Reading poetry is always an insightful experience, but hearing the written words said out loud can have a more chilling effect. Whether it’s the uplifting stanzas or soothing voice of the reader, sometimes spoken word and poetry readings can be comforting to listen to. Even the most hugot ones can help make you feel less alone during your muni-muni moods.
If you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, or feel less alone, here are some poems for you to listen to.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Read by the legendary queen herself, Maya Angelou’s delivery and the energy of the crowd is playfully electric. Her empowering poem is a reminder that we have the deep power to rise through anything that the world might throw at us.AA
And A New Earth (reprise) by HitRecord
Written by wirrow, a HitRecord community member, and produced and read by hundreds of other users from this collaborative community. The message of this poem is amplified tenfold as it tells us the beauty in what is unique by bringing together people from all walks of life to create this one hypnotizing and hopeful poem.
Sampung Bagay na Natutunan ko Mula sa Mga Umiibig by Juan Miguel Severo
Juan Miguel Severo performed this piece as Rico on the set of the famous Jadine show On the Wings of Love. Severo dedicated this piece “para sa mga umiibig, nasasaktan, pero umiibig parin kase tanga.” By using some painful words, Severo urges us to love completely and whole heartedly but to eventually let go if you reach the end. (ouchie)
Biyahe by Maimai Cantillano
The ebb and flow of Cantillano’s delivery is perfectly complimented by the acoustic instrumental that accompanies her. When she reaches the passionate point where she chooses love over fear of the unknown, the music swells up just as magically. “Sasamahan kita”, Cantillano declares, urging her partner (and reminding herself) not to think of yesterday or tomorrow, but to focus on today.
First Kiss by Tim Seibles
Seibles uses vivid similes and metaphors to describe the sweet and magical experience of a first kiss. The images conjured up by Seibles are perfectly captured through the whimsical, flowing, and fresh animation which fit perfectly with the poem.
TED-Ed actually has a There’s a Poem for That series on their YouTube channel which is definitely worth perusing.
Love: A Tragedy by HitRecord
Not exactly a poem, but it’s definitely poetic. This piece is for those in love with love and those doubting its existence. This piece shows us two sides on the spectrum of love through movie genres and types of popular entertainment.
Again, this is a product of the HitRecord community. This piece was written by user rcjohnso and performed live by HitRecord founder and talented actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt along with equally as talented Neil Patrick Harris. After all their bickering and debating, the ending comedically proves how we, as humans, just want to be loved at the end of the day.
Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines) by Pablo Neruda
The movie Il Postino: The Postman centers on the unlikely friendship between an exiled Pablo Neruda and his mailman. To further honor the great poet, the production team decided to have some of Neruda’s poems read aloud by famous personalities for the soundtrack. The likes of Ralph Fiennes, Sting, and Julia Roberts lent their voices to Neruda’s tender lines.
This poem was performed beautifully by actor Andy Garcia. Neruda’s words tell the story of how “love is so short, forgetting is so long” while Garcia’s voice expresses the pain of thinking that your former lover will one day be another’s.
Panata ng Pusong Bagong Laya by Mark Ghosn
This poem starts out quite heavy but around halfway through, Mark Ghosn playfully switches things up. Ghosn puts his hand up promising that despite being hurt, he won’t give up hope that one day the right person will come, and he will give himself to them wholeheartedly. He won’t let heartbreak make him give up on love. The crowd he’s speaking to cheers and shouts in eager approval. With incredible passion in delivery, he exclaims that “Malaya na muli ang puso ko!” Reassuring the crowd that the tears falling from his eyes aren’t from the pain of being left or because he misses his ex, but from the happiness of knowing that he was able to move on.
couldn’t care more: a poem by Savannah Brown
Brown’s lilting voice makes the poem come out like a song while simultaneously sounding like a close friend or older sister giving you some advice. As much as we think indifference is cool, life is too short for apathy. As Brown puts it, “passion makes you vulnerable, but that’s sort of the point”. Disconnecting yourself from the world doesn’t make you cool, embracing it with all its pain and beauty does.
Hirap Ma-inlove sa Tropa by Beverly Cumla
From the moment Beverly Cumla announces the title of her piece, the audience was eating out of the palm of her hand. When she said the title, knowing and understanding screams filled the room. Cumla’s almost frantic and panicked delivery perfectly illustrates how bittersweet and anxiety inducing falling in love with a friend can be. Her panic was so evident even when she sometimes laughed at herself and her feelings. The audience was completely gripped and collectively shocked as Cumla came to the end of her piece and made a grand reveal which had the audience (and any viewers at home) screaming.
Poetry can be empowering; and reading it out loud may serve as a type of catharsis. So, while we wait for a significant other to read poetry to us, sit tight with these videos of other people’s poetry readings and spoken word performances for now.
Other POP! stories that you might like:
Poem feature: ‘What wasn’t left unsaid’
10 Filipino poets and poems to explore on World Poetry Day
‘Ginintuang Replekysyon’: The UP Repertory Company at 50
‘Tatlong Dekadang Pasasalamat’: A love letter to MMK