I’ve spoken about the spoken word poet Shane Koyczan once before in my blog. For a fiction analysis segment, I showed his poem A Letter To Remind Myself Who I Am. I’m listening to this poem as I write this, because starting content this week has been difficult. I owe myself this though, so I’ve got to keep writing. Shane Koyczan, a poet I’ve been listening to for at least five years, reminds me to cling to my craft. No matter the payout, it will be worth it. Choosing from his top 3 works is difficult, but I’m going to give it a shot here. The basis of this list are ones that I feel are most inspiring to myself and will have an impact on those I suggest it to.
Instructions For A Bad Day
The motivational lines of Instructions For A Bad Day deserve to be legendary. They’ve motivated me in times of depression and I wouldn’t be writing now if it wasn’t for that.
“Scrape the grey sky clean. Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not — the sun and moon are still there and always there is light”
“So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through. Remember the times you could have pressed quit, but you hit continue,”
Move Pen Move
I use this video in particular because it couples Move Pen Move with Sonnet 10 (Death Be Not Proud) by John Donne. The marriage of these two poems proves utterly heart-wrenching and grief inducing. Despite all its sadness, I connect with a certain aspect of this poem. It is in the lines following lines that this poem earns the spot of top 3, “And all I could say is if I could I would write you some way out of this, but my gift is useless. And you said, ‘No. Write me a poem to make me happy.’ So I write.” Writers are in a perplexing way, equally useless and entirely vital. We can’t cure disease or ease pain, but with well-trained words, we can bring forth a bit of happiness.
To This Day
This poem claims to be for both the bullied and the beautiful. In truth, it is one part haunting, and one part beauty. For those who’ve ever been bullied, or who have ever felt on the outside of the world as it passed by, this is for you.
Every school was a big top circus tent
And the pecking order went
From acrobats to lion tamers
From clowns to carnies
All of these were miles ahead of who we were
We were freaks
Lobster claw boys and bearded ladies
Juggling depression and loneliness playing solitaire spin the bottle
Trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal
But at night
While the others slept
We kept walking the tightrope
For this and much more I own my persistence as a writer to Shane Koyczan. I want to hear about what/who inspires you? What gets you out of bed and practicing your craft?