When did rhyming become commonplace in poetry?

Poetry Slams - A Path to Poetry Today

I. Introduction

"All things have their secret, and poetry is the secret that all things have," said the Spanish writer and poet Frederico Garcia Lorca, wonderfully expressing that poetry is something universal, worldly, even everyday, of that we are surrounded everywhere.

If, on the other hand, the genre of poetry is on the curriculum at school today and it is about poetry ((In the following the terms poetry and poetry are used quasi synonymously, with the difference that on poetry more the practical, while on Poetry is more of a theoretical accent, while lyric poetry serves as a generic term and is therefore superordinate to the two terms.)) If you look at yawning faces and bored looks. Poetry ... what does that bring me in my job, for my life? some will think. Why read verses, interpret verses, name rhymes when you can't even count on there being right or wrong afterwards? After all, poetry is often THE basis for extensive interpretations. Interpretation, however, is the examination of the object for its statement, with regard to collected conclusive evidence that the "object" provides for it. And poetry has its difficulties here. Because it is open and often abstract and it is not about right or wrong. Nevertheless, poetry can also be of practical use, especially today. Because in addition to the terms already mentioned above, it is one thing above all else: honest, genuine and timeless.

Only a few years ago, the poet Robert Gernhardt explained in the Kulturhaus Baden-Baden that poetry cannot be molded into any form and that it does not have to follow any rules (www.youtube.com). Poetry should be adapted to its time and be allowed to be freer, looser, maybe even more cheeky, but always questioning itself and ready to criticize. At this point I refer only once to his poem "Materials for a Critique of the Most Well-Known Poem Form of Italian Origin", which pokes fun at the sonnet in terms of content, but adopts exactly its form in terms of form. The last two verses with which his poem ends are particularly indicative of the resulting irony: "I really don't tick it. And really don't want to know:I think sonnets are really crappy. " (www.fulgura.de)

If we take this as a clue - that poetry is in all things, changeable and open and therefore not easy to classify or to be assigned to strict criteria - then we can still find it in our lives and not just hidden in things. Poetry can do it precisely because it has not found fixed boundaries in the most varied of places and can be created in the most varied of ways.

And if you observe certain literary trends in recent years, it is clear to see that poetry is by no means dead. One genre that is particularly evident is slam poetry. What it is about her and the associated poetry slams in general and why these last-mentioned “speech contests” can be seen as poetic testimonies despite some doubts, will be explained below.

II. The thought behind the poetry slams

1. Beginnings

Poetry slams have their origins in America. Here they were and are known for expressing social injustice or criticism of politics. Often it is social minorities who get involved here. Originally, however, the term goes back to a completely different area, sport. "Slam" means something like to hit or slam and in colloquial language it also stands for "put someone down". “Poetry”, on the other hand, stands for poetry. Overall, the expression “poet's strike” results in the sense of “poet contest”. So one would almost think that this is an oxymoron. How should poetry be striking? Is it usually given a gentle character? The poetry slam founder, Marc Kelly Smith, apparently came up with the name while watching a baseball game on television. The first poetry slam took place in Chicago in 1986, from where the discipline quickly spread and was very well received.

However, these competitions were hardly the first slams in the true sense of the word and therefore by no means a completely new "invention". Just think of the many poetry competitions that went back to antiquity with Homer and then dragged on to the poetry slams over the Middle Ages via Goethe and Schiller to the present day. Of course, the way and the form of the presentation was different and perhaps less like a "battle" than it is today. Nevertheless, certain parallels cannot be dismissed out of hand. You tried to outdo or outdo the other with words and that by staging your words as artistically as possible and conveying an important - or at least original - message. These similarities now and then show the poetic character of the poetry slams.

In Germany, the wave only spilled over a few years later, namely in the mid-1990s, when a sample was received by some American representatives of the poetry slams. The effect was so great that the slams and their work were seen as a real source of inspiration. In spite of this, very special poetry slams developed in Germany, which differed from the American version in their style and also in terms of their representatives. In Germany it was and is less about criticizing politics or existing injustices. It is generally about general topics that concern young people and young adults - so that can basically be anything. Often there are intertextual references, especially to texts by other slammers, as the speakers are called. People from all walks of life come to the competitions, but above all young people, students but also schoolchildren, which is why a discipline for under 20-year-olds has now been introduced, and with great popularity.

