Wow it has been sometime. I got caught up on my other blog: http://www.nissiknows.wordpress.com . I am sorry for the neglect.
Odd intro aside, I have found that people often ask if I perform my poetry and when I say no, the look I get never fails to make me laugh. Now I have been turning this subject over in my head for a number of years and the conclusion I have come to is that performance poetry and spoken word have larger elements of artifice. By the very nature that performance poetry is written to be performed means that certain aspects have been amplified for performance effect and forcefully evoke emotion. Now I know that some people may be reading this are increasingly becoming enraged: nostrils flaring, chest heaving, quickly forming an angry response, but hear me out.
In order to get where I am coming from you must first see poetry the way I do. I personally believe that poetry in its most organic sense is reflections, thoughts and extensions of a human being in deep reflection with themselves. Poetry is an extension of its writer. When I think of poetry I imagine someone sitting quietly at their desk or lying on their bed with pen and paper or finger to keypad putting getting their thoughts out. There is no censorship because they have not necessarily written for an audience – it is an audience of 1. The writer is the reader.
Performance poetry on the other hand has been written to be enacted. I am not saying that the feelings expressed in performance poetry are not authentic – I believe they are. Instead the words and flow have been crafted to be brought alive in front of people. It is written so that people can understand and engage with words that they cannot see. Because the audience cannot see the words, the phrasing needs to explicit and easy to grasp on first hearing.
There is a definite and big difference between performance poetry and written poetry. To say there is no difference is a huge over sight and oversimplification of 2 different art forms.