By Pauline Nacar
All it needed was a friend’s recommendation, a night of loneliness, and momentarily boredom for me to discover the beauty of Spoken Word Poetry. One video in and I was hooked. I couldn’t stop watching their performances, and eventually all I could think about was the rawness and emotion in their stories. These stories can be about anything, but my favorite stories are the heartbreaking ones which leave my head spinning and heart hammering long after they are done.
Here are some of the poems which broke my heart, as they will break yours.
Sabrina Benaim – “Explaining My Depression to My Mother”
“I’m not afraid of the dark, perhaps that’s part of the problem.”
I think this was the first performance I watched and, as I mentioned before, I was instantly hooked. You can see how intense and emotional this performance was due to the fact she was visibly shaking while delivering her lines. Every time I watch this, without fail, I have the sudden urge to cry.
Patrick Roche – “Siri: A Coping Mechanism”
“Do you want to send this message? … No.”
I never thought Siri could be used in something so emotional. The way this poem was written is a perfect example of the art of poetry and the amount of thinking required to come up with something as beautiful and smart as this.
Rachel Wiley – “10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy”
“I say ‘I am fat’, he says ‘no, you are beautiful’ … I wonder why I can’t be both.”
This poem is heartbreaking when you hear her doubt his love, funny when you hear her swear at magazines and other people, and it leaves you feeling elated when you hear her last lines.
Blythe Baird – “When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny”
“As a child, ‘fat’ was the first word people used to describe me. Which didn’t offend me – until I found out it was supposed to.”
This is what happens when you make someone feel bad about their weight. Her performance was strong and powerful, and the painful words scattered throughout the poem show how angry she is at the whole thing.
Neil Hilborn – “OCD”
“She told me I was taking up too much of her time.”
I know I’ve said this so many times already, but this is soooo beautiful. His love for her just flows out of his body and you can feel the pain he’s going through. The last two lines are AMAZING.
Kevin Kantor – “People You May Know”
“No one comes running for young boys who cry ‘rape’.”
Powerful, heart wrenching, and it makes you want to cry. We don’t often hear men speak about rape and their own experiences. This piece captures everything so powerfully that you can’t help but watch it over and over again.
Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege”
“Black privilege is the myth, is a joke, is a punch line.”
Another unbelievably raw and powerful performance discussing the struggles African-American people face every day of their lives. This poem will break your heart once you realize how horrifying their reality is.