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20 Great Quotes To Inspire You To Be A Better Slam Poet


Spawned in the 1980s and gaining in popularity with each passing day, slam poetry is perhaps the most energetic and vital poetry movement of the modern era, revitalizing popular interest in poetry and performance. Members of the Beat movement and the poets of Negritude devoted themselves to the performance and spoken aspects of their art, and despite critics in the world of academia, this interest was reborn with the rise of slam poetry across America. Slam has been well-received by today’s young poets and used as a much-needed democratizing force.

Finding Creative and Motivational Inspiration

Serving as this generation’s version of spoken word poetry, slam poetry tends to be highly politicized, drawing inspiration from current events as well as economic, gender, and racial injustices. Thus, your slam poetry should reflect current social rhetoric and make a bold statement about modern society. With a growing divergence between social classes, turbulent markets that create and destroy fortunes on a whim, growing globalism, incessant terrorist threats, global warming, and rampant social injustice, finding inspiration is not a difficult feat. However, if you find yourself lacking creativity or motivation, here are 20 inspirational quotes to inspire you to become a better slam poet:

1. Steve Jobs – Follow Your Heart

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

2. Henry David Thoreau -Build a Foundation for Your Dreams

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

3. John Lennon – Do What Makes You Happy

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

4. Virginia Woolf – Don’t Focus on Other’s Happiness

“It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.”

5. Charles Mingus – Embrace Simplicity

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

6. Mother Teresa – Discover the Power of Love

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

7. Yusef Komunyakaa – Question Everything

“I define poetry as celebration and confrontation. When we witness something, are we responsible for what we witness? That’s an on-going existential question. Perhaps we are and perhaps there’s a kind of daring, a kind of necessary energetic questioning. Because often I say it’s not what we know, it’s what we can risk discovering.”

8. Confucius – Understand the Power of Unity, Not Selfishness

“When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Leaders are capable and virtuous. Everyone loves and respects their own parents and children as well as the parents and children of others. The old are cared for, adults have jobs, children are nourished and educated. There is a means of support for all those who are disabled or find themselves alone in the world. Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society. Devotion to public duty leaves no place for idleness. Scheming for ill gain is unknown. Sharing displaces selfishness and materialism.”

9. Gilda Radner – Don’t Be Afraid of the Unknown

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”

10. Mark Twain – Take Action

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

11. David Whyte – Don’t be Afraid to Address the Truth

“It is the province of poetry to be more realistic and present than the artificial narratives of an outer discourse, and not afraid of the truthful difficulty of the average human life.”

12. Charles Dickens – Feel the Creative Rush

“. . . when I laid down the paper, I was aware of a flash — rush — flow — I do not know what to call it — no word I can find is satisfactorily descriptive — in which I seemed to see that bedroom passing through my room, like a picture impossibly painted on a running river.”

13. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Be Bold

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

14. T. S. Eliot – Express Your Emotions

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

15. Jeanette Winterson – Tell it Like it is

“When people say that poetry is merely a luxury for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read much at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is.”

16. Jackson Pollock – The Pen is Your Tool

“When I say artist I mean the man who is building things — creating molding the earth — whether it be the plains of the west — or the iron ore of Penn. It’s all a big game of construction — some with a brush — some with a shovel — some choose a pen.”

17. Ray Bradbury – Don’t Think, Just Do

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

18. Christopher Nolan – Know the Power of an Idea

“What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”

19. Alexis De Tocqueville – Lift Society’s Veil

“The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.”

20. Indian Proverb – Live for the Day

“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.”

Culled from: http://ecopypromos.com/20-great-quotes-to-inspire-you-to-be-a-better-slam-poet/

Picture Source: http://rikleaf.com/category/slam-poetry/


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