By Miggy Gimena
One microphone, one powerful piece, and one brave human being to bare his soul. Slam poetry, more commonly known as spoken word poetry, is a combination of poetry and performance where artists write their own pieces and perform it passionately in front of an audience.
For most people, watching viral videos on Facebook is the easiest way to get acquainted with slam. And while many think that performances only deal with themes of love, hurt, and pain; in reality, spoken word is so much more than that. Just like other poets, the range of themes that these artists talk about vary—from religion, mental illness, gender equality, racial equality, or simply anything. Slam poetry can be an eye-opener; it can be inspirational, it can make you hopeful. It can renew your faith, make you feel positive, and make you want to survive anything that life throws at you.
If you want to get in touch with your feelings and have a social reawakening, watch the performances below and feel your soul come back to life!
Whenever you need to know that you matter...
“Shrinking Women” by Lily Myers
"You have been taught to grow out, I have been taught to grow in. You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much
I learned to absorb. I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself."
Lily Myers took the microphone and spit a powerful message on the inequality when parents raise a son and a daughter—that it affects women more than men in her family. Women are taught to be a "woman" while men are allowed to make mistakes. "Shrinking Women" is about how parents and the society allow men to expand, and women to shrink—how women are forced to create more spaces for men.
When you need an empowered woman inspo...
“Hi, I’m A Slut” by Savannah Brown
"Hi, I'm a slut and no, that doesn’t mean I am nothing but the girl who was asking for it. Hi, I’m a slut and no, and that doesn’t mean I am nothing."
This poem by Savannah Brown challenges the status quo—how people try to take down strong women who know what they want, saying that it's easier for people to call them names when they're in control. Sexualizing women doesn't increase their self-worth, it limits them to just objects and Brown is making people see that clearly with this powerful poem about standing up against the judgemental society that will put you in a box no matter what you do.
When you need self-acceptance and love...
“A Letter to You” by Shannon Beveridge
"I'm gonna tell you a secret; of course, you'll figure this out on your own, but...one day, you're gonna go into the abyss and you're going to set up a little camp with a tall white flag, surrendering yourself to who you are. And, one day, other people in that abyss, just like you–they're gonna see that flag, and you're going to help them surrender to themselves who they truly are. And even though I know it sucks not having a flag to guide you, your flag is gonna guide others and you will never feel more proud of anything."
Accepting one's self and not being afraid of being who you are, that is what Shannon Beveridge wants people to know with her spine-tingling work, a combination of words and a short movie-esque presentation. She tells the story of how she thought something is wrong with her for feeling who she is, for being different. That she tried to "pray the gay away" in her, but the truth will always be the truth and it is a fact. She wants you to know that there is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with being different. Because love is love no matter what.
When you are questioning your purpose in life...
“Convenience Store” by Buddy Wakefield
"'Is this it for you? Is this all you'll ever do? her smile collapsed. That tightly strapped-in pasty skin went loose. Her heart fell crooked. She said, not knowing my real name. 'I can tell, buddy, by the Mini Thins and the way ya drive, that we're both taken with novelty. We've both believed in mean gods. We both spend our money on things that break too easily like... people.'"
There are times in our life that we don't know our purpose. We don't know what will happen to us after school—what's our future? In this thought-provoking poem told through conversation, Buddy Wakefield lets you imagine the convenience store where he had one of the most profound conversations he's ever had in his life. "Is this it for us?" that is the question he found himself asking this cashier, or maybe himself?
When you are struggling to face your ghosts...
“People You May Know” by Kevin Kantor
"Every day, I write a poem titled ''Tomorrow,' it is a handwritten list of the people I know that love me and I make sure to put my own name at the top."
Kevin Kantor unleashes a powerful tale of male rape and surviving the trauma, that people should know that it is never the victim's fault even when society is unfair, especially when dealing with male rape. He ssends out the powerful message that getting better always starts with oneself—by loving you first.
When you need a confidence boost...
“A Message to All Women” by Jon Jorgensona
"I am a daughter of the living God cherished, loved, and adored above all things by the Creator of all things for the glory of him who is greater than all things."
Everyone is beautiful in their own special way is the special message that this poem verbalizes perfectly. Be yourself because if you are not who you are, then who are you? Jon Jorgensona tells you what you can't tell yourself, you are beautiful. You are special and you should know that. Be the queen that you truly are, be the blessing God made you to be. You don't need a male voice to tell you that, but sometimes people need a push.
No matter what you feel today, there will always be a perfect poem for you! If you know any, tell us in the comments below and let's share our fave poems with each other!
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Banner photograph by Andreas Schäfer via Unsplash.