All the studying and homework chaos of week six ended with a rather unusual but noteworthy Friday night. As someone who appreciates both comedy and poetry, I attended an event called “The Slam” May 11 where comedians and poets came together to synthesize a series of poetic yet humorous pieces. This happened at the Good Good Comedy Theatre in Center City.It was 7:13 p.m., and I had just arrived at the venue. I rushed in to make sure the event hadn’t already started, and I checked in to get a nice seat not too far from the stage. As I sat down with curiosity, the host emerged from the pitch-black background with a giant staff in his hand. Now, this was probably the least amusing part of the whole show. With his introduction and remarks, he brought in five people. All were dressed distinctively from each other and all carried themselves differently.
They each took a seat and re-introduced themselves. With each introduction, you could try to guess what character they were trying to come off as. A memorable one was the individual who had hoped his “wife” had shown up to the show. She didn’t. She never did. Anyway, following up these interesting introductions was the guest poet: Savannah Cooper-Ramsey.
Cooper-Ramsey officially kicked off the show with a rather intense and interesting poem. As she ended to the roar of applause from the audience, the comedic part of the show began. Again, the host stood with his staff, but this time he announced the show’s structure for the rest of the night. It was simple: Cooper-Ramsey would read a short phrase or group of random words together, and the audience would have to guess what theme it was based on. Afterward, each of the five poets/comedians would deliver a poem on the topic.
The first theme was “Six Flags,” where each speaker told a story of them being at the amusement park, or at least relating to that in some other way. The second theme was “Money, Money,” and the third was “Hell Yeah!” (or “Ole!” as the Spanish-speaking poet called it). Each poem delivered was unique and stood out in some way from the rest. The most fun stories in my opinion were the ones told by the comedian/poet who indirectly talked about how or why his wife “left him,” and he would periodically look into the crowd to see if she had finally come back. She didn’t. She never did.
Apart from the fun I had that night, I noticed how each poet incorporated some of the devices and techniques I learned from my composition and rhetoric class. There were lots of repetitions, rhymes and skillful word-play to name a few. I feel like literature beyond the classroom utilizes the basics, which some could learn in a traditional classroom setting or not, but the application is more creative when you’re not doing something for academic merit. At the end of the day, I was satisfied with my time spent. My curiosity was fed with creativity, comedy and wonder in less than an hour.