Half Pints. Whole Hearts. Complete Amazement.
So you figure seven schools x four half pints = more than a gallon of poetry, lots more, pouring forth from the stage in the Central Campus auditorium Friday at the second annual Movement 515 Half Pint Poetry Slam.
Yes, it gushed. From (let’s recite them alphabetically because, the heck with the point standings, they were all fearless, honest and eloquent) Capitol View, Findley, Garton, Hillis, King, Morris and Stowe ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS(!), heartfelt and personal poems were performed, original and memorized. They were soul-baring; everything from alcoholic dads to superhero moms. Kids young as third-graders rhapsodized about reaching for stars and becoming stars; about losing teeth and losing grandfathers; about friends and bullies and the often too-high price of popularity; about the changing seasons and their beloved schools and teachers.
They are mentored weekly at after-school 21st Century Community Learning Center programming by their teenaged role models, the trailblazing truth-spitters of Moverment 515 and the Central Campus Urban Leadership curriculum. It showed – and it flowed! The district is plumbed with a pipeline of poets and the faucets are wide open.
Besides their powerful words the performers Friday night had memorized the body language to match them. There must have been some nerves but not one showed itself as the half-pinted but absolutely wholehearted soothsayers bounded up to the microphone in a vast space filled with hundreds of exuberant, finger-snapping sooth-seekers. By midway through a competition where no one could possibly lose, competitors were confidently making their own mic height adjustments, like guests taking up an invitation to make themselves at home on stage.
Judges’ scores of 10s echoed through the hall throughout the night and somehow, after four rounds of the loveliest “bout” imaginable, the points were tallied and Stowe’s squad of Eagles came away with a victory and the coveted traveling trophy known as the Golden Boom Box.
And best of all? To be continued!