5 Things We’ve Learned From 5 Poems

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To us, listening to the soft, soothing sounds of a love poem versus the empowering, rhythmic sounds of a feminist poem is indescribable, and Button Poetry is our main source for discovering new, captivating poets. Button Poetry is an organization that distributes both video and audio poems, aiming to inspire young individuals to speak up and share their beliefs, both through poetry or other artistic ventures.

From Melissa Newman-Evan’s liberating poem “9 Things I Would Like to Tell to Every Teenage Girl,” which inspires young girls to take charge of their lives; to Javon Johnson’s harrowing work, “Cuz He’s Black,” which depicts the harsh truth of police brutality in today’s society; there is a wide variety of poems available at the listener’s fingertips. There’s something to be said for having the ability to appeal to such a wide audience that ranges from teenagers  to adults, and as individuals, Button Poetry has ignited a fire within us that drives us to voice our opinions on issues that both affect us and that are important to us.

“9 Things I’d Like to Tell to Every Teenage Girl” by Melissa Newman-Evans. Photo taken by Mikaila Barker

One of the most important things Button Poetry does is shed light on controversial matters like race relations and women’s rights, causes that we are very passionate about and strive to educate others on. Raven McGill’s “Meanwhile, in Post-Racist America” creates a striking depiction of the racial inequality present in our society and holds those responsible for these inequities accountable for their actions. Blythe Baird’s “Pocket-Sized Feminism” encourages women to recognize the difference in behavioral expectations for men and women and strives to evoke a sense of empowerment within women. Poems that promote humanitarian efforts aiming to spread awareness about social issues inspire us to go out into our own communities and instigate change.

Button Poetry is a place we go to uplift our spirits and find inspiration for our everyday lives. When we’re feeling discouraged, some of our favorite poems to listen to are those that promote positivity, like “Like Totally Whatever” by Melissa Lozada-Olivia, which explains that we should not be afraid to use our voices, to not allow people who criticize us for our “likes” and our “ums” dictate whether or not we can effectively communicate our ideas.

Because of Button Poetry, we defend our beliefs in “Four Corners” discussions in English class, and we boldly speak our opinions without fear of opposition and endeavor to present our opinions with unprecedented clarity to those who don’t agree. Button Poetry helps us spread positivity, and for everyone, the experiences and controversial topics discussed can serve to help viewers going through similar situations feel like they’re not alone. Through Button, we’ve discovered a whole new world of experiences, becoming more prepared to deal with real-world situations of conflict and working with people of differing backgrounds and beliefs.

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