Be the Poem
How do you become your poem? How do you bring your poem to life and allow your audience to experience every word? Every syllable. Every bit of emotion you poured into the piece. It’s the difference between reciting a poem and performing poetry. It’s the difference between someone saying you did a nice job and someone approaching you with teary eyes.
They felt you. And as a poet, you can’t ask for more than that.
When you become the poem, you personify the emotion you poured into it. You make it leap off the page and into the hearts of your audience. In turn, you create a fan. You create someone who wants to share your work on social media. Someone who wants to buy your projects. Someone who supports you simply because you BECAME the poem.
“You can’t merely go on stage and recite words. To be a SpokenWord artist, there is an element of performance. You have to entertain. You have to make the audience feel something that they will remember,” – GFSoldier
I performed a piece at The Dock Bookshop Open Mic in Fort Worth a while ago. Years later, I performed at another spot. After the show, someone came up to me and said, “I remember you.”
I had no idea who she was, and I knew I didn’t meet her before, but she went on to explain.
“You did that poem about chess. I still remember that performance to this day because of what you stirred up in me. I followed you on IG that day, and when I found out you were going to be here, I came, hoping you would do the piece again.”
No, I don’t write to elicit those types of responses. I don’t perform for people to stroke my ego. I perform because I feel free on stage. I let loose of everything holding me back, and I become whatever piece I’m spittin’. If it’s an angry piece, you’ll see it on my face. If it’s a laid-back, humorous piece, you’ll feel my joy. It’s an organic thing that happens when you’re able to BE the poem.
Is everybody designed to be a performance poet? Not at all—and you don’t have to be. I’ve read poems that hit every spot it needed to hit, and I never saw the poet perform it. In fact, I think it takes a greater gift to affect someone through the written word. There’s no theatrics or performance involved. It’s strictly words.
But, if you’re not already embodying your poem, you’re leaving something on the stage. No, even worse, you’re not even bringing it to the stage. Tap into that emotion. Tap into the reason you wanted to hit the stage, to begin with. You’re not doing it for the sole purpose of gaining fans, but you’re doing it to change someone’s life.
Once you become your poem, you become more than a poet. You become a catalyst for change. Embrace your poem. Embrace the stage. And Spit That, Poet!