My First Experience with Spoken Word
Updated: Jan 6, 2022
I like writing poetry. And listening to it. And while I’ve pictured sharing it in my head, the idea of actually sharing it has always terrified me. I was still pretty terrified last Tuesday when I attended a poetry event at The Free Times Cafe (aka the art bar) and I was almost 100% sure I was going to blank out on stage but I performed it anyway. What made it so special is that somewhere halfway into the performance, I looked around the room and the room full of strangers were not a room full of strangers anymore. Instead they were people who were actually listening and understanding what I was trying to convey (at least they looked like it...). That’s when I realized why I so deeply appreciated Spoken Word Poetry as an art form --- it allows you to share a part of who you are in a way that demands honesty and vulnerability from both you and your audience. And I think there's a lot of value in that because both vulnerability and honesty catalyze the process of true connection.
Other than the rush I felt while I was performing my piece, I loved being a part of the audience for other people’s pieces. Each of them brought a character to the stage that I either resonated with, learned from, or wanted to know more about. That being said, I don’t mean every piece has this effect and there are pieces I have watched that haven't had any of the three effects on me (but might on other people) I’m just pointing out the opportunities that Spoken Word as an art form can potentially provide.
So here's a blurry picture from that night (Thanks, G!):
I recorded the poem at home after and I still feel really, really weird about sharing it. It’s a piece about post-grad confusion but it has a hopeful (perhaps even borderline naive) tone to it that represents the mental state I am in right now. I haven’t figured out what the ‘right’ way of delivering this should be, but hopefully with time I’ll find my voice. Here’s the piece - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4DfnrUPv-Q