Poetry – Still Packing an Emotional Punch

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All photography captured by JL Smith

Can you remember the last time you paused and sought a moment to reflect on life? Its beauty? Its heartache and joy? How about taking a stroll down memory lane? When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel inspired or feel anything?

The magic of poetry captures this all. I can say this assuredly because I write and read it every day. But to really feel it and everything it evokes, I decided to attend my first open mic poetry. I needed to hear these descriptive, raw words spoken and performed.

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 6, I sat in a small conference room in Half-Price Books in Dallas anticipating written words brought to life.

I listened to a Pulitzer Prize-winner deliver expressive poetry, a timid gentlemen arousing wonder through his words and a young woman breaking hearts through revealing her own.

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I was especially moved by poetry from young, U.S. soldier Francis Willy. He not only spoke his words powerfully, but emphatically expressed himself through body language and tears.

Listening to these artists perform helped further instill the essence of poetry — truth.

One after one, poet after poet, each courageously walked into the spotlight to embrace vulnerability in front of strangers. Then again, this group of strangers was incredibly encouraging and accepting.

For the first time in my life, I began to believe I was capable of rehearsing my poetry before an audience. I am now in the process of preparing which poems to read and plan to return in November to speak.

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Even if you’re not a writer, poet or lyricist, it’s worth attending an open mic to experience the emotional atmosphere. You’re guaranteed to walk away feeling. And that’s what poetry is all about.

Hope to see you next month!

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For further information on open mic poetry, visit the Dallas Poets Community website: http://www.dallaspoetscom.org/.

JL Smith


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