Spoken Word Poetry

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In conducting our research, we discovered that modern poetry originates in North America, United States to be more specific. Even though these poets were spoken word poets, their poetry was resistance poetry and an expression of rebellion. As we noted before that the origins of this contemporary form of performance poetry is found in oral tradition of African Americans, the descendants of the African slaves. We also discovered that the poets of the 1950s and 1970s used their poetry as a voice to express the needs of the black American people. Contemporary spoken word poetry started in America, in the 1950s as an underground political movement. Spoken word poetry started as a grassroots, underground political movement in the urban areas of the USA, which included hip-hop culture as well as rap music to performance techniques. The poets addedhip hop culture and rap music to their narrative performances to help them to express themselves, their lived experiences and social realities (Sommers-Willett, 2006). The Mayhem Poets (2008/2009) noted that both the Beat Poets and Bam created poetic gestures that were simple and spoke to the immediate culture, energy and needs of the people. This was in contrast with the more ‘theory based academic’ aims of modern writers and critics. BAM poets used of musical instruments like drums and other attention grabbing theatrical tools to capture the attention of the spectators. These poets used spoken word poetry as their tool to express their
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