When you think about spoken Word, poetry comes to mind. Spoken Word is indeed a kind of poetry, but there is also a difference. Poetry is an art form expressing feelings and emotions utilizing a unique style and pattern coupled with poetic devices. Poetry is written and typically read by people passionate about this art form. Spoken Word, on the other hand, is poetry that is meant to be performed in front of an audience, where it is given expression through tonal quality and gestures by the poet. Spoken Word is poetry shared by the poet or interpreter of the piece.
Spoken Word is more of performing poetry that goes beyond one that is in written format. The speakers are engaged in a dynamic expression of feelings regarding any specific topic while the live audience takes in their every nuance, movement, and tonal quality. Many spoken word poetry performances are so powerful that the performer and audience feel every Word and movement. Spoken word poetry stays with you for a long time, which is what it is meant to achieve.
Hard work and more time to study a piece are required for spoken word performers. First, they absorb the written form, carefully studying their lines, ensuring they can send the message across. Memorization is a must, as it can never come across as genuine when lines are read during a performance. They also work on their movements, facial expressions, and gestures, which must all be presented at the perfect moment. Spoken word poetry is challenging, but just like other art forms, which require practice to achieve perfection, the rewards make everything worthwhile. Performing on stage and showing the audience the speaker’s raw emotions as they express the lines makes spoken word poetry memorable for everyone.
The beginnings of Spoken word poetry
One cannot accurately determine where and when spoken word poetry began. One reason may be that it is our natural instinct to want to communicate with people by plying them with fascinating stories. However, research shows that spoken word poetry dates back to very early times. Traditions, values, and other historical facts were passed down by storytellers so that every generation understood their roots. It may still be challenging to give specific details of its particular origins, considering that other civilizations have their way of expressing themselves through poetry. Each is unique, with no questions about whether it was done right or wrong.
Modern spoken word poetry may come from various influences such as the Beat Generation and Black Arts Movement, poets from the fifties and sixties. The Beat Generation was composed of authors who focused on the culture and the political state of America following World War II.
Present-day spoken word poetry
Today, spoken word poetry has been gaining much attention from people from all walks of life. It is performed in every venue and attended by a broad and varied audience who appreciate the art form. Old and young alike are either performers or spectators sharing the same passion for performed poetry. People use it as a means of release, a way to connect, or even to learn more about themselves.
For as long as people find the need for self-expression, spoken word poetry will always be around.
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