How Love Jones Redefined Open Mic Poetry

Very good poetry is a rare gem. It isn’t a common, everyday read like a novel or short story. When you do come across a good piece of poetry it leaves a lasting impression. The words, the rhythm and the emotions it evokes remain with you.

Today is World Poetry Day.

When we think of poetry, romantic poetry, by poets of color, there’s one film that comes to mind. It’s Love Jones. Now, Love Jones isn’t Black Panther. According to the Huff Post, where Love Jones fell short in box office success, it more than made up for in cultural appeal and significance. Love Jones is the story of the complicated relationship between poet Darius Lovehall (played by Larenz Tate) and photographer Nina Mosley (played by Nia Long). Darius attempts to impress Nina by reciting a poem called “A Blues for Nina” during an open mic session in a bar. Without further spoilers here is an extract of the  rhythmic, sensual, mind-blowing poem he read:

… Now do they call you daughter to the Spinning Pulsar
Or maybe Queen of 10,000 Moons, Sister to the distant yet
Rising star

Is your name Yemaya? Oh hell nah, it’s got to be Oshun

Ooh is that a smile me put on your face child?
Wide as a field of jasmine and clover

Talk that talk honey, walk that walk money
High on legs that’ll spite Jehovah
…, who am I?
It’s not important
But they call me brother to the night
And right now I am the blues in your left thigh
Trying to become the funk in your right

Who am I’ll be whoever you say
But right now I’m the sight raped hunter
Blindly pursuing you as my prey…

Watch the open mic scene here.

What about poetry and children? All children enjoy poetry and rhymes from birth. For literacy development there are numerous benefits  to introducing poetry to them from an early age. How can we maintain this interest and possibly, inspire future great poets? This site is a resource packed guide for poetry activities. Here are seven books that can get children focused on poetry and the joys of word play.weapon-3043023_1920

Photo credit – Huff Post