What is poetry? I asked someone today what they consider poetry to be and they responded, “something that rhymes. I know that’s now the only way something qualifies, but that’s how it makes sense to me.”

Have you ever stopped to consider what poetry is, how to define it, and what that looks like to you? I’ve been posting different poems and poets on my site for the past few years, many of which have been through written or verbal mediums. But that does not mean poetry is confined to the boundaries of only what I’ve shared.

To add a little bit of fun and variety to the mix, today I am sharing a mix of poetry through videos— these videos are all some shape or form of what someone considers poetry whether that’s through a monologue, slam poetry, or even a Haiku. 

The only common thread between these is that they are all considered found not in traditional written poetry, but instead, another popular form of entertainment: television. 

From comedy to drama, every one of these is hailed as a classic to someone so sit back and enjoy these four quick videos linked back to YouTube. 

10 Things I Hate About You

Many of us know those classic school assignments where you write a poem and have to read it out loud for class—I admit, I loved those. This scene from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You was integral to its plot and well, the main character didn’t quite love it as much as I did. Upon reflection, sometimes poetry looks like reading things that do rhyme. And sometimes it’s about crying while reading it. This scene checks both those boxes.

22 Jump Street

If you see the title, you probably knew the poetry scene without even clicking the video. If you’ve never done a deep dive into slam poetry on YouTube, you should because it is quite the wormhole in the best way possible. This scene from the movie 22 Jump Street is a great representation of the different meanings of poetry to different people. This kind of poem holds the promise of so many different looks depending on who performs it as well as a range of emotions, taking on whatever the poet wishes to portray. Take a quick look at the clip again and see if you can figure out the varying ways slam poetry can be expressed.

Dead Poets Society

This movie itself pays homage to poetry and the classics in recognition that artistic pursuits are necessary to balance the logical. Though this scene is not what many may consider classical poetry, it is a monologue that may later fit into what is considered spoken word poetry. This is another area of videos and YouTube that it is easy to do a deep-dive into—I would highly recommend it. As a more serious scene than the other clips, this monologue represents both an emotional and very honest side of poetry that some people consider timeless. 

Avatar the Last Airbender

Last but not least, this is one of my childhood favorites from a show called Avatar the last Airbender. In this scene, a character has a battle of haikus, a type of poem that many people are familiar with for one reason: there’s a pattern to it. Rather than rhyming, the 3-line poems always match go by syllable patterns of 5, 7, 5. This short scene was no different and a fun one at that, not necessitating seriousness but instead comedy and entertainment perfect for a children’s show.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

As you can see, poetry takes on a whole lot of different forms and can also portray countless emotions depending on the way it’s done. There are only four clips here, however these four offer a small amount of variance in what there is out there.

Poetry Place might have looked a little bit different this week, but I was feeling a change of pace and wanted to bring back a few iconic tv/movie scenes. If there are any movie or TV scenes that you can think of that may fit into the category of poetry, feel free to shout them out in the comments or in my social media. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this and if you did, let me know.

Have a good rest of your week and I’ll see you Friday.

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