Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Word forms the Sentence

We have overcome.

Except those of us now in Gaza. Except those of us whom police kill. Except those of us who are suspects. Except those of us whom the church hate. Except those of us damned to taste good. Except those of us held by fate. We are meeting in the capitol. Word is, freedom will not wait.

All that once was never shall be.
All they could do won’t be done.
All we sang of is now happening.

~Words by Saul Williams

I've been in New York this weekend. Taking a break from the city found me up in Hamilton (think Star's Hallow from Gilmore Girls) where Colgate University is located. My friend, Landon, is a professor there. He took me to a Def Poetry reading on MLK Day. Featured at the reading were Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Beau Sia, and Saul Williams. After the reading ended, all of us (including Landon's brother Geoffrey, and his roommate Ernest--and YES, it was lovely to be that outnumbered by amazing men) sat around the lobby of the tiny Colgate Inn and talked.

the passion,

the voices,

the drive,

the talent,

the intelligence,

the being,

the presence,

the awareness,

the fight,

the power

within each of the men I spent that evening with made it one of the most remarkable evenings of my life.

I hope you have time to give a look at some of what these men of words do with their voices.

Have you realized the power of your voice recently? How?


Stina said...

Sounds like an amazing way to spend MLK Jr. weekend and a great way to kick off the new administration! A time to celebrate for sure!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You have some amazing experiences.

Rowena said...

Oh I love Saul Williams. I haven't even seen the clip yet, because I know I will want to focus better than I can with kids running around.

I used to teach his poetry to my kids. Beau Sia, too, but Williams was my favorite. The kids got so excited and wrote such wonderful poetry inspired by them. I miss the collections they wrote. I miss my poetry Unit. I miss reading poetry and writing poetry.

It almost feels like another lifetime.

Oh I know I can keep writing and reading poetry, but I feel so far from it. Maybe when the kids go to bed, I'll listen to Saul and get inspired.

Thanks for the reminder.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
How cool! How Amazing! This is your year, already! Saul Williams reminds me so much of a singer poet named Gil Scot Heron as a young man. All these guys full of questions, full of out rage, full of truth. Time to upset the Apple cart.

Super Nova said...


How cool is that! You actually know who I am talking about. Is there anyway to just relay to you how the words of these men, maybe more when they are not performing, when they are just postulating and thinking and interacting with you, they change the way you look at a world.

I wish you could have been there. IT was food for the poetic soul, soul food, for sure.

Super Nova said...


What is life if you don't tip over a cart or two on your way to living? I will check out your poet tonight. I'm planning a quiet evening at home to process a million thoughts that have raced through this round globe on my shoulders.

Enjoy some sun for me, will you?

smiles4u said...

Wow, your time in New York sounds amazing and fun! Never heard of these guys(or anything like this exists...yes, I am unaware of much that goes on out in the real!) before but found it very interesting.
I do realize the power of ones voice...I have been working on finding mine in this past year. I have come to realize that I have a lot to say and that there are people that will listen.

mapelba said...

My voice has to come through on the page, because in real life I have a hard making myself heard if I think what I have to say might offend. (although my actual voice is loud and carries well, I have been known to lose my voice rather than say something no one wants to hear)

mapelba said...

By the way, thanks for introducing me to these voices I hadn't heard before.

Boquinha said...

Wow! Wow. What a powerful medium. Thank you for sharing these. It must've been amazing to be there in person.

Kristan said...

Wow, that must have been an amazing performance to witness. As a half-Asian, I especially appreciate the "introduction" to Beau Sia.

You've already commented on my blog ("Make your voice heard") so you know this has sort of been on my mind too. Granted, I wrote that back in Nov during the election, I think it's something all artists -- and hopefully all people -- think about at times. And I think ultimately, we all have to figure out how to use our own voices in our own ways. From revolutionaries leading charges to mothers lecturing children, communication is key. With spoken words, written words, signed words, whatever. Maybe just poignant looks. A voice isn't necessarily a sound, it's a meaning. I think we all want to be heard.

Gustav said...

Your question is an interesting one.

"Have you realised the power of your voice lately?"

Although I cannot sing very well, I do sing to myself occassionally. I find myself singing songs from a long time ago that my Dad, who was an excellent singer, use to sing.

The power of my voice in these songs is a way to travel back and recreate those memories.

Yet this is only one example of the power of my voice. There are hunreds and perhaps thousands of ways and inflections of my voice saying "Hello" and "Good Bye" to those I care about.

Think of the power of hearing a friend or loved one's laughter. Perhaps this is the most powerful sound of humanity for me. To hear a human laugh is a most exquisite experience.