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Pure Poetry

Why and how you should use this written art as an outlet

Rebecca+Snowden+performs+her+slam+poem+at+last+year%27s+LTAB+finals
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Pure Poetry

Rebecca Snowden performs her slam poem at last year's LTAB finals

Rebecca Snowden performs her slam poem at last year's LTAB finals

Photo by Louder Than A Bomb Great Plains YouTube Channel

Rebecca Snowden performs her slam poem at last year's LTAB finals

Photo by Louder Than A Bomb Great Plains YouTube Channel

Photo by Louder Than A Bomb Great Plains YouTube Channel

Rebecca Snowden performs her slam poem at last year's LTAB finals

Video by Louder Than A Bomb Great Plains YouTube channel

Hope Stratman, Copy Editor

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The written word is one of my favorite forms of expression, which has led me, in the past couple years, to an appreciation of poetry. We all need expression – whether it be through art, dance, or eyeliner color – and the beautiful thoughts expressed and evoked by poems seem to convey emotion in a way that other types of written language are rarely able to.

Luckily, Skutt Catholic has indulged the whims of word-nerds like me by sponsoring extracurriculars such as Poetry Out Loud and Slam Poetry. You might firmly hold that poetry is purely for 16th century sonnet writers or gushy seventh-graders on Valentine’s Day; however, give these activities a try, and you could find a new and unique form of expression.

There are few students in the school that aren’t at least semi-acquainted with Poetry Out Loud, as most classes are forced by their teachers to attend the annual school competition at some point. I think a lot of students are turned off from participating in the tournaments by having to attend them, honestly. As someone who actually likes poetry and who has competed twice, I have to admit that I get bored at the yearly competitions. It’s just not that easy to get into a poem written in the 1800s that you’ve never heard before.

The part of Poetry Out Loud that I find fulfilling mostly takes place before the competition. Searching for a poem that’s meaningful to me means dredging through different styles and forms of poetry. With enough digging, I start to appreciate the poets’ storytelling, and I form a kind of bond with certain poems. I see deeper and deeper layers and meanings that I had never noticed before. Poetry Out Loud becomes an outlet, and a poet’s words become my words.

It’s a beautiful process, and a process to which a lot of people don’t give a second thought. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but auditions are coming up – consider talking to Mrs. Hoye and giving it a try.

Okay, now picture the exact opposite of Poetry Out Loud. That’s Slam Poetry, also known as Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB), in a nutshell.

A lot of people aren’t super familiar with this extracurricular, so I’ll give you a run-down. LTAB participants write modern poetry covering current issues or whatever topic they feel needs to be expressed. Then, they perform in competitions around the state.

The LTAB season is one of the best parts of my year. I joined last year, and I quickly found that it let me share and improve my writing amongst an incredibly supportive group of SC students. Over the season, the LTAB squad became like a kind of second family to me.

Unlike Poetry Out Loud competitions, Slam competitions were some of my favorite parts of the season. My teammates and I got the chance to meet poets from other schools, all of whom had a unique and intriguing story to tell through action verbs and gorgeous word choice. Trust me – if you like words, Panera bagels, meeting a bunch of new people, and hugs, LTAB is going to be one of the most fun extracurriculars you’ve ever been in. First practice? Thursday, Nov. 10 (wink wink).

Believe you me, these extracurriculars should not be overlooked. Poetry is antiquated no longer; Skutt Catholic has found ways to make poetry modern, relevant, and meaningful to kids our age. If you’re a word nerd like me, or, hey, even if you aren’t, you’re likely to find fulfillment and even fun through this beautiful form of expression

Hope Stratman - Features Editor

Hope became a member of The Flightline in August of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in activities including Speech and FBLA. Outside of school, she enjoys lists, photography, and naming inanimate objects. You can email her at [email protected]

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