Humanity has always had a fascination with the spoken word. So much can be expressed with a single utterance and the same word can have numerous meanings to the listener. The way in which words are spoken has become an art form in itself and it is referred to as spoken word poetry.
This art form dates back to ancient times when poets used to write down the words and people, who had great voices and the ability to provoke feeling with words read them aloud from a paper or by heart. This was a great spectacle and a part of theatre performance and the poetry itself sank into the hearts of listeners and stayed there for days on end. Spoken word poetry was an honorable spectacle and the performers were regarded as great speakers.
Poetry has come a long way since then and today it still very much alive both in theatre and in the hearts of poets. There are numerous spoken word poetry competitions and only the best vocalists are chosen to be part of the performance. It is very difficult to provide the exact intonation, to put stress on specific words and to keep up with a certain tempo, so the speakers must live with the piece that they must perform to be completely fluent and persuasive.
The poet also plays a very important role in spoken word poetry, often times it is the poet himself who speaks his words, because only he knows best what intonation to use and when to stress certain words. Even though poetry today is but a fraction for what it once was, a new generation of poets have arrived and they are revolutionizing spoken word poetry.
Today the themes are different and so are the speakers. Spoken word poetry is not practiced by accomplished poets and speakers anymore, more and more young people express their opinions and ideas through poetry. They talk about the hardships of life, the struggles that young people face in society and the overall labels that exist in today’s world. These themes differ from the nature and existential themes of the pioneers of poetry, but as times change so do the words.
To be part of the spoken word poetry world one should come to the numerous poetry nights, which happen all over the world in bars and clubs. Here people come from every walks of life to read their ideas and thoughts to a small crowd of fellow speakers. Each one can sound his thoughts and no one is judged because everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
It is wonderful to see that people still find meaning in the words spoken by others and that it is still practiced today. Young people would rather express themselves in a cultural and meaningful way rather than a destructive one and this shows a bright future for society. The art of spoken word poetry will shine as it once did, because it is already becoming difficult not to hear the voice of today’s generations.