There is another form of poetry that I have fallen in love with. In fact, it is in this form that I really felt a connection with poetry.
Spoken word is considered one of the oldest form of spoken art. Performing recitals and poems have existed hundreds of years ago. Contemporary spoken word poetry has gained many followers over the years in the poetry circle.
My first introduction to spoken word poetry or slam poetry was a few years back, was all serendipitous. While looking for the lyrics of a song entitled Scars by Papa Roach, I happen to stumble upon a different lyrics. The piece, also entitled Scars was written by Rudy Francisco – and the words spoke to me like nothing else. At first I thought it was just another poem until I dug deeper and found my way to Rudy’s youtube page. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Spoken poetry back home isn’t very popular. In fact, when I started listening to the art, I never met anyone who knew about it and would force my friends to listen to it. They liked it but they were never as passionate as me.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a big crowd of people here in Abu Dhabi that supports spoken word poetry. It was a few weeks back when I had the chance to see my very first slam poetry.
It was surreal. A few rules were thrown out by the host and this is when I finally found out why I always hear finger snapping during performances. In spoken word, so that a performer or poet won’t be distracted and his words are clearly communicated to the audience, claps are frown upon. Instead, you snap your fingers as a way of showing appreciation.
This isn’t always the case though. If you haven’t experience spoken word poetry, it is absolutely acceptable to clap during a performance or even laugh or groan, as long as it is in the context of the performance. But, it is encouraged to snap your fingers rather than clapping because that might cause the performer to be distracted. Notes are not allowed in the stage, so it takes a lot of concentration from poets to have a smooth performance.
I encourage you, if you haven’t heard a spoken word poetry performance before to go to youtube and experience it for yourself. Below are a few links to help you get started.