8 Spoken Word Poems That Will Inspire You To Create & Heal & Change

22 August, 2018

I went through a phase where I watched a lot of spoken word poetry and it made me feel significantly less alone. I know how awkward poetry can be and that the stigma is that poets are arrogant and over dramatic (dare I say cliché?), but just watch a couple of these short videos, and I promise they'll inspire you and have you feeling some type of way. I feel more artsy just posting the links, because I know these people have experienced real things and they express them in ways that most of us just can't get out. Maybe some of these are too much, maybe they're just enough.

For some reason, these poems instantly transport me to a small apartment in New York and I can feel the raw emotion, you know? Someone has to talk about social issues, mental illness, and the ups and downs of being in love. Someone has to make a place for the tortured souls. Get in touch with your beret wearing, late-night-poetry-lounge side and have a good cry . .  or good laugh depending on which poems you choose.

Also, a little disclaimer is that as I write this list and re-watch these videos, I may get progressively more poetic myself ... can't help it, really. These are all from Button Poetry on Youtube, and please don't be put off by some opening lines or the appearance of the poet because the words are so important that I had to write about them on my blog and then upload it, so I really want you see them :)

This poem makes me want to get out of bed in the morning and do something great. It talks about how among all of the bad things that happen in our lives, there are even more reasons to smile. It's all a little too real, about how life is so much of the same things for all of us. It's so easy to get caught up in all the bad things and disappointments and this poem explains that not everything is meant to break you. Life is full of tests. Everything is so small when you take a step back, it all matters, it's all important. 

"when the world crumbles around you, you have to look at the wreckage of all the pieces that are still here."

I avoided clicking on this video in my recommended for a long time because I really had no interest in sweet potatoes, but that is not what this poem is about. Sabrina writes a lot about depression in a weirdly real way, this poem being about going through the grocery and feeling lonely in ways that are hard to explain, and is one of my all time favorites.
"nobody is in love with me, but everyone loves me."

This is PURE ART. The first few times I watched this, I couldn't even understand all of it because Bianca an absolute genius. Every word is placed so carefully to tell this ridiculous story that pulls you all over the tells them in a way that I've never even seen before. It's enigmatic and perplexing and quick and passionate and perfect.

"I'm going to take this wild garden mouth and make it grow something -soft- does not mean weak, it just means gentle."

Some how this poet can take ordinary facts that you spill on the first day of school, and turn them into stories. This poem is calming and beautiful in the way that it equally describes the good and bad of life. It describes rises above the things that have tried to hurt you and holding onto what makes you original. I love this poem because of its amazing lines (it's tragic really that I can't quote them all), yet also its simplicity. [P.S. this one has a curse word or two]

"now I can't help but think that heaven isn't something we need to die to get to."

Olivia Gatwood gets me. I've never met her . . . but she gets me. She makes fun of teenage girls and how silly we all are, and she also makes us feel like every single part can make us strong. There's something about teen girls that sort of keep the world spinning and something about being a teenager that can't be explained by science. I love the little stories about her dog Jack and her mother and the earth and how it all comes back together, how it is all connected. She reminds me to fight back against people who would ridicule me for being me, and she reminds me to have fun in all things.

"imagine, the teen girls gone from our world and how quickly we would beg for their loud return. how grateful would we be then for their loud enthusiasm, and ability to make a crop top out of anything?"

This is the poem that is too much. The one that is too fast and too real. The one with really, really specific stories that people don't just make up. I had a hard time listening to it the first time but that's why stories like these are important. Because this poem has 7.2 million views and I know way too many people can relate to this story. That depression is a real issue and if that's what you want to call it, then maybe this one is for you. I felt terrible at first, knowing that so many people had felt this way and a type of deep, inner emotional pain like this is so rampant, so common. It made me feel so incredibly ordinary to know that whatever I considered my pain, was just a drop in the bucket to all of these other views on some poem that some girl made four years ago. It's not really a battle though, of who has the most scars, but more like a club full of people on every possible part of recovery. Most though, who know that it gets better.

"I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in."

Rudy talks a little bit faster than the average person and makes these 3 minutes and 17 seconds count. Somehow he can describe being lost yet knowing exactly what he wants. I know he'd probably tell you this isn't a love poem . . . but it's a love poem. Not the kind that puts you sleep, or the kind that makes you jealous, but the kind that makes you want was he wants are cherish what he doesn't. It's about looking for your other half or just enjoying the way he can describe so vividly someone you've never even met. Consider this the one where a poet describes everything anyone could ever want and inspiration to be that person.

"because aren't we all unfinished? don't we all need editing? aren't we all waiting to be read by someone, praying they will tell us that we make sense?"

In this one Brenna tells a short story about how the people in her life can't fix her but they can help her heal. Her anxiety makes her afraid to love and be loved, which probably gives her more anxiety. Only letting other people in gets rid of the ghosts. It's about how other people are not medicine but still an essential part to healing. It starts off as a joke and ends on a very real note that makes me feel like I know her. 

"to love me is to love a haunted house, it's fun to visit once a year but no one wants to live there."

The truth is, I listened to a lot of these of repeat when I was in a not-so-good place and they made me cry but they also made me feel incredibly better, because some stranger on the internet is talking about exactly how I felt and they were using all the right words. Looking back on things that got you through tough times, when you're no longer going through those tough times can be a little uncomfortable because it's hard to believe that I felt all those things, but also puts a lot of it into a new perspective which is important for growth, I think.

 I hope the short excerpts and descriptions hinted at what will make you laugh and what will make you cry, without giving too much away. I hope you can relate to some of these but not too many. I hope you open up a little bit, try something new, and then maybe write something of your own.

In an alternate universe I am a poet,

and so are you.


Join the conversation!

  1. I don't watch poetry videos but I have read some poems here and there! Thank you for sharing these lovely poetry videos. <3

    - anna (annaish)

    p.s i LOVE your blog design !!

  2. I totally recommend these, and thank you! ♡


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