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Showing posts with label Poetry Class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry Class. Show all posts

September Contest: Haiku Challenge

I recently got back into writing haikus (shout out to Isaiah at for inspiring me!)  I'm remembering how useful it is to force myself into this tight, small format. Haikus are three line poems, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. The force you to focus, and to conserve language. 

The September Slam Challenge is to write the best haiku. Do it!  Submit here when you're ready. 

Here is my most recent series, for reference and inspiration: 

Introspective Wolf
Do you think a wolf
Always knows he is a wolf?
Or does he mean well?

I do not only 
Listen to a man's advice.
First I watch his life.

Knives Out
A harmless request
Invitation to engage.
But will you stab me?

The thing I can't live
Without: connection with You.
To unplug is death.

I quietly write
Into the cosmos for all
Or none to see it.

Uh Oh!
I wonder if the
Satellites can see me when
I am pooping, yo.

EDITOR'S PICK: Shake the Dust (Anis Mojgani)

The Mission of Slam Poems is 1.) to showcase great slam poetry, and 2.) to create awesome conversations. 

For these purposes, I frequently post examples of  the best slam poetry performances that I have come across. This is a means of inspiring the community.

This slam poem model of excellence is called “Shake the Dust” by Anis Mojgani. I was inspired by the ferocious hopefulness, and the precision of delivery in this piece. I also appreciated how he crosses lines by delivering a message of hope to people on opposing sides of the equation: the bullies and the bullied, etc.

The site thrives on engagement from the slam poetry community.

We’d love to hear your comments on this one. What can be learned from this poet?

--Slam Poems Team



Find Your Giants

If you want to grow as a poet, stand on the shoulders of giants. I know you have heard this phrase before, but stop and take a moment to think about it. 

The greatest poetry movements in history have happened when great poets became FAR greater through associating with, and being sharpened by, OTHER POETS.  You can look at the Modernists, the Romantics, and even modern day poetry movements to see this principle in effect. 

As poets, I think we are innately independent. Creation is such a personal process. It takes a lot of humility and work to seek out people that are greater than you in your craft. Most won't do this, and will thus be limited to the confines of how far they can grow in themselves. Not saying  you can't grow without major influences -- but you will be limited. 

A wise man once told me that he seeks to find the rooms where he can be "the dumbest guy in the room." In other words, his strategy to become great is to associate himself with greatness, and learn from greatness. This is a key to exponential growth. 

Find heroes. Find people who are ahead of you in your craft. Find people whose art you respect (maybe poets, visual artists, playwrights, whatever), and make contact.  This principle doesn't only work for poetry -- it works for business, faith, and any category in which you are pursuing growth.  Find your giants, and make contact. 

You heard me!  Make contact. Shoot an email or a Tweet to someone who you think would never respond to you. Instead of telling them all about yourself and what you're doing, ask them penetrating questions that invite them to share their wisdom with you. For every 50 attempts you make, you might get one response. 

But that one response could be a life changer. 

Come on, you're a poet! You're bold, and passionate, and persistent. I know it's scary. 

I know because I am in the process of doing this right now. It's scary. But I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. 

Find your giants, and grow!  I would love to hear your comments if this impacts you.  Even more, I would also love to hear about your results if you put this into practice. 

--Johnny Levy, Slam Poems Editor

Poisonous Butterflies (Johnny Levy)

Just put the marks
On the page.

This is what
I tell myself

When my canvas
Is too big for me.

When the paper's
Whiteness blinds me,

And I've failed
Before I've started.