7 Powerful Slam Poems You Need To Hear
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7 Powerful Slam Poems You Need To Hear

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7 Powerful Slam Poems You Need To Hear

If you have never seen or heard a slam poetry performance, you're in for a treat. Slam poems are bold, creative, detailed, and above all, powerful poetic speeches were poets use all the emotions they packed behind their words and spit them out into the audience as they perform them. The poems challenge society, encourage people or explain a poet's story. The messages that these poets declare when they are alone on stage are so powerful; everyone needs to see them. I've only included seven here, but for more, visit Button Poetry's page on Youtube.

1. Blythe Baird "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny"

Baird takes her moment on stage to address her struggles with anorexia and her body image. She also talks about how everyone reacted to her weight loss and praised her for it instead of recognizing her sickness. I hope that Baird's words make sense of someone's story even if they can't, and thoroughly explains what it's like living with an eating disorder for those of us who have never experienced it.

Most powerful lines: "If you develop an eating disorder while you are already skinny to begin with, you go to the hospital. If you develop an eating disorder when are not thin to begin with, you are a success story..."

"Girls at school who never spoke to me before stopped me in the hallway to ask how I did it. I say I am sick; they say, "no, you're an inspiration."

2. Clementine von Radics "For Teenage Girls"

Radics' inspirational poem speaks to teenage girls, who are arguably the most susceptible to low self-esteem and even self-hatred. It is full of pure, empowering sentiments that I wished I had heard when I was younger.

Most powerful line: "You are the first drop of rain in a hurricane."

3. Jesse Parent "To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter"

Parent's dramatic poem that became viral a few months ago is everything that every father wants to say to their daughters' dates. Not only does he assert his position as the father, but he does not do it in a way that makes his daughter his property. He shouts that he is her protector, and he has trained his daughter to be her own protector as well. Truly this is everything I would say to my future daughters' dates.

Most powerful lines: "If you break her heart I will hear it snap with the ear I pressed to her mother's belly...My cheeks are attuned to her lips, I will know if they tremble...

"Addendum: To the girls who may one day date my daughter, my wife is a better shot than I am."

4. Denice Frohman "Dear Straight People"

Frohman covers so many different things in her poems, most of them about her assorted identities. Here, she speaks to her frustration as a lesbian in a world that hasn't fully accepted her yet. I love her combination of poetic imagery and urban vernacular in her poems.

Most powerful lines: "I don't think God is a sexual orientation, but if she were straight, she'd be a dope ally. Why else would she invent rainbows?"

"Why do I have to prove my love is authentic? Why do I have to prove my love is authentic?! WHYDOIHAVETOPROVEMYLOVEISAUTHENTIC?"

5. Denice Frohman "Accents"

Frohman is one of my favorite slam poets so please excuse her being on this list twice. In "Accents" she tackles another identity, this time citing her mother's Spanish accent and how she speaks. By using humor and connecting with members of the audience who have the same background, Frohman is able to explain how wonderful and personal her mother's accent is.

Most powerful line:"My mother's tongue is a telegram from her mother...So even when her lips can barely stress themselves around English, her accent is a stubborn compass always pointing her towards home."

6. Rudy Francisco "A Lot Like You"

Excuse the long introduction at the beginning of the video; I swear it's worth it. Francisco writes a gorgeous description of his future wife. Not in looks, but in attitude and how she makes him feel. I know it seems odd that this be categorized as "powerful" but he used such detailed images and innocent, pure adjectives to describe her, and it's so rare that men talk about their future wives like that. It was also powerful enough to make me want to be Mrs. Julia Joseph Francisco.

Most powerful line: "When people ask about my future wife I always tell them that her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long."

7. Meaghan Ford "We Don't Tell These Stories for Fun"

Ford speaks for people who have experienced a traumatic past and how those stories are incorporated into whether are today, but do not define them. She shares private parts of herself in this dramatic speech, but uses them to illustrate that she is in control of her own story, no matter who tries to take that away from her. This slam also speaks to those who try to define people by their past: essentially Ford says that no one can ever do that to her, or anybody else.

Most powerful line: "Because all these people will remember of me is that broken girl and I am so much more than that."

While all of these poems are so important and impactful, the most powerful poems will be the new ones you hear live. I strongly encourage you to go to slam performances, whether it is at a coffee shop or on your campus, and maybe even perform yourself. It's amazing what you can experience at an open mic night.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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