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Whether you like poetry or not, prepare to be blown away. Poetry is more than just flowery language from an archaic time; it’s a way to express deep truths that transcend words and rhythm. Spoken word in particular is one of the most powerful forms of poetry today and these videos provide more than enough evidence of that.
“Remember How We Forgot”
This spoken word by Shane Koyczan is a wonderful reminder of our childhood and what we might have lost over the years. In this moving piece, Koyczan explores his childhood experiences — many of which we might have shared with him in our own little ways – and laments how differently we view the world once we lose our childlike sense of wonder.
It’s not as dark or depressing as I’ve made it sound. In fact, this performance ends on a high note full of inspiration and motivation. The message is clear: let us not forget that we are each individuals with our own passions and let us remember to live as if we were truly alive.
In this piece, Holly McNish thoughtfully arranges a short story that explores the topic of immigration and xenophobia. Despite the politically-charged nature of the subject, she presents a clear and thoughtful stance that ought to ring true with all of us. I’m not one to concern myself with political debate, but this spoken word goes beyond that.
There’s a bit of mild cussing in this one so if you have sensitive ears, you should be wary of that before hitting play. I think it’s worth the watch even so.
Here’s a spoken word that strikes deep to the core, appealing to the inner children within all of us who have ever struggled in our identity apart from our parents. Daniel Beaty recounts his experiences as the son of a prisoner and his lessons are words of wisdom for us all.
The ending might be a bit too saccharine for some, but I found his words both encouraging and motivational. Even if you think the message is a bit corny and idealistic, you can still appreciate the way in which he strings his words together and weaves a short tale. Brilliant.
“I Will Not Let Exam Results Decide My Fate”
The education system here in the US often takes center stage under the crosshairs of my peers. No system is perfect, of course, but there is a flaw that sits deep in the core of many education systems today. In this piece, Suli Breaks explores the question: if we’re all individuals with unique desires, passions, and skills, then why doesn’t the education system recognize that?
My takeaway from this was NOT that tests are inherently bad but that perhaps education needs a paradigm shift at its core. This piece should be especially powerful to those who have always just assumed that schooling is the way it is because “it’s always been that way.” Maybe it’s time for a change.
“What Teachers Make”
This is what happens when your life is driven by passion. With every word uttered, Taylor Mali oozes raw energy and pain — not a self-centered pain but a pain for those around him who can’t see that character, integrity, and honesty are more important than simply making money for the sake of it.
It’s easy to walk away from this video with a higher respect for teachers — at least for the teachers who truly believe in what they do and live to transform the lives of their students, not just teach to a test in order to look good before their peers. Real teachers who have a heart for their students are rare to find these days.
Are you a fan of the spoken word? If you know of any particularly outstanding videos that weren’t mentioned in this list, please share them with us in the comments.
Image Credits: dualdflipflop Via Flickr