2. Characteristics and peculiarities of the poetry slams

First of all, it should be noted that the slams, the competitions, are more likely the medium that brings poetry into circulation. The general term used for this type of poetry is slam poetry, which is written the other way around. One could speak of “competitive poetry” here, which is pretty close to the heart of the matter. Because in a poetry slam, it's not just the word and the presentation that count, the whole thing has to be competitive. It is the “overall package” that is ultimately decisive for a good election result. Because what would a competition be without a winner, without points? And that's exactly what everyone who is present at the time of the slam awards - namely the audience.

Think of it like this: a lecture hall or large room, and in the middle or in front of everyone, the participants. Alone with a microphone in hand (at least when it is not group slams). So it has everything from a stage representation. You have to convince, you have to stage and convey something to those who sit in front of the stage, the audience. So what counts is not just the choice of words, the subject, the what, but above all the performance, the how. It is important to use your voice, to be able to come into contact with the audience, possibly even to interact with them, for example by including them in the performance through questions. Facial expressions and gestures, contextualisation and comprehensibility are therefore also decisive. A time frame of 5 minutes must also be observed, otherwise the recipient can be interrupted. Then it's the turn of the audience, who can express their enthusiasm by applauding, or by awarding points from 1-10, for example. In this way, the recipients receive direct feedback about their performance.

None of this happens spontaneously on stage. Poetry slams cannot be compared with spontaneous rapbattles. They are usually well thought out and well-designed, written down and ultimately memorized (but sometimes the latter is not). Poetry has since been written down, then performed, or the other way around, for the simple reason that writing down was a better way of ensuring its long-term survival. And how often have students had to reproduce poems by simply memorizing them?

So there are certain rules for the poetry slams, but as far as the topics are concerned, they are really relatively unbound. Slammers can actually address anything, but should perhaps consider in advance whether the subject is interesting or how it can be made interesting. Because here, just like with a poem, the form is just as crucial as the content. One cannot be done without the other. In this case, the form is the design of the surrounding area, i.e. the presentation itself. And here it is important to find your own form - you just play with the voice, with slang or with irony and sarcasm. Poetry doesn't have to be serious at all. She can be serious, but a bit of humor always goes down well with the slams. And it loosens the mood. In poetry, in particular, as already indicated in the introduction, Gernhardt had been calling for this for a long time. Poetry does not have to be serious, but original, genuine and contemporary - and above all creative and inventive. Because isn't it like this: the less something can be squeezed into a scheme, the more attention it gets? Surely there are many people who talk badly about things because they don't know what to do with them if they don't fit into some pattern. But on the other hand, this is perhaps exactly the reason why poetry slams and slam poetry in general experienced such an onslaught: They made it possible to open up new, unexplored realms.

The question of whether this could really be called poetry in terms of content or just superficial, attempted talk will be discussed in more detail in the following chapter.

III. What poetry is all about

However, the question that arises before any comparison between slam poetry and poetry in the traditional sense is: How can one define poetry? Are there general and always valid rules? The answer to this question turns out to be difficult and, in my opinion, also depends on the relationship between the individual and poetry, since poetry is hardly subject to any general objective assessment criteria. Therefore, only a few valid peculiarities of poetry will be addressed in the following.

As mentioned in the foreword, poetry has existed since ancient times and perhaps even longer. Poetry has always been something artistic, but precisely this word is as vague as the definition of art itself. One would lose oneself in it, because art has neither strict rules nor should they have any. But since poetry is a form of art, it follows similar principles.

Of course, poets have always dealt with the character of poetry, and have also written rules for the poetry they regard as correct, as has Storm, and later Benn or Celan in the last century. And again and again you noticed similarities. However, there has never been such a narrow-minded rule poetics as developed for drama by Johann Christoph Gottsched or Martin Opitz. One can see that the poetry has a fundamentally open, tolerant character. Defining poetry in detail at this point would go beyond the scope. In the following, therefore, the basic commonalities of poetry that were valid then and now will be explained in a simplified manner.

