Sunday, March 29, 2009

Slam Poetry

"On What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. It can be found here.

To begin, I think it's very important that slam poetry be listened to, as it IS called spoken word. To read a splam poem is nothing compared to hearing the author recite it because much of the importance is in the tone and delivery. The art of spoken word is so greatly dependent on the presentation.

In "On What Teachers Make", Taylor Mali presents an entirely different definition for the phrase "what do teachers make"? He focuses on the teaching, inspiration, and hardwork that teachers instill in their students, instead of focusing on the money. Mali brings to our attention the important role that a good teacher can play in a kid's life. I know, personally, that I have had very few teachers whom I will always remember. I won't remember the ones who made it easy, or the ones who simply made it fun. I will remember the teachers that made me work and made a difference; the ones who truly cared.

Mali brings up a great point--someone who has not had the opportunity to teach will never understand a teacher. To have the ability to affect hundreds of students' lives is a great responsibility. What you instill in them could possibly be one of the greatest lessons of their lives. Mali's passion and delivery of this idea and this entire poem truly show that he takes pride in being a teacher. He isn't simply trying to stand up for himself, but he is standing up for teachers everywhere who are not appreciated nearly enough for what they do.

In this slam poem, Mali uses the literary device of apostrophe in which he talks about someone who is not present. He is telling a story and mentions the CEO who began this conversation at dinner. As a result, the CEO is merely a character in his story who is not present at the time. In addition, he talks about his students are not present either, neither at the dinner table or the presentation.

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