|Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre|
Nevertheless, he [perhaps inadvertently] raises an interesting point.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #62|
I agree with the thrust of "Guante's" thesis: a slam might include things closer to poetry than the typical reading simply because at least some of the competitors will have bothered to memorize their work and all of them understand the need to present it to viewers. What we see in 'zines and books may be better written than most spoken word but, with few exceptions, it satisfies neither of the requirements¹ for actual poetry. Still, the open mic is the closest facsimile of the gatherings that led to the first poetry. What is missing is that one speech that so impressed the listeners that they preserved it in memory and culture, much as we do today with song lyrics. What is missing is people who give a damn.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #9|
When that happens we can talk about "slam-" or "spoken word poetry". Or contemporary print poetry, for that matter.
¹ - The two requirements being that it be reproduced verbatim and for an audience. Put simply, a person is not a poet until others choose to perform his or her work.