I first started watching and listening to spoken word poetry a few years ago when I came across a TED Talk by Sarah Kay. Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. It's a combination of the eloquence of writing and the passion of performing, and it is truly captivating.
It can make you feel emotions you've never felt from events you've never experienced. And with the advent of the Internet, you can access all these performances from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. "If I Should Have A Daughter"
Sarah Kay takes the audience's breath away in her two performances during her TED Talk-- one poem about her future daughter and the other about reincarnation intertwined with the bombing in Hiroshima. Her poems are refreshing and modern and will keep you watching all the way through.
Phil Kaye is the co-founder of Project V.O.I.C.E which helps further the spread of spoken word poetry from classrooms to stages. His eloquent yet humorous poem explores his childhood and his dependence on words and language.
3. "We're Golden"
Michael Lee performed this poem in the finals of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. He rhythmically recounts the story of his best friend from middle school.
4. "When God Happens"
Mike Rosen, a poet from New York, gives an account of what he experienced the day the Twin Towers were attacked on September 11, 2001.
5. "Pass On"
A few years after he performed "We're Golden" in college, Michael Lee performed "Pass On" as a way to help deal with loss.
Spoken word poetry has the ability to connect people across the world. You can be moved to tears or laughter in minutes by a person you've never met before but you still feel this incredible emotional connection to. It is captivating and inspiring and is another way to step in someone's shoes and understand the world better.