Saturday, August 25, 2018

Poems, Poets, and Rudy Francisco


My Rudy Francisco poetry collection

The love of Poetry was introduced to me by my seventh grade teacher, Dr. Ibrahim Bayan, before he died in a tragic boat accident. He taught me the ways poems inspire, motivate, encourage, and connect us with the world. Phenomenal Woman, by Maya Angelou, is one of my favorite poems. I heard it first while watching Poetic Justice, a movie starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. As I listened to the poem all I could think about was its beauty and confidence. My love for reading poetry transferred to me becoming a poet. I also enjoy writing down my thoughts and sharing with others.
Great poets influence me including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Edgar Allen Poe, Gwen Russell Green, and Emily Dickinson, among others. Recently, I added a new poet to my list, Rudy Francisco.


I met Rudy Francisco’s poetry by accident. I was cruising poems on YouTube when his poem Complainers appeared. His words resonated with my inner being. Since then, I purchased his entire poetry collection. Rudy connects with audiences while remaining authentic to his own story. His clever use of humor and metaphors can make some rappers forget their lines. His spoken word performances are explosive, yet composed. He often competes in the National Poetry Slam and performs poetry on tour.

In 2017, Rudy released a book of poems, Helium. Each poem is a glimpse into what it feels like to be human, a black person living in America, a new father, and life in general. His fans are diverse because his poetry is about the human experience. I enjoy all of his poems, especially My Honest Poem, Welcome, and Complainers.

It was synchronicity when I discovered that Rudy Francisco was invited to recite Complainers on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. My personal life was stressful and I was complaining, a lot. The poem does not advocate that we should never complain, but it challenges us to not give up on life, even with all of the struggles that we encounter. Actually, the poem’s last two lines, “You are still alive…So Act Like it”, remind me that when life becomes an overwhelming tsunami to focus on light, not shadows.

If you enjoy poetry, or even if you do not, I hope you will read Helium by Rudy Francisco. Also, his other books of poems are worth the read, as well.

A few of my favorite poems: 
Phenomenal Woman - by Maya Angelou, Video from the film Poetic Justice recited by Janet Jackson
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe recited by Vincent Price
Java Monkey Poetry - Adan Bean

What is your favorite inspirational poem or song? 



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