Poetry is always an oral and written medium, but the order is certainly unclear and not decisive for the actual meaning of the entire work. A poem always has a framework, a form and the content that complement each other, or one cannot do one without the other and vice versa. Whether there is rhyme or not is less important today. This has been in upheaval for over a century. Yet every poem has a rhythm somewhere, even if one speaks of it, the verses are rhythmically free. This does not mean that there is no rhythm at all! There are also always some stylistic or rhetorical means. Poetry is never superficial. There is perhaps not always a false bottom like in realism, nor is a poem like in Benn's time hermetic and enigmatic, but nevertheless there is always a deeper meaning. Poems are usually not clearly limited in scope, but there are no novel-length poems, at most they extend over a few pages. They are available to all who want to open their minds to them and, above all, they are always valid. It is not uncommon for general truths to be hidden behind poetry - even if these are of course always subjectively shaped. It is precisely this subjectivity that guarantees the authenticity and originality of every poem. If a poem is always monological at first, it still has a dialogical or communicative form when it is presented. You could respond to it, deal with it, or just think about it. Because poems, even if they are written plainly and simply, are always very dense and yet concise, in the sense that you limit yourself to a certain number of chosen words in order to express yourself. This usually results in the aesthetics of a poem. As already indicated, poetry is not necessarily linked to language, but can just as easily show itself in things.

So it should be noted that poetry is not subject to strict rules, but rather there are clues that can be used to “identify” it. It should be allowed to change, as well as everything else and, above all, the topics it deals with, change over time and can be of the most varied of types. Poetry is not something that can or should be classified in a grid. It is created and does not simply arise, which means above all that you deal intensively with your formulated thoughts and reflect on them yourself. This is a great positive side effect of poetry, an almost natural consequence that arises from the creation of poetic texts.

The next step is to clarify how slam poetry relates to the characteristics mentioned above, and in which way they are now poetic, by introducing some slammers and their lectures.

IV. The poetry slammers and their work

In the following I would like to introduce three slammers who differ greatly in their way of slamming and composing in terms of content and, above all, style.

I would like to show this with one of their presented texts, which you can listen to if you follow the respective link.

1. Moritz Kienemann

Sample video:

Poetry Slam Ulm: Moritz Kienemann

Poetry Slam Ulm: Moritz Kienemann. Source: Youtube

Moritz Kienemann was born in Munich in 1990 and had his first appearances when he was not even 20 years old in 2009. In the meantime, the number of his appearances is close to 100. Today he mainly works as an actor in the theater Hamburg, at the Volksbühne and at the Münchner Kammerspiele.

Moritz was quite successful in the poetry slam for the under 20s and his stage appearances are impressive. You immediately notice the actor in him. In addition, he always makes philosophical references to typical life situations such as love and life in general. Depending on the time, his texts are to be understood more or less literally. The most interesting thing about his lecture is above all him as a person and how he presents the whole thing. Just reading the texts would be a completely different experience than hearing them and being introduced to them. Because the effect of his lyrics lies primarily in how he expresses himself and how he deals with his voice. Of course, the interplay between loud and calm is immediately noticeable. So at first it usually begins quietly, almost innocently, and then comes the anger that is noticeable through the explosion of the voice. Then he gets loud, almost screams, has to stand next to the microphone, otherwise the sound of his voice would almost kill the audience. Is that now poetry? Counter question: why not? First of all, the content is highly artistic; you can make out verses, hear rhymes, follow the rhythm. And then the second argument is the accompanying specially chosen type of presentation, the performance, which may or may not please, but it is a staging and it also fits the content. Thus,,, content and form complement each other, which is provided here by the type of presentation. Just because it's getting louder doesn't mean that the slam isn't poetic. And if you pay attention to the reactions in the audience, you can tell that you really believe the “show”. Sometimes there is laughter, sometimes there is complete silence. This shows enthusiasm and excitement and at the latest at the end of his performance this is made even clearer by a lot of applause and cheers. Without a doubt, Moritz Kienemann spoke with heart and soul and gave everything. And he shared a piece of subjective truth that can be thought provoking. It is always art or poetry.

2. Patrick Salmen

Sample video:

Patrick Salmen: Euphoria, euphoria

Patrick Salmen: Euphoria, euphoria. Source Youtube

Patrick Salmen is a completely different poetry slammer than Moritz, both in terms of the type of his texts and the way he is presented.

