One of my favorite things to do is watch slam poems.
Some may ask, “What are slam poems?”
By definition, slam poetry is a competition where individuals recite self-made poems and are judged 1-10, the winner being whomever the judges prefer. However, I see slam poetry a little differently.
Slam poetry is like painting. If someone were to talk about their puppy or butterflies, their words will be a finger painting done by a kindergartener. But if the words flow off the tongue, each syllable packed with power and meaning, then those words look a lot like a Van Gough.
This past weekend, a friend and I sat on her bed and watched slam poetry for hours. After watching so many beautiful soliloquies, I felt free (however cliché that may sound). Slam poetry is someone’s deepest inner thoughts somehow assembled into speech. There’s almost something sacred about it.
People are free to critique society’s shackles that have been unjustly pinned on them or tell the story of gut-wrenching heartbreak. However, the cleverest ones are the ones told in a new way.
Everyone’s seen a poem where heartbreak is told in a rainy scene; the clouds heavy with water like the speaker’s eyes that are filled with tears. Or, a new love seen like a thousand roses gently blowing in a spring’s breeze.
But have you ever seen someone talk about anxiety like a haunted house, or a 101 guide to survive everyday life? Chances are you haven’t.
That’s what slam poetry is. The tales of everyday toils told in some exciting way, but without prop, costume, or scenery. The words and emotions brought with them decide how the poem reads, not the words. Even celebrities, like Kanye West, attempt slam poetry (usually before the peak of their careers).
I made a playlist of my favorite slam poems in case you’re interested (it’s linked at the bottom). So in a way, I’m kind of like my own slam poetry judge, and each person who watches slam poetry is, as you decide what poems you enjoy.