Freshman Seminar: Writing Ecology

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Split the Rock

Filed under: Uncategorized March 24, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

Going and listening to poetry readings was a really unique experience for me and completely unlike what I had anticipated. In my mind I had envisioned a little coffee house with a man in the background beating a drum as a poet dramatically pauses after every stanza. What I got was some trilling, dancing, screaming, singing, and yelping. It was fantastic!

After listening to the poetic readings I realized why many of them have to be read aloud to really captivate their meaning. When I read poems in my head I do my best to mimic the meaning behind them, but in Espada’s case I had not even come close. When he read his voice was so deep and lyrical, yet frightful and powerful at the same time. He rocked behind the podium as he read and his voice brought out a new meaning to the poems that I had already read.

I think that the other poets were great as well. The poet that spoke in Busboys and Poets really surprised me with all of the singing and yelping she did. That definitely wouldn’t have come across in a poem!

Seeing these poets made me realize how influential the spoken word is. They practically had me eating out of the palm of their hand by the end; I would have gone with just about anything they said! The poets were certainly successful in getting their message across and advocating for their cause. The approach I liked best was that of Naomi Shihab Nye. Her last statement was absolutely beautiful and she ended on a positive note that makes me want to just go out and be a good person. The last woman was a bit forceful but I believe she got her message across really well too. She was loud and proud and made me realize just how ridiculous some ideas are.

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