Daily Dosage of Food for Thought

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Garret said in class Monday about not liking Staceyann Chin because she was over the top, too boisterous and over zealous.  So I started thinking about the ability of the poet to relate to the audience. And that got me thinking about the culture differences between her and many of us in the class. I am Nigerian and she is Jamaican, it’s not quite the same. I’m from the continent of Africa and she’s part of the Caribbean. Yet from her spoken word I felt that our cultures must have something in common. When we feel something we are loud. When we hurt we cry til another’s ear starts to bleed from the intensity. Funerals aren’t a quiet procession, people scream, cry, jump up five times then fall to the ground. We make our feelings known, we let the weight of what is around us over take us, consume us. It’s funny because I am sure I have Aunts who would say that Chin didn’t do enough. She didn’t jump high enough, shout loudly enough. In conclusion, it could be part of her heritage to emote like she did. Her poem was about not hiding who she was, in any sort of way but becoming more of who she is and becoming comfortable in her skin. I just wanted to make those points. Food for thought? And possibly that is why Garret couldn’t connect with her. Things aren’t done in such a way, around these parks. That is all.

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4 Responses to “Daily Dosage of Food for Thought”

  1. aobrien says:

    This is definitely good food for thought. I completely agree with Upma, thank you for sharing your perspective and discussing things like the role one’s culture can play in this type (or any type) of poetry. You shed light on an integral aspect of this poem that I hadn’t fully considered or understood.

  2. InfiniteHope says:

    I hadn’t quite meant to infer that Garret was close-minded (I don’t believe ever explicitly stated that) but more to say that he might not have understood and I was hoping to broaden his comprehension a bit.

  3. Upma says:

    While I disagree with Garrett’s intention, I do feel that calling him closed-minded altogether might be a little too harsh for him…only because we are in CoPo and you can’t be too closed-minded with the material we’re reading. Covenant, I otherwise really appreciate this post and the discussions of culture you invoke. I feel like we talk about the speaker’s identity in relation to the poem’s content in spoken word and slam, but rarely about the cultural implications in delivery and performance. Thanks!

  4. Silver Tyshawnda says:

    I love that you made this statement. I definitely agree with you. I think that the way a person expresses themselves is an extension of their culture. We all grieve & show excitement differently & for Garret to say that she is over zealous because he is disconnected with her self expression is “close-minded.”