Friday, December 9, 2016

The Spoken Word Revolution Redux

Billy Collins has a great poem called "Introduction to Poetry," where he suggests how students could enjoy a poem, but it ends,

"But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

"They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means."

That pretty much describes how school taught me to hate poetry. But it turns out, I don't have to find out what it really means! And I can enjoy a poem best if I hear it read aloud. Best of all is if I hear the poet read it. The Spoken Word Revolution Redux lets me do that with the included CD. It includes slam, hip-hop poetica, dub poetry, musical interpretations, European performance poetry, and some youth poetry too. There are readings by Billy Collins, Ted Kooser,and Mark Strand, who have all been U.S. Poets Laureate.

There are some eye-opening, ear-pleasing, sweet readings to listen to. I haven't actually read the book yet - it's mostly the text of the poems, along with some commentary introducing the writer. What I have done is gotten the first volume, called The Spoken Word Revolution (slam, hip hop & the poetry of a new generation), and started listening to it. It's awesome too!

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