Power of the Word

The Empoweress Shares: Poetry Awaken!

I once thought that my first rendezvous with poetry was in the classroom on Arbor day, when I heard about the loveliness of a tree. But now I know that I found poetry in many other places before and after that beyond the classroom. I heard it in friend’s letters, at weddings, in Martin Luther King, Jr’s, “I had a dream” speech, on some commercials, on some billboards, and of course there has always been poetry in music.

Academic’s can debate which spoken and written words are considered poetry, but I know what feels like poetry to me. To me, poetry is real life on a stick! Poetry offers a universal knowing about the truth found in each poem. It can be more than the retelling of life; it can be imagined, but there is always a flavor of reality to poetry. The reality of poetry lies in the possibility of the actions, visions or emotions applying to any one hearing or reading the piece. And poets are magically innovative in creating emotional distance for their audience, affording an opportunity to safely connect with the suffering of others, the bliss of others, the visions of others, the fears of others as well as to connect with our own parallel truths inherent in our own daily-epic lives.

And now more often, it is possible to hear poetry for poetry’s sake. Cd’s of spoken word are being recorded and marketed. Personal pride is increasing as voices are heard and shared. More and more I find that performers at WordPhoria are more akin to philosophers and activists, than singers and musicians. The bards of medieval Europe and the griots of Africa were powerful, for they shared history of the civilization; their knowledge of the past advised those in power. Their deft artistry of “harmless” words informed the rest of the population about their ancestors and the present day, irregardless if it was good or bad tidings. You did not need to be educated to hear or feel poetry. The word is the public property of every individual to be freely ignored or ignited.

The tradition of poetry is old and it is powerful. And people are listening again, awaking to the strength in one person’s voice, finding that they can be more than listeners, finding that they too have a waking voice. For each person sees and digests life a bit differently. Each of you will document a different today. You have the power to remember and record and change tomorrow like no other. That is power. Use it and then use it again, better each time.

Jessica Deltac
Founder and Hostess of WordPhoria