Spoken Word Poetry for the Activist

Here are some useful styles/forms of poetry for a social activist:

  • Emulation (always gives credit)
  • L’Oreal
  • Love as Resistance
  • Profiling Poetry
  • Self Affirmation

Emulation: Pick a poem.

For this example, I picked Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi:

“I really don’t know what to think about the veil. Deep down I was very religious but as a family we are very modern and avante-garde family. And I ask, “What does a religious modern girl do?”

This is my quickwrite of the poem, meaning I used to base of the poem, but changed some of the words:

” I really don’t know what to think about you. Deep down I wish we were friends but I know you don’t want to be. I realize we are different, but in the end we all go through the same things, so, maybe, someday, we can be friends.”

And remember, with Emulation poems you ALWAYS give the author credit. (:

The L’Oreal poem: Writing about your own trauma.

  • The first and last line are usually repeated
  • Some are more like a short story
  • The purpose is to tell a story, for it can be part of the healing process

I have a L’Oreal poem I wrote, which I will most likely post tomorow (:

Love as resistance

  • The poet is writing as a lover
  • These poems talk about how love resits oppression
  • It can be any form of love
  • Love can function as a political action
  • Love as resistance poems often use repetition

Profiling Poetry

  • A poem about a time you have been profiled for any reason ; race, gender, religion, nationality, sexuality, etc.
  • You take the stereotype and flip it/re-own it
  • Contradict/resist the stereotype

Self-Affirmation

  • State the bad things you have heard about yourself and make them good
  • It can be about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc.
  • Often uses hyperboles
  • Flips the “Target Group” and steps up in confidence

I hope these were helpful, and maybe it will inspire some of you to write! Thank you! (:

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4 thoughts on “Spoken Word Poetry for the Activist

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