Saturday, March 23, 2013

POP! goes my heart for POP Poetry: Part 1

Poetry fans of the world, and even people who claim to be 
non-poetry people, perk up your ears! 

I know you venerate the idolized Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets, your 'the cat sat on the mat' rhymes and even your more modernized poems, but slam poetry is in a category all in its own. Slam poetry is a self written type of poetry performed to an audience and also commonly to judges as part of a competition. Topics are wide and range from social issues like abuse, racism and bullying to lighter topics such as commercialism. The audience may cheer, clap, click or boo during the poem and the competition is usually set to a very casual atmosphere. The poems are meant to evoke a response of the audience, whether it be outrage or jubilant agreement.

I was recently invited to go and watch the finals of the POP Poetry: Power of the people competition. POP Poetry was started by a friend of mine named Ruby-Anne Birin. Last year she was part of a student exchange program at Oxford University where one of her courses was Creative Writing. Poetry was one topic that was covered, and that was where the world of slam poetry was awakened to her. When first introduced to slam poetry, she thought, 
"This completely encapsulates South Africa. It is South Africa"
And therefore, POP Poetry began. Teaming up with Boston College, Ruby-Anne has organised a wide competition between many of Johannesburg's major, and not so major schools. The results were incredible, astonishing, mind-blowing, breath taking and just utterly wondrous. 

"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."
W. H. Auden

I saw talent like I've never seen before and the passion of everyone participating -whether audience member or slam poet- was spectacular. I look forward to future events.

Now, just to ease into slam poetry, below are some awesome performances I think you will very much enjoy.

Katie Makkai - Pretty

Dan Vaughn & Dasha Kelly - 6 million ways to die

Def Poetry - Dawn Saylor - When I Was 14

Tell me they are not brilliant.

I think I'll end off with a poem.


Poetry is in the beginning of new life, 
Poetry is in the tears of a child, 
Poetry is in the warmth of mother's kiss, 
Poetry is in the child's bliss, 
Poetry is in the hug of a father, 
Poetry is in the love of a dear, 
Poetry is in the happiness of affection, 
Poetry is in the pain of separation, 
Poetry is in someone's loss, 
Poetry is in missing someone very close.


Poetry is in the first rain, 
Poetry is in the cultivation of first grain, 
Poetry is in the first light of dawn, 
Poetry is in the drops of dew o the grass of lawn, 
Poetry is in the blowing of cool wind, 
Poetry is in the beauty of green, 
Poetry is in the twinkling star, 
Poetry is in the aroma of a flower, 
Poetry is in thunder and lightning, 
Poetry is in the heat scorching.


Poetry is something more sweeter than sweet, 
Poetry is something more closer to heart beat, 
Poetry is something more than the most beautiful creation, 
Poetry is something more than the depth of an ocean, 
Poetry is something more higher than the blue, 
Poetry is something more true, 
Poetry is something more enjoyable than wine, 
Poetry is something more shiner than sunshine, 
Poetry is something more pure than air, 
Poetry is something which is present everywhere.


Poetry is not just rhyme, 
Poetry is but the voice Divine, 
Poetry is not just Poetry, 
Poetry frames History, 
After so many lines, 
Poetry still remains undefined.

P.S I will be posting Part 2, which is of the actual finale I attended, very soon.