Spoken Word

I found my new love, Spoken Word Poetry. It is one of the literary forms I am very addictive of. I enjoy listening to Spoken Word Poetry as much as I enjoy listening to latest pop songs. I know the word “poetry” sounds intimidating as if it belongs to a subculture. Our notion is that poetry is for people who study literature, who read works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Oscar Wilde. If not, it is for people who pretend they can write or pretend they are well-read. But Spoken Word Poetry is different. It can  appeal to a large audience. It can be very entertaining.

Spoken Word Poetry is written to be performed on stage. It is written for both the ears and the eyes. I like this medium of self-expression because it combines storytelling, theater, and poetry. Unlike poems published, it is more palatable and conversational. Trust me, it is not a difficult art to appreciate. I am not a good listener and I have short attention span but I manage to listen an 18-minute performance while I am doing other tasks.

Here are some of  my favorite performances.  I am not going to explain and describe further  because I want you to watch and discover the beauty of Spoken Word Poetry.

OCD by Neil Hilborn

This video has been viral.  Watch this  and you will understand why the world fell in love with this poem. It is about a man who has obsessive compulsive disorder. And I am very much obsessed with this guy. My heart broke after I heard the last line.

Love Poem Medley by Rudy Francisco

I love this guy! He is very witty and funny. He has a lot of cheesy lines.

I heard that love is blind so, I write all my poems in braille

And my poems are never actually finished because true love is endless

Touchscreen by Marshal Soulful Jones

If you spend more than eight hours on the internet, always take photos of the food you eat, make friends in Yahoo chatroom and Skype, this is for you.

One Color by Neil Hilborn and Renee Schminkey 

If ever Reproductive Health Bill should be discussed again, this poetry should be heard.

But was never  taught that there are worse things that could happen than a baby or a disease.

Shrinking Women by Lily Myers

As you know, I have soft spot on issues about women. This girl described struggles of women in conforming to gender norms.

Storytelling and Wishful Thinking

Our human mind may have some limit in  mathematics, science, logic but when it comes to imagination,the brain knows no boundaries. That’s the beauty of wishful thinking. It eliminates obstacles. I  realize that you should never estimate ‘wishful thinking’ because as what they said, “Thoughts becomes things. ” Hold on to  your wish list and be careful what you wish for.

One of  the things included in my wish list  is to perform storytelling in a big venue. I even wrote this down last year  on my blog post. I said, “I don’t just want to read a book in front of the kids. I want performance level. (hehe) I want to wear a costume and do some little effects.”

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Like a prophecy fulfilled,  I joined a new storytelling group, Storyhouse. It was founded by Jay Menes.  He  is the first Filipino member of International Storytelling Network Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos.

st5nI support the cause of this group, no matter how small and how informal this group is. For one thing, this is a breath of fresh air. We often see storytellers hold a book but with Storyhouse, storytellers don’t read aloud. The storyteller’s body is his main medium.

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Also, it’s one way of going back to our literary roots. Oral interpretation was one of earliest forms of entertainment. The kings and laymen hired minstrels.  Shakespeare’s long lines on stage were palatable. Poets were heard everywhere, not only in an English Literature class. Popular epics  across the world such as Iliad and Biag ni Lam-ang were passed by mouth not through a movie screen. Our Muslim brothers have rich literature in oral tradition. Today, these are replaced by movies, TV shows, and video games. We want something that’s easy on the senses.   Listening like reading requires additional neurons of our brain to paint a picture. I guess that’s how oral tradition stopped becoming a tradition. And with the aid of printing press, the presence of a storyteller is no longer significant.  This is the challenge of a storyteller: How to steal three to five minutes from modern human beings who have short attention span in listening.

I only wished to perform in a book store but never did I think of storytelling in a museum. We did our storytelling in Museo Pambata. That is the ideal place to perform if your target audience are kids. It was not my best storytelling act but that was a good start.

st6I told the story of the first banana plant