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[Poetry Friday] Spoken Word Poetry and When Love Arrives

poetry friday

Myra here.

Several weeks back, I had the opportunity to watch the immensely talented spoken word poets Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye perform live at the Singapore American School. What a beautiful gift that was. These two have polished their acts to near-flawless perfection, yet it doesn’t come out too rehearsed, nor does it sound devoid of meaning with a hackneyed, practiced air. There is raw chemistry, vibrant energy, and such authentic passion for their craft that seep through in their voices and evidenced in their heartfelt and moving performance. Beautiful.

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Since the audience was not allowed to take video clips of their performance, I looked for a few youtube clips that would allow me to share with you just how wonderful these two are. Happily, I found the youtube clip below. I was also able to hunt for a transcript of their spoken word poem.

I also felt that this particular poem “When Love Arrives” does speak about the fleeting, transient quality of love’s magic – which is perfect for our current reading theme. Iphigene has actually shared this video clip in one of her posts for our Heartbreak, Loss, and Coming of Age reading theme back in 2013.

Many thanks to Iphigene for this gorgeous poster.

May love arrive at your doorstep this week.

Many thanks to Catherine of Reading to the Core for hosting this week.

When Love Arrives – Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye

[Sarah & Phil]
I knew exactly what love looked like…
In seventh grade

[Sarah]
Even though I hadn’t met love yet
If love had wandered into my homeroom
I would have recognized him at first glance
Love wore a hemp necklace

[Phil]
I would have recognized her at first glance
Love wore a tight French braid

[Sarah]
Love played acoustic guitar
And knew all my favorite Beatles songs

[Phil]
Love wasn’t afraid to ride the bus with me

[Sarah & Phil]
And I knew

[Sarah]
I just must be searching the wrong classroom

[Phil]
Just must be checking the wrong hallways
She was there, I was sure of it

[Sarah]
If only I could find him

[Sarah & Phil]
But when love finally showed up

[Phil]
She had a bowl cut

[Sarah]
He wore the same clothes every day for a week

[Phil]
Love hated the bus

[Sarah]
Love didn’t know anything about the Beatles

[Sarah & Phil]
Instead

[Phil]
Every time I tried to kiss love

[Sarah & Phil]
Our teeth got in the way

[Sarah]
Love became the reason I lied to my parents

[Phil]
“I’m going to… Ben’s house”

[Sarah]
Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor
But made sure we never missed a slow song

[Phil]
Love waited by the phone because she knew if her father picked up it would be

[Sarah (Phil)]
“Hello ?” (*Heavy breathing*)
“Hello ?” (*Heavy breathing*)
“I guess they hung up”

[Phil]
And love grew

[Sarah]
Stretched like a trampoline

[Phil]
Love changed

[Sarah]
Love disappeared… slowly
Like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed

[Phil]
Love vanished like an amateur magician
Everyone could see the trapdoor but me

[Sarah]
Like a flat tire
There were other places I had planned on going

[Sarah & Phil]
But my plans didn’t matter

[Sarah]
Love stayed away for years
And when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him

[Phil]
Love smelled different now, had darker eyes

[Sarah]
A broader back
Love came with freckles I didn’t recognize

[Phil]
New birthmarks, a softer voice

[Sarah]
Now there were new sleeping patterns

[Phil]
New favorite books

[Sarah]
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else

[Phil]
Songs love didn’t like to listen to

[Sarah & Phil]
So did I…

[Phil]
But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly

[Sarah]
We found jokes that make us laugh

[Phil]
And now love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies

[Sarah]
But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack

[Phil]
Loves looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer

[Sarah]
Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator

[Phil]
Love knows where she’s going
It just might take her two hours longer than she planned

[Sarah]
Love is messier now

[Phil]
Not as simple

[Sarah]
Love uses the word “boobs” in front of my parents

[Phil]
Love chews too loud

[Sarah]
Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste

[Phil]
Love uses smiley faces in her text messages

[Sarah]
And turns out

[Sarah & Phil]
Love shits !

[Sarah]
But love also cries
And love will tell you, “You are beautiful”

[Phil]
And mean it

[Sarah (Phil)]
Over and over again (“You are beautiful”)
When you just wake up- (“You are beautiful”)
When you’ve just been crying- (“You are beautiful”)
When you don’t wanna hear it- (“You are beautiful”)
When you don’t believe it- (“You are beautiful”)
When nobody else will tell you, (“You are beautiful”)
Love still thinks… (“…”)

[Sarah]
You are beautiful

[Phil]
But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget

[Sarah]
When you need to hear it most

[Sarah & Phil]
You are beautiful

[Sarah]
Do not forget this

[Phil]
Love is not who you were expecting
Love is not what you can predict

[Sarah]
Maybe love is in New York City already asleep
You are in California, Australia, wide awake
Maybe love is always in the wrong timezone

[Phil]
Maybe love is not ready for you
Maybe you are not ready for love

[Sarah]
Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type

[Phil]
Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce
Love looks older now, but just as beautiful as you remember

[Sarah]
Maybe love is only there for a month

[Phil]
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit

[Sarah]
Maybe love stays

[Phil]
Maybe love can’t

[Sarah & Phil]
Maybe love shouldn’t…

[Phil]
Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to
And love leaves exactly when love must

[Sarah]
When love arrives say,

[Sarah & Phil]
“Welcome, make yourself comfortable”

[Phil]
If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her

[Sarah]
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet

[Phil]
Whisper,

[Sarah & Phil]
“Thank you for stopping by”

7 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Spoken Word Poetry and When Love Arrives

  1. Marjorie

    I love the ending – especially ‘Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to/
    And love leaves exactly when love must’… Lucky you to hear them live!

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing this video — had not heard of Sarah and Phil before. Such truth, tenderness and humor in their piece. Wonderful!

    Like

  3. Pingback: SOL: Poetry Friday is Here! | Reading to the Core

  4. This is amazing, Myra. How lucky you were to see them perform live. Thank you so much for sharing it with us today.

    Like

  5. Yay for wonderful poetry performances!
    (I am interested in the fact that videotaping them was prohibited — videotaping seems so ubiquitous that I am a little amazed/impressed that performers have a choice!)

    Like

  6. Keri Collins Lewis

    They so beautifully capture the range of emotions we experience in love. Thank you for sharing this, Myra! What was the reaction among students to their work?

    Like

  7. Very late to this post, but thank you so much for sharing Myra! This was a joy to watch. I’m envious that you were able to see them perform live– what a treat that must have been!

    Like

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