Home Articles / Poems Spoken Word versus Poetry

Spoken Word versus Poetry



Spoken Word vs. Poetry. 

If a spoken word poet cannot show that they are strong on paper, should they be labeled an entertainer, NOT a Poet?

Entertainment vs. Life in Literary Motion

As a writer, I have always had a need to read my work to someone. My ear’s have to hear the creative work of my mind come to life as these lips work like an assembly line. I know that I am a part of the mass majority of most other writers out there, ESPECIALLY poets. Poets tend to be odd creatures. We are very egotistical on the outside, but our true existence consists of completely insecure kindergarteners hoping and praying somebody will know that their green elephant really is a purple snowman. Enter: Poetry Readings.

Do NOT confuse poetry reading with Spoken Word Poetry. Poetry readings are held in places like libraries and tea houses…Starbucks and churches. Spoken Word Poetry Venues are just that…venues. They are loud. They are ruckus. They are spiritual. They are humanitarian. The Spoken Word is sexual and sensual…emotional and philosophical. The Spoken Word Poetry venue is ENTERTAINMENT through and through!

Which brings me to the debate at hand. Spoken Word vs Poetry. Are both Poetry? Or is Spoken Word entertainment?

My answer is this.

If a spoken word artist cannot show you their piece on paper…if that piece is not on paper without grammatical and spelling errors so drastic that you cannot easily read the piece. This person is not a poet. If a spoken word artist freestyles more than they spill ink…then I am more apt to label him/her a rapper/entertainer than a poet. If a Spoken Word artist has never even considered publishing a chapbook, I question why?

A poet writes. A poet cries tears of blood. They dream in stanzas, and wake in the wee hours of the night…unable to fall back to sleep because poetry refuses to allow it. A new poem, that new born child lying next to the Poet in the bed… whimpering and whining, screaming and crying until the Creator agrees to finish…and the Poem and Poet can sleep. This Poet? This Poet is the Poet that gets on stage and leaves sweat in pools on stage. This Poet leave tears on the cord of the mic. This is the one who steps off stage and can barely speak because everything just short of life was left on that stage in the name of Poetry. This one… is a Poet… not an entertainer.

Spoken Word vs. Poetry

Entertainment vs. Life in Literary Motion



  1. Wrong.Poetry does not have to be grammatically correct thoughts in rhythm.Poetry can be an episode of your life on replay.Poetry is the morning of a widow’s 3rd wedding.Poetry is the funeral of a loved one.Poetry is the feeling of being alone.Poetry is just what it implies,poetry.If you look up the word poetry,there will be more than one definition.1:the art of rhythmical composition,WRITTEN OR SPOKEN,for exciting pleasure by beautiful,imaginative,or elevated thoughts.2:Literary work in metrical form;verse.In other words,poetry is who you are,not what you are and whether or not the next person thinks it should be grammatically correct.Who are you to tell me I’m not a poet?Are you really seeing me?You’re looking at a poem in the flesh….

  2. Either way it goes,we’re all here to express ourselves.If people don’t waste their time trying to find a way to seperate us,and just focus on the purpose and the goal,to inspire.That’s what it is for me.

Leave a Reply