He was born in 1985 in Wuppertal and, in addition to his work as a slammer, also works as a writer and cabaret artist. Patrick has already written a few books and is on a reading tour again this year.

He started the poetry slam in 2008 and then finally decided on this path after completing his studies in German and history to become a teacher. He did not start his legal clerkship, he would rather become a writer and stick to slamming. A brave decision, but his success so far has proven him right. He has authored books and short stories such as Tobacco leaves and parachutists 2012 and afterwards together with Quichotte an edition with literary mystery stories with the interesting title You can do anything you dream of. Unless it's too difficult.

As an example of his slamming texts, it is best to take his presentation called “Euphoria, Euphoria”, which he gave for the first time in 2011. If you listen to the presentation, you quickly notice what Patrick's trademark is, namely irony and sarcasm. At the beginning he refers to the punch line for which, according to his statement, it is worth listening to the lecture - and only for that reason actually.

Another hallmark of his lecture is obvious: He is very much like a story, is very prosaic. He himself also says at the beginning that he is reading “a story”. The sentences are not rhythmically regulated, there are neither metrics nor rhymes. You could actually think of the whole thing as a short story put on paper or a diary excerpt that is simply read aloud. What counts is not just the what, but also the how. In contrast to Moritz, Patrick is far less dramatic. He doesn't scream, he keeps his facial expressions to a minimum, and on top of that, he actually reads most of the time. Nevertheless, he has a certain flow of speech that is monotonous, but definitely memorable, almost melodic. And this is exactly what allows the poetry to be discovered in his words, making the lecture a poetic performance. Not to mention that the content, which seems very realistic on the first level in popular language, on a second glance contains a number of small truths, truths from everyone's everyday life. And who says that poetry cannot be everyday? Here I would like to remind you once again of the quotation from Lorca mentioned above in the introduction, which says that poetry can be found in all things. And they are inevitably part of our everyday life.

And as already mentioned, the success, or rather the audience, gives Patrick the feeling of having taken the right path. They loved his lecture so much that he came second at the 2010 slam championships in North Rhine-Westphalia and even took first place with his program at the poetry slam championships in the same year.

He then remained true to his style in his books as well as in his joint projects. He always packed certain seemingly banalities into irony or comedy in his lectures and underlined them with his routine-sounding, deep, monotonous voice.

Patrick Salmen now also gives workshops on the subject of creative writing and is aimed at all those who want to try out creative things on paper, regardless of age. This could also be attractive for some schools, after all, due to the popularity of poetry slams and salmon, even pupils could be more motivated to write.

3. Julia Engelmann

Sample videos:

Bielefeld lecture hall slam - Julia Engelmann - Campus TV 2013

Bielefeld lecture hall slam - Julia Engelmann - Campus TV 2013

Poetry Slam by Julia Engelmann - Still waters are attractive

Poetry Slam by Julia Engelmann - Still waters are attractive

Last but not least, I would like to introduce a female voice, maybe even the female voice among poetry slammers at the moment. Julia Engelmann was born in Bremen on May 13, 1992. She was among other things as an actress in German soaps such as All that counts to see and is now studying psychology in Bremen. However, she is still doing poetry slams and is becoming more and more well-known through the new media and above all the online portal YouTube.

In 2010, when she was just 18 years old, she had some great successes. She won the Bremen Slammer Filet twice here. She also took part in the art and music festival MS Dockville and a year later represented the slammer fillet at the Lower Saxony-Bremen state championships in Hanover.

Julia only became really well known this year after someone uploaded a lecture from her six months ago to YouTube, which quickly found many fans and which has now been viewed over six million times. It refers to a text by Asaf Avidan One Day / Reckoning Song, and therefore names her lecture as well.

In the meantime, Julia has also been targeted by the media, although the reactions have turned out differently. The Süddeutsche Zeitung praised her "precisely calculated aesthetics" with which she worked in her lecture, (sueddeutsche.de) die time however, her lyrics looked less positive. Rather, they are weak, generally known statements from someone who cannot even understand what he is talking about. In addition, the statement is too harmless, nothing new, not sharp enough and the whole text anyway at most pseudo-poetry (zeit.de).

