Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Poetry Gets a Bad Rap, but Both are Spoken Words

Poetry isn't bad rap, good rap is poetry. I got the rap on poetry; life imprisonment.

Poetry began as an oral tradition, part of the lives of working people and ruling people. It was a part of relating oral history, stories, myths, genealogy, law, and liturgy. Gradually, it became a practice more common in academia than in everyday life. Despite rap and slam poetry (which have done much to popularize spoken word), poetry is now often said to be obsolete. That's just silly. It is as vibrant as ever.

I love poetry for the same reasons I love other art forms: the feelings it evokes; its ability to teach and uplift; the appreciation of human similarities and differences it gives; beauty; the sense of awe and community it fosters; its humor; the transcendence amidst suffering it offers.

I feel passionately that poetry can be as accessible as any other art form. As in music, movies, painting, sculpture, photography, and dance, there is great variety in spoken word; but, perhaps because of the way it is taught, or lack of exposure, many people believe they don’t like poetry and poetry is not relevant to them. I believe many people can appreciate poetry but have not yet found the kind they like.

That's a wrap.

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