Thursday, March 1, 2018

The One With A Love Of Poetry #sol18

This month, I'm participating in the Slice of Life challenge with Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post or you can head on over there to check out other people's stories and follow along with the fun. For more information on what a Slice of Life is about, you can go here

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Hooray for #sol18! I've done the month-long Slice of Life challenge twice before and I learned so much both times. The first time, I blogged about anything that came to my mind. The second time, I made a plan and explored my identity, how experiences have shaped my identity, and how my identity has evolved over time. This year, I'm going to zone in on poetry because I'm going to start an Open Mic and I want to spend time researching and exploring spoken word. I'll share my learning here and some of my own poetry. 

I have a friend who is helping me get our Open Mic going and she shared this article from Mundelein High School, the high school most of our K-8 students attend. In Just What Is Slam Poetry?, Drake Marin talks about emotional power in slam poetry. 

"A word on emotional power: the most powerful poems contain self-revelations and personal secrets and fears, rather than just outrage turned outward at, say, political leaders. If you can let your secrets and weaknesses and fears out and alleviate the tension with humor and not come across as self-pitying but as honest and wise-in-retrospect, you're a real slam poet. "
To me, this is exactly why words are powerful. Good writing elicits emotion. The other night Peanut and I were reading Laura Shovan's Takedown. I was reading aloud the last chapter and my voice gave out on me as I tried not to cry. Putting the book down, I explained how I was feeling and why I was moved. Then I took a deep breath and kept reading, my voice still shaky. Of course, not everyone is going to cry reading a book but a good book makes you feel. Whether you're happy or sad, outraged or empowered, good writing make us feel. Poetry especially harnesses elements of great writing and packs it into concise little packages that have the power to pack a punch of emotion. 

I love Drake's reminder that revealing secrets and weaknesses and fears is about being vulnerable and honest in order to connect with your audience. I'm excited to see what this month will bring as I explore poetry and write some of my own. I'm definitely also a bit trepidatious but isn't that what stretching out of your comfort zone is all about? 

Here we go!

Are you joining the Slice of Life Challenge this month?
Or have you before?
I'd love to hear about your experience. Please share in the comments!

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