Since this text was treated so controversially and is now very well known in Germany, it should serve as the subject of investigation in the second step. We'll try to analyze and interpret the text. As far as style and lyrics are concerned, Julia works very differently from Patrick Salmen or Moritz Kienemann. It is not particularly dramatic, nor are its texts prosaic or read aloud.

What is striking is that Julia Engelmann's lyrics are always very melodious. Some are now even underlaid with a melody, such as still waters run deep. Julia stands at the microphone, introduces herself, at first seems almost shy. But your presentation is anything but uncertain. It begins and without reading a word begins to flow for several minutes. In the content she often refers to topics of life, her texts are often a little wistful, but never without a pinch of humor. Rhythmically, the texts are rather free and not regularly rhymed. Nevertheless, there are clearly recognizable verses and also some rhymes, your voice is calm, but not monotonous and she appears very concentrated, but not cramped during her presentation. It is very quiet in the audience during their presentation. But after it has ended, the crowd cheers and there is due applause.

Julia Engelmann speaks from the soul to many of her listeners, who are also about her age. And when she speaks, she always does it with seriousness and ease at the same time. Precisely that a 20-year-old addresses issues that young people - at least apparently - obviously give little thought to,

If you compare several of her lectures, Julia remains true to her style, but her texts are by no means one-dimensional or repetitive. Sometimes it's about life, sometimes personal, then everyday.

V. Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that slam poetry can certainly be treated as controversial, and perhaps rightly so. Ultimately, it is always your own understanding of poetry and subjective feelings that are decisive. One or the other will not be able to gain much poetry from slam poetry, while others take the opposite position. I think that this type of text and its conception has quite poetic qualities that make it appear as heirs to traditional poetry. The texts are always based on a poetic character, sometimes more on the content, sometimes more on the creative level. It is true that there are very many different modes of representation within this “poetry” and in the end what it really has in common is that it was made to be presented publicly in a competition against others. But that shouldn't be a point of criticism. Even the poetry at that time was after all already performed publicly and was never characterized by linearity or superordinate unity. Perhaps the poetry scheme, the form, was stricter and generally more uniform, but the poetry of the slams fits today, which in turn is becoming more and more spontaneous, faster and more changeable.

In addition, the current and public character of slam poetry should be emphasized. Especially in school, this is a big plus for teachers who strive to introduce their students to traditional forms of poetry. Because there are now collected works by poetry slammers and workbooks on this topic. This might make it easier for young people to motivate themselves to study poetry, as they can see that it still exists in their world today. Poetry is not something dusty or abstract from yesterday, but rather topical and sometimes even exciting.

Working with these texts seems to me to be useful for both students and teachers. Perhaps one or the other text could even be so motivating that it encourages students to try out poetic writing for themselves? Poetry slams can be a means of providing the right impetus for this, so they should be introduced as an alternative to traditional teaching subjects and methods. Time will tell whether they will ultimately prove themselves.

Document d'accompagnement: Text excerpt Julia Engelmann "One day / Reckoning Text"

Analysis d'un extrait de Slam Poésie de Julia Engelmann. Ce texte poétique aborde les thèmes contraires de la léthargie et de la motivation en jouant notamment avec le subjonctif 2 (conditionnel) et l'impératif.

The text

Bielefeld lecture hall slam - Julia Engelmann - Campus TV 2013

Bielefeld lecture hall slam - Julia Engelmann - Campus TV 2013

And one day baby we'll be old
oh baby will we be old
And think of all the stories
that we could have told.

And the stories
which we then tell instead
will be sad subjunctive like -

“I almost ran a marathon once
and almost read the Buddenbrooks
and once I was almost
"Until the clouds purple again" were still awake,
We almost unmasked ourselves
and seen we are the same
and then we almost said
how much we mean to each other
we will tell tell.
And that we were just lazy and cowardly
we will keep this silent
and secretly wish each other
to stay here a little longer

Then when we are old and our days are short
- and that will happen anyway -
only then will we understand
we never had anything to lose.
Because the life we ​​want to lead
we can choose that ourselves,
let's go! Let's write stories
which we like to tell later.


