23 Oct How to Write Spoken Word Poetry
Here is how to write spoken word poetry. The full explanation is here in this guide. Carefully read further and make sure you don’t skip any points.
Spoken word poetry is a form of performance poetry that goes beyond the written word. The intense, emotional delivery of slam poetry or a dramatic monologue at an open mic night may have stayed with you long after it was over. This is the power of spoken word poetry, and it is meant to stick with you.
What is Spoken Word Poetry?
Spoken word poetry is a word-based performance art in which speakers engage in powerful self-expression by sharing their perspectives on specific topics in front of a live audience, with an emphasis on sound and presentation.
Memorization, performative body language (such as gestures and facial expressions), enunciation, and eye contact with the audience are all required for spoken word performances.
Spoken word poetry does not have to rhyme, but certain parts can be rhymed to emphasize an image or add a lyrical quality. To enhance the rhythmic presentation, spoken word poems may include elements of hip-hop, folk music, or jazz.
How to Write Spoken Word Poetry
It takes skill and the ability to express emotion through written words spoken aloud to write spoken word poetry.
If you want to write your own spoken-word piece, consider the following suggestions for writing this passionate oral art form:
1. Choose a Topic that Interests You
Spoken word performances are filled with emotion, so before you begin writing, make sure the subject you’re tackling is something you care deeply about or can elicit a wide range of emotions for. Spoken word poems can cover a variety of topics, but there is usually a central focus on broader topics.
For instance, the topic of “family” could delve into how your grandmother inspired you, how a close relationship with a cousin shaped you, or how your favorite teacher became a parental figure to you.
Spoken word poetry can also address life experiences, such as growing up in a broken home, or it can respond to a personal question about yourself, such as “What are you most afraid of?”
It could be a unique perspective on social justice, your first broken heart, or a memory that has stuck with you after all these years.
2. Type in the Gateway Line
The gateway line functions similarly to the thesis of your poem in that it informs the audience of what you intend to discuss.
While your first line introduces the topic, the rest of the poem should be spent reinforcing, supporting, and expanding on that initial idea.
3. Pay Attention to Sensory Details
You want to immerse the audience in the scene you’re creating verbally, and the best way to do that is to write vividly. Throughout your piece, write what you want the audience to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell, and use literary devices like metaphors or similes to create comparisons.
You’re not just memorizing a poem to recite to others; you’re attempting to immerse them in your world, if only for a brief moment. When writing performance poetry, vivid descriptions will create impactful, memorable images, which is exactly what you want.
4. Make Use of Repetition and Wordplay
Repeating certain lines or words in a piece can help your audience understand an image or concept. Repeated lines have staying power in the mind and are effective at getting people to remember specific scenes.
Wordplay is also used frequently, creating a clever blend of images, emotions, and sounds for those watching and listening. Incorporating some of this into your poem can give it a more sophisticated or creative feel.
5. Make it Sound Appealing
Because spoken word poetry is intended to be read aloud, the way the poem sounds is as important as the content of the written words. Poetic devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance can help you add a more rhythmic feel to your writing.
A rhyme scheme isn’t required, but rhyming specific words or lines together can enhance your message or story when done correctly.
6. Set Aside Your Poem for a While, then Revise it
When you’re caught up in the emotion of writing a passionate piece, you may realize there are some things you could have said better.
Walking away from the first draft of your poem can help you collect your thoughts and revisit your work with fresh eyes, allowing any new ideas, clarifications, or emotions about your topic to shape how you deliver your piece.
7. Observe How Others Perform
When you hear experienced spoken word artists perform, you can get a better sense of rhythm, structure, and cadence. Watch some of the best-spoken word poetry, either live or on the internet, to learn how to write powerful lines.
Take note of how they use their space and the language they use, it may inspire you to be more daring in your own creative writing.
8. Conclude with an Image
Your conclusion should either wrap up your story or leave the audience with a lingering thought or feeling. It could be one of hope, one of pain, or one of a lesson learned, however, you choose to end your piece, it should tie in with the overall message of the poem.
What should viewers remember about this performance? What should they know about you now that they’ve seen you? You don’t need a neat conclusion, but you do need one that leaves an impression.
Spoken word is written on a page but delivered in front of an audience. It heavily relies on rhythm, improvisation, rhymes, wordplay, and slang.