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I think it’s safe to say that you have probably heard of poetry. You may shrug your shoulders and find it boring. Or maybe you like it, as it makes you feel inspired and connected to the words on the page. 

But you may not know about the underappreciated art that is spoken word

Spoken word is essentially poetry, but delivered orally. The writer usually delivers their message to a live audience, focusing on sound and facial or body movements. Spoken word artists tell their stories with emotion and power, using their hands to act out and bring to life the words on the page.

Spoken word typically addresses complex topics such as racism, education, climate change, broken families and more. The artist takes such a potent and intricate issue and brings light and awareness to it in a unique, empowering and memorable way. 

Spoken word leaves a lasting impact on its audience, as it allows the listener to reflect and ponder upon the artist’s powerful words. Hearing their message allows you to sympathize and feel the pain of others. It also allows you to feel inspired and motivated to create change in society. Or maybe it just leaves you wondering and reflecting on your life and how you want to live it. 

Spoken word, itself, is a complex art that not many people know about or appreciate. The artist first must write the poem in a way that flows to tell their story. The poem usually rhymes and is filled with rhetorical and stylistic devices. The artist then must figure out how to deliver their story in a compelling and engaging way. Focusing on which words should be stressed, what actions should be done when, and most importantly when silence should be used to create a powerful moment. 

Spoken word artist Prince Ea, has captivated almost six million subscribers due to his motivational and thought-provoking pieces. One such piece that captures the essence of spoken word is his inspirational story on dreams. His piece reminds you that you have a gift and a dream that should be followed. Take a moment to listen to it and see how his powerful words leave you feeling. Because that feeling is the true art of spoken word.

Julia is a first year journalism student at Ryerson University.
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