In June 2014, I was introduced to an art form- Performance Poetry. While the poetry bit was not new to me, the performance aspect of it definitely was. To quote Sarah Kay, “I felt that my two secret loves, poetry and theater, had come together, had a baby, a baby I needed to get to know. So I decided to give it a try.” If that wasn’t already enough, binge-listening to Sarah Kay’s work sold the deal.
Fast forward two years to today, and I’ve just come back from representing my college at the National Youth Poetry Slam, the first inter-collegiate event of its kind in this country. If nothing else, this concept was a clear sign that poetry, Spoken Word in particular, is powerful- and is not something to be taken lightly. There is nothing more surreal or magical than being in the same room as more than a thousand other people who have the same passion for words as you do. Watching artists well known in the poetry circle from not just your own locality, city, state or country, but also the entire world, LIVE, is an incredible experience, and an unbelievably inspiring one too.
Poetry is powerful. Poetry has no borders. Poetry is transcendent. Poetry brings people, lovers, friends, languages, enemies, cultures, religions, genders, and every other distinguishing factor together. Poetry, when given out to people who want to listen, can spread awareness and exposure, set moods and influence opinions, create and destroy, teach and unlearn, and evolve. Words are unbelievably lyrical units of language, and the finest proof of human advancement. Words are beautiful things, in fact I have felt enough about them to write poem after poem chronicling their magic.
We’re all poets and artists, we just don’t acknowledge or express it. Pick up that pen, slide your heavy fingers over that keyboard. Put your mind’s whirlwinds into words – say what you can’t say out loud, what you can’t keep within, what you only feel comfortable thinking about in the dead of the night, anything, but express. Create, express and inspire. Listen to other people. Get inspired. Let your environment weld itself with the fire of the neurons in your brain, and even the dying embers or sputtering sparks of creativity will blaze brightly.Write about what you know. Write about what you don’t. Write about what you wish you did. Invoke emotion in mirth and empathy and sadness. Show it to people, or don’t, if you’d prefer not to. Use it, whether as catharsis, to put out flames that burden your mind, or as a foray into creation, to fan them, until they burn out all that must go, and replace them with newly formed phoenixes of inspiration, ready to take flight from the ashes and spread their wings to every corner of your insides and beyond.
Everyone has the beginnings of vibrancy within them. Poetry need not be aesthetic or eloquent to be impactful or good. Poetry need not have a goal or a purpose, and nor do we.
Sometimes, poetry just is.