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The Commercialization of Poetry – Spoken Word Poetry

It is important to note that in the light of trying to do something, it is impossible to escape the trap of trying to be someone. At the end of the day, it is human nature to want to be recognized and if possible appreciated.

The word commercial in Word based art does not encompass only the art’s structure; it is in the presentation/packaging (whether in books or on a stage), and a marketing strategy will enable the artist/poet to pull in EFFORTS directed at attracting a profit. These EFFORTS need money. So has poetry been commercialized? Well has it been scribbled on trees or on stone tablets for all who pass by to read or listen to it for free? Kindly take note: - that nothing is free in this world there is always a need to be satisfied.

However, learning from experience, I will not advice anyone with weak finances and with no sponsorship to organize an Open Mic Event; because organizing such an event takes so much than one can imagine. All in all both the organizers and artists should understand that their relationship should be a win-win situation since both parties are making a brand.

The misunderstanding of poetry, spoken word Poetry and Rap Music (Rhythm and Poetry) occurs because the three have certain things in common that is; word flow, rhythm and rhyme. Spoken Word Poetry however, is one of the most uninhibited word based art forms. It virtually has no rules other than word flow and content. Despite its word-flow being poetic, its rules are not the same as poetry. Spoken Word Poetry is special because it is written to be spoken and every artist has to work even harder to acquire their own style.

However, like any other art, word artists have to polish their work by reading more to broaden their horizon, seeking help from professionals, attending writing and/or performance workshops, and interacting with others who share the common interest. Since every work falls under the attention of an audience all artists should be ready for criticism. However, a good artist will notice that criticism is not a limit to doing something, but an opportunity to correct and move beyond. In public relations it is publicity for the critic and the word artist.

© Namatsi Lukoye

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I pledge my loyalty to the President
and Nation of Kenya
My readiness and duty
to defend the flag of our Republic
My life, strength and service
in the task of nation building
In the living spirit embodied
in our National motto 'Harambee'

and perpetuated in the
Nyayo philosophy
of Peace, Love and Unity.

Thinking Moi’s dictatorship!
As children we had to make the pledge!
In our rags!
With no shoes on!
Bribed with milk (maziwa ya nyayo for staying so loyal)
We recited the words out loud
Religiously we recited at the school assembly
Attention we stood when recited or else we would face the wrath of the cane!

© Namatsi Lukoye


Moments... This is what the universe has decided to fill up my life with... Moments of what I could call love - and immense moments of pain -  as if to love the way I do is  a sin Now now Namatsi, please let go - the winds whisper as if they understand me Moments...
Pain... Trust me, this is a poem has escaped its prison It has broken chains, to see the light I never promised it I think my fingers have very big gaps -  when I think am holding so tight - it gets slippery and my stupid heart never reads the signs.... Dear Soul.... please let me not hold anything back when we talk about it Pain...
Dreams... Tell me - how do you love someone who is not kind to the soul? Why this person? what did they do to make you decide to hurt me like so? I wish I was casual with love as everyone else is. I have fought nations to hold you in my arms - all you did was smile and stab my back Tell me - why did you ever come back? My dear lovely heart - Break them all - leave nothing standing Dreams...

Angels Landing - for broken hearts

Poems like these come to me when I think about you Your eyes – they come when they meet mine Your lips – I feel  them when they curve in a smile  – for when they meet mine – I swear I travel to another planet - I don't know how to lie - trust this poem
Poems like are real – they are honest about the countless times you float my mind,  so I capture moments and freeze them in words - its just a gift you are the inspiration
As passionate as my poetry is – Poems like these hope that you have fire strong enough to hold them inside
Poems like these have been used They have had fights with false gods and demons too How you go read all I write for you and still treat them like its nothing! Don't you know that poems like these are fishhooked from the depths of my soul! Poems like these still come to me - they are nothing but angels landing

© Namatsi Lukoye