As the Young Poets’ Spoken Word poetry slam approaches, we wanted to show you a variety of spoken word poems to start some discussion on the genre.

Some great things can be done with poetry on the page, and any reader of poetry who has found some e. e. cummings knows that the way form and white space works with meaning is a big deal. But, there is something unique and wonderful and untouchable about the way poetry exists in the air.

When a poem is read aloud, the tone, pitch, and volume of the poet’s voice plays a part. The pauses feel longer, more important, the held breath like a great pressure building in the room. The poet’s gesticulation and movement and miming can help to draw pictures in empty space while their words color the drawn shapes. Perhaps most important, the emotional content of the poem can be felt with a great immediacy, drawing poem and listener together in a feeling.

A poetry reading is a wonderful thing.

Here to start off our month of spoken word leading up to our poetry slam is Sarah Kay, who gave a Ted Talk on the topic. We think her poems are pretty fabulous, but we’d love to hear your opinions too.

(Sarah Kay “If I Should Have A Daughter”)

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About Petit Branch Library

We are a branch of Onondaga County Public Library located in the Westcott area of Syracuse, NY. We love our community and especially our teens!

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