The art of self-expression

Alisha Shinde
Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Lingering into the world of words, these slam poets share their stories.

Like every other art form, poetry too is a way of self-expression. Slam poets come from all walks of life, each with different experiences and feelings that make their work beautifully unique. We catch up with women who have stepped into the world of ‘Slam Poetry’, to find themselves and give their words a way.

Sakshi Arora, a blogger, started writing poetry when her school teacher was really persistent and wanted her to write poems in Hindi. While she was a bit reluctant in the beginning, she eventually gave in to the power of words and mastered writing poetries on any topic.

She says, “The value of slam is that it gives poetry a stage and what we do as poets is valuable.” 

She believes acknowledging an artist’s work not only enhances his/her confidence but also boosts their performances and skills. “The stage does not provide any shortcuts to being a good poet,” Arora says, adding that getting the poem right comes with time and requires a lot of work. But she says that when a poet gets there and hits something solid in their work for a full room of people who want to hear it, an unforgettable impact is made.

Arora believes that poetry slams are a great way to share a story and to begin with a small slice of their own self in their words eventually building up meaningful stories worthy of telling the world.

For Riya Kalwani, a Mount Abu-based graduate, poetry is something she has adored and a way to express things in subtle yet powerful manner. It is a “way to connect with people through a choice of words”.

She used to initially recite a few extra sentences and words which were originally not a part of the poetry because of which her teachers and students would point her mistakes out. But this did not stop her and she went on to write and recite to better herself in poetry. She now writes poetry based on daily life and the other things she comes across. Slam poetry does not shy away from any topic — be it romantic or even controversial. “The best ones are the provocative ones and the ones that linger on,” she says.

She believes that if you’re bothered by something, keeping that feeling bottled up inside will not do any good to anyone. “Putting your emotions into words helps you make sense of your feelings and releasing them through a dynamic performance will take some weight off your shoulders,” Kalwani adds.

Kalwani says that it is definitely scary to stand up in front of strangers, unleash your innermost thoughts and then wait for the audience to react.

Both Arora and Kalwani believe that the poetry slam community is supportive, not mean-spirited and you are always bound to hear applause after the poetry performance. It’s an empowering feeling. They both agree that performers often experience a high or adrenaline rush when they’re in the spotlight. When they feel the audience connecting with their words, there’s joy, excitement, and pride. And that’s what they believe is an amazing reciprocation.

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