5 Incredibly Inspiring Pieces of Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word is an oral art that folds words into beautiful masterpieces like lyrical origami

Mar 20, 2019

(YouTube/Prince EA)

Finding motivation to do the things that we’re passionate about is not always easy, and often our minds are our greatest obstacles. If you feel like you’re in a rut, it's important to know - you’re not alone!

Spoken word poetry is an incredible art form that does just that- it connects people with honest and beautiful stories of overcoming life’s difficulties.

Spoken word is a form of poetry that is performance-based; it has caught traction throughout the world as a tool to communicate and express our deepest thoughts and emotions- those that profoundly bond us to others. The words are brought to life using improvisation, drama, rhymes, story-telling, hip-hop, blues, and folk. Often they express social problems. Other times, they relay stories that inspire and motivate us.

We’ve put together a list of 5 spoken word poems that push us to overcome our challenges and encourage us to reach our fullest potential because sometimes we just need someone else to say ‘hey, you owe it to yourself to be your biggest badest you!’

1. Prince EA - “Everybody Dies but Not Everybody Lives”

“People don’t chose dreams. Dreams chose them. So the question I’m getting to is do you have the courage to grab the dream that picked you? That befits you and grips you?”

Prince EA is definitely one of the most legendary spoken word artists when it comes to inspiring us to live our best lives. His videos are filled with positivity, motivation, and an uncanny way of getting to the root of the things that really hold us back.  

Check out the video “Everybody Dies but Not Everybody Lives” below. Watch this one until the end- the momentum and excitement build-up beautifully to get your blood dancing. By the end of the video, good chance you’ll be out of your seat and running towards to your wildest dream.

2. Ashlee Haze - “Untapped”

“Look at this rose that has grown from the concrete and is still beautiful despite its thorns (…) You want to know what I think? I think that you are what makes this world go round. I think that you have the power to be your own masterpiece.”

Ashlee Haze has been doing spoken word art since she was 10 years old, and speaks of her experiences with self-doubt and despair. Based on her empowering and charismatic performance you wouldn’t exactly peg her as having low self-esteem. But that’s exactly the point. Haze explains that her poetry is her “saving grace” that helps her lift burdens from off herself.

“So look inside yourself and tell me, what will you be today?”

3. Climbing Poetree featuring Leah Song and Biko Casini - “Awakening”

“Whoever told you you can’t fly was afraid of heights you’d reach if you try.”

The fierce duo known as Climbing Poetree is not new to spoken word; in fact, they’ve organized over 30 national and international tours, and have been featured alongside artists such as Alice Walker, Madonna, and Alicia Keys. In this video, they speak about faith, love, justice, creativity, liberation, the infinite, and more. The video was shot in Hawaii and is sure to connect you even deeper to the ineffable within and without.

“Possibility is as wide as the space we create to hold it.”

4. Trent Shelton - “Rise Above”

“Understand the battle is not with them its within. Your competition is nobody else. So that means can’t nobody defeat you except yourself. Can’t nobody stop you without your permission.”

So sharp and real, Trent Shelton’s “Rise Above” hits us with piercingly honest words and enchanting landscapes. He is unapologetic in his performance. “You rise above anything or anyone that’s in your way, that’s tryna prevent you from being great.”

Check out the video below. It will likely be the most powerful 3 minutes and 28 seconds of your day.

5. K Soul - “Create Something”

“I don’t mean to bother you, but I hope this hits the heart of you so hard that it bothers you and you’ll no longer want to stand still but now you’ll feel like you gotta move.”

Short and to the point, K Soul pushes us to “release the gifts within us”. His performance is mesmerizing as he tells us to “grow, create, do, now.” Complete with dramatic gunshots, this video will get your attention and keep it. K Soul’s poetry leaves no room for doubt- now is the time and you are the only person who can take control of your destiny.

“You need a revolution that will not be televised, an evolution that you’ve designed for yourself, a resolution that you’ve devised.”

These are just a few of the artists that are writing and performing powerful prose to encourage us to live our fullest lives. They all speak the language of love and empowerment, urging us to love ourselves, to use our thoughts to overcome our limitations, to create, to rise up, to challenge the haters, and to give ourselves the space to be…well, ourselves.

The internet is full of even more inspiring stories from brave souls who tell their tales. Check them out, share your favorites with us, and maybe even give spoken word poetry a try for yourself.

HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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