The Power Of Spoken Word Poetry

1264 words - 5 pages

Each year, City High School holds a poetry café. During this event, many young adults have the opportunity to get up and perform for their peers. This past year, a plethora of young adults choose to perform spoken word poetry. Some demonstrated issues that multiple people deal with and others expressing who they truly are within themselves. Spoken word poetry is a necessity to openly discuss the issues that affect today’s youth.

Spoken word poetry allows young adults to deal with issues of gang violence. Two young men by the names of Nate Marshall and Demetrius Amparan recite a spoken word poem “Lost Count: A love story” because of the death of children that occurred in their neighborhood in Chicago that year. The poet’s voice is valued because they experienced firsthand the danger of growing up in the ghetto:

“Though Marshall's mother worried about his long commute to Whitney Young, it was the walk though his own neighborhood that frightened her the most. One day, during his junior year, four thugs jumped him at 115th and Halsted Streets as he was getting off the bus on his way home from school”(Turner “Poets Tell Story of Chicago School Children Killed).

With the streets being so dangerous, mothers worry about their kids simply walking to school. The fear of a child being shot in the streets is very real. Statistics from the crime lab at University of Chicago demonstrate this: “In the year of 2008, 510 people were killed and nearly early half were between the ages of ten to twenty-five and the majority of them being male” (

. Through the poem Lost count: “A Love Story”, the two young men are telling a story of each of their classmates while speaking each name of a child that has died. Young adults in Chicago are suffering from the losses of the kids they attend school with and that live in their communities. Marshall recites the verse “September 22nd 2006, 8:30p.m., a little later than I thought when your path ended on Vinson Row. Run down by bad luck and police officer.”(Marshall) The verse recited by Marshall and Amaparan, discus an issue in Chicago which is a subject that we as people often tend to ignore. In reality, there are people that have the power to fix it but unfortunately, they don’t.

Spoken word poetry helps young adults express themselves when dealing with issues such as divorce. Dr. Robert E. Emery is a professor of psychology and the directory of the Center for children, families, and the law at the University of Virginia (emeryondivorce). Dr. Emery is a member of the Social Sciences and Population Grant Review Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. (emeryondivorce) Emery has provided insight into how divorce effects today’s youth.

“First of all, divorce is almost always stressful for children. Most children do not want their parents to separate (unless the marriage was full of intense conflict and anger or other sources of misery not suitable for children). Divorce also can...

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