Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Slam & Enchant

Well, today was another, "Hmm...what sort of gutsiness will I get up to today?" sort of day, without knowing the answer until poetry class.

(No, I didn't decide to ask That One Kid his impressions on the meaning of life. I hope I can get around to that eventually, though...)

Today we had a few presentations given by peers on certain poets that they like. One gal did a presentation on a slam poet.

For those who just went, "Huh?" when I said slam poet, click here.

Now, here's the thing. I don't hate slam poetry, but my impressions of it up until today were slightly less than favorable, and here's why. Up until today most of my impressions of slam poetry were that many of the poems included a LOT of what I'll call "aggressive whining". This tends to be the same way I feel about rap, but even in rap there are exceptions to that, and there are certain rap songs I find really interesting.

But slam poets are different. I always felt they spoke with the exact same intonations as one another, complained about the same things as one another, and had the John Mayer-esque idea of "waiting on the world to change" which I think is the laziest thing I ever heard.

There was one exception to this rule, and that was the work of Eric Darby. I was introduced to Mr. Darby through a camp friend who performed one of his poems at a talent show. But I thought Eric Darby had to be a fluke, because I still can't watch or listen to "Scratch and Dent Dreams" without crying with the joy of inspiration, and that couldn't be REAL slam poetry, right?

Well, today, I decided to face the beast head-on, and I started clicking around on YouTube watching slam poets I had never heard of to see if I could at least come close to understanding this phenomenon and find out if it was as pointless as I thought.

Slam poetry: 1, GLS: 0.

Friends? Whether or not I feel the messages of these poems are aimed at me, there is a lot more to slam poetry than whining, complaining, or protesting. As human beings, it is our privilege to listen to the voices of other human beings calling out, and these poems touch me to my core, some more than others. I hope, even if you aren't a poetry fan, that you can feel the emotional pull and spiritual call behind the words.

Here's what I suggest. I don't care if poetry isn't your thing, it's worth watching anything once, right? Go watch "Scratch and Dent Dreams" and then just start clicking around on YouTube. I suggest a lot of the "Def Poetry" stuff, hosted by Mos Def.

Once again, the GLS was proven effectively mistaken. I should make eating crow a full-time profession...

Also watched a new film, tonight, called "Enchanted April". TOTAL girl movie, but well worth it and beautifully acted! Highly recommended for a girl's night in.

-The GLS

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