize that you’re “watching” a poem. But soon, the rhythms and the cadences, the word play and the phrasing, all allow you to say to yourself…this is different…and it’s great. At least that’s how I view it.

At one point in my life I was totally fascinated by spoken word poetry. Even wrote a few and performed them in front of my classes in public speaking. And occasionally I assigned my students to try their hand at it. The results I’d like to tell you were fantastic, but honestly they were just mixed. It is more difficult than I imagined.

So, today, this blog is giving you two events to listen to. Both are TED talks. And if you don’t know what a TED talk is…well, shame on you. Google them, download the app and spend a week of your retirement listening to as many as you can that are on topics you like.

In any case, here are the links to two spoken word poetry TED talks. One is by Sarah Kay. And in her talk, she also tells her audience a lot about what spoken word poetry is. The other is by a man named Rives.

And finally I have given you the link to Sarah Kay’s website. It offers a buffet of information and this type of poetry.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter (performance)
https://www.ted.com/talks/rives_on_4_a_m (performance)
http://www.kaysarahsera.com (Sarah Kay’s website)

So put on some earbuds or headphones, or just turn your device up really loud and soak it in.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

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