Let's stay up late at night
climb to the highest rooftop of the city,
laughing and free from the beat
sing the greatest songs!
Let's throw parties like confetti
see them travel to the ground
and celebrate the fallen feasts,
"Until the clouds are purple again".
Let's believe in ourselves
I don't care if this is crazy!
If you look closely, you see
that courage is also just an anagram of happiness.
Whoever we were
let's become who we want to be.
We waited way too long
let's waste dopamine!
"The meaning of life is to live." -
Casper said that.
"Let's make the most of the night"
- That's what echo Ke $ ha said.
Let's make as many mistakes as possible
and learn as much as possible from them,
let's sow good things now,
so that we can harvest good things later!
Let's do everything because we can
and don't have to
now we're young and alive
and everyone should know that!
Let's unmask us
and then see we are the same
and then we can still say
that we mean a lot!

Because our days are passing by
- that will happen anyway -
and until then we are free
and there's nothing to lose
The life we ​​want to lead
we can choose it ourselves.
So go ahead, let's write stories
which we like to tell later!

And one day baby we'll be old
oh baby will we be old
And think of all the stories
who are ours forever.

Source: ENGELMANN, Julia. 2014. "One day, baby", in poetry slam texts, Munich: Goldmann Verlag.

Analytical approaches

I would now find it particularly interesting to examine the lyrical aspects of the text, which topic or topics it is dealing with and how this is done.

About the shape

As with every poem analysis, the text excerpt should first be examined formally for rhythmic, metric and rhyming regularities.

The rhythm is free throughout and the verses are not metrically regulated. This is usually typical of slam poetry, as the texts often contain prosaic elements in that they resemble narrative texts and deviate from traditional poem forms.

Nevertheless, there are formal elements that hold the text together and make it poetic: on the one hand, the refrain, which recurs again and again in a slightly different form, on the other hand, the rhymes that appear here and there. However, these are not necessarily at the end of a line, but rather are located between the lines or within them and also appear very irregularly. So in the first lines no rhyme can be recognized and then the first, albeit impure rhyme (lines 13 and 15) with "same" and "mean". This type of impure rhymes appears even more often in the text passage selected here, for example with "throw" and "travel" (lines 34 and 35), or "is crazy" and "looks" (lines 39 and 40) , or also “learn” and “harvest”, (lines 51 and 53) and “must” and “know”, (lines 55 and 57). They give the text looseness and naturalness, seem to suggest its spontaneity.

In addition, however, there are just as pure rhymes as "happen" "understand" "lose" (lines 22-24) or "choose" "tell" (lines 26-28) or "past", "free" (lines 62 and 64). In addition, there are of course others. They round off the passages and guarantee a steady flow of text.

The rhymes used are mostly internal rhymes, otherwise pair rhymes and only rarely cross rhymes.

The last paragraph, however, is free of rhymes, forms a break, and thus rather resembles a closing statement. These last words should not be decorated with flourishes, but should be kept simple and clear in order to create a sober but haunting statement.

The lyrical me

Who is speaking and who is being addressed? the “speaker” of this text is a mediating authority. Rather, the lyrical I seems to be a lyrical “we”. It always talks about "we" or "us", never about itself. This expresses the collective bond that, according to the content of the text, we are all concerned and are all called to react. Likewise, although the addressee is apparently a person (see: “And one day, baby (…)” (line 1)), the text is nevertheless aimed at everyone who hears or reads it. It's always about "we", about "us". The “I” is actually not limited to a “you”, not even to a “you”, but through the constant use of the 1st person plural, the lyrical self includes itself, thus showing solidarity and can create trust. His message is also directed at yourself. This is a good way to get close to those you want to reach with your words. The speaker consciously uses the address to the individual in order to reach everyone, even if everyone is meant. Access to the words is made easier in this way and a certain intimacy is created in order to enable a personal relationship.

The topics

If it is initially about the big issue of lethargy and lack of drive, the opposite is later worked towards - motivation and drive.

In linguistic terms, expressions of lethargy are primarily the many subjunctive tones used by the lyrical I. The subjunctive as a typical sign of wishes or missed opportunities, which are never real, but always hypothetical and not tangible. There is talk of laziness and cowardice, of stories that will never be written unless we wake up soon and act immediately.

And this is exactly where a new cut begins. Suddenly there is a linguistic break, a transition to a counter-topic, namely the motivation and personal commitment of the individual for his or her