Thursday, March 06, 2014

Is Leslie Knope Right About Slam Poetry?

I believe that life is poetry, life is poetic, poetry is life.  I believe in life. I believe in poetry.

What makes a poem a poem? I know one when I see one.  Line breaks, rhymes, sounds, inflections, meter, images, phrasing, and that which can't be articulated, that which lives between the letters.

I believe in poetry readings, in the oral interpretation of poetry.  This is an age old practice.TheTorah was read aloud to the people.  It still is.  And it's read in a specific way and yet everyone chants it with their own flavor. All kinds of poetry has been read in all kinds of ways; so it has been through the ages. I respect and honor this tradition.

Poetry slams? The jury is out.  I think too often the form overrides the content.  I think of Jesse Jackson reading Green Eggs and Ham on SNL.  He did a great reading, could have won one cool contest, if all that counted was the reading. But would there, should there be such a contest? I think that any poetry performance must first and foremost have at it's core a real and good poem being performed.

I think this video makes a point, worth pondering:


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