Friday, January 9, 2015

this poetry is sexy

I remember the first time I saw spoken word poetry being performed. I was mesmerized by how quickly he spoke, how the words just flowed so naturally from his lips, and how the wordplay was straight up seductive. My jaw was probably dropped and I might have drooled a little bit, which would have been embarrassing since I was in a high school sophomore English class watching a YouTube video. But I didn’t even notice. I was too in love with the words of Rafael Casal to care. My teacher pulled up another one and I sunk deeper as I listened to Katie Makkai’s “Pretty.” The next few years that day in class stuck in the back of my mind, following me everywhere. It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I proactively searched for more of these videos, more of these performances, more of this passion. I spent hours searching, listening, watching, soaking it all in.

I finally started writing my own poetry, but not very often. It was usually when I couldn’t get a thought out of my mind, I would write about it. I’d edit, over and over, pick different words, find different rhythms, emphasize different ideas through the rhetoric. I would start reading them out-loud, slowly and hesitantly. As I got more familiar with the words I had written, I pushed them out of my mouth harder and faster. I would change the words as I spoke, realizing it sounded better in a different order or a different set of words entirely. I started feeling the passion I had seen in the videos, which excited me more.

This passion has carried over into my faith and helped me express my testimony in new, more developed ways.

Here is an assignment I did for a class here at BYU. 


  1. I think it's cool that you have found a love of spoken poetry. My husband recites and writes poetry, and there is something (like you said) mesmerizing to combine the written word with spoken emotion, life, and fluidity. It makes words, faith, feeling become powerful and cathartic. A good orator is an amazing thing.

  2. I write a little poetry and read even littler, but I've always appreciated most the poetry that is conducive to reading out loud. Ditto to what you and Natalie said about good orators reading good poetry being mesmerizing. I wonder if those feelings are a big reason that music (the kind with lyrics) is as popular and timeless as it is.

  3. I love your title and the entry was just as engaging! Thanks for sharing!