Sometime during school, around the third quarter (no one seems to know the month or week), our English teacher had us do poetry slams. The objective was to dramatically read one of the poems we had composed for our poetry packet. We heard boring performances, funny ones, emotional ones, and slightly crass ones. Funnily enough, the crassest of the 29 odd students won the “competition”. But, I’m here to talk about the deserved winner.
Asma Khan, a pretty 14 year old, has an undying love for love and happiness. It shows in her countenance and posture. She loves life. But her poem took a turn for a slightly darker and sadder matter. This girl, who I have known for a year now, wrote a poem that drips of emotion, sadness, and truth in every verse.
She walked up to the middle of the class room and began reading. Her poem, “Dry the Last Tear and Move On”, narrated a life that was barred from freedom and repressed socially. The narrator spoke of how painful it was to not be able to do anything and to suddenly find herself weaving a web of lies. The quality of the poem, though very straightforward and leaving little to be left as vague statements, is of the utmost best. A free verse, the lines flow as if she’s talking to herself, and as if the lines could be said like the tears falling from the narrator’s eyes. Trying to piece her life together, while remaining as secretive as one could be without becoming a liar, she moves on after being crushed by her parents yet again. She rises from her parents’ repression to live a life as fullest as she can.
Her performance was quite interesting. Her voice wavers with the beginning lines, as if she had been weeping as the narrator had. It remains at an inconsistent volume, unsure of what to do, like the narrator. When she reaches the word “explodes”, her voice explodes into something stronger. She throws confetti upon the floor, symbolizing both her life and her heart. Her voice grows with strength and, like the narrator, rises up. Her voice is stronger, more confident. Her voice proves that the narrator is going to move on and keep living her life.
Though she does not move during the performance, this is an exemplary poetry slam. Ms. Khan becomes the narrator (which mustn’t be too hard, considering it was autobiographical), and completely inhabits her role. This is natural born acting. She enunciates and gives the words a lyrical rhythm, while maintaining the emotion of her “character”.
She did a fantastic job, and I’m disappointed in the judges not choosing her as the winner. She was fantastic and completely deserved to win. Moving, emotional, and stunning, her poem was one of the best I have ever heard or read.