The Importance Of Poetry In Poetry

1058 Words5 Pages
Poetry will probably always be part of human creativity, even when it is not exclusive to itself. From rhyming and prose to short-structured narratives, it will always appear in one way or another. Its understandable why it has been so popular in the past. In times when it was a form of entertainment most easily accessible only up until the last 150 years or so, it was a form of expression that just about anyone, at any social class or upbringing, could grasp, understand and experience. There is no doubt that poetry has bled into other forms and platforms. In this paper I would like to focus on poetry as a standalone means of expression, and how it stands as with regards to cultural impact and popularity. To answer the question outright before…show more content…
In the United States, there was the Harlem Renaissance movement, which thrived up until the Great Market Crash of 1929. After World War II, the Beat Generation came into full swing. This generation brought writers and poets like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. These guys brought political activism into the arts scene, and essentially”made it cool to go to a poetry reading.” These were also the same group of people who created the stereotype of black clothes, sunglasses indoors, berets, finger-snapping and chain-smoking with bongos as a backdrop. Once this stereotype became the popular notion, it was hard to take them as seriously, especially with how much popular media lampooned them afterwards. In the 1970’s the Hip-hop movement emerged in several major American cities in generally African-American streets and neighborhoods. While based on prose, practitioners wanted to distance themselves from the label of poets as to not come off as effeminate. Meanwhile, more traditional poetry was absorbed by academia. While it was still appearing in fantasy and children’s literature, it did not gather hordes, nor did it subvert people’s expectations or make them think about life. It was no…show more content…
Stemming from many of the aforementioned movements, it distinguished itself as a modern and fast-paced poetic wave. One of its main appeals is its competitive nature. Founded by Marc Smith in the late 80’s in New York City and Chicago, Slam poetry competitions began to pop up around the country. Smith saw that conventional poetry readings were dull, unimaginative, overlong, and had no sense of competition. He wanted to bring a little bit of chaos to this drab establishment. The basics of a slam competition are that anyone can participate. Poets are given 3 minutes on stage to recite their poems. Judges are selected randomly and judge the reading. Hierarchically, it begins on a local level. The winner of a local event goes from Open Slam to Finals, and then to National Competitions. Slam grew to such an extent that it was covered by the news program 60 Minutes in 1999. Over 12 million viewers tuned in on that night’s episode. The piece featured Taylor Mali, Daniel Roop, Jamie Kennedy and Staceyann Chin. In 2000 music producer Russell Simmons developed Def Poetry, a documentary series on HBO. It ran for seven seasons, and gave Slam a long-lasting exposure to millions of viewers. One of the most unique usages of poetry in another medium is found in a collaboration with independent animator Joanna Priestley and Taylor Mali. Mali, a four-time National Slam

More about The Importance Of Poetry In Poetry

Open Document