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.

This poem begins with the idea that repetition can dilute and erase meaning. That if you do something enough times, or say something enough times, it loses significance.

Phil Kaye parallels this with memories of his parents’ separation, and their repeated “I love you”s that have lost significance to them. With this, though, he weaves his own experience with stuttering, with being snagged in repetition. We learn of the large value Phil himself places in words, and for him, perhaps repetition increases meaning.

What is your reaction to this poem? How does it make you feel? How is he using repetition in his own speech within the poem itself, and what does it signify? Does it dilute or strengthen the emotional depth he’s trying to express?

Let us know what you think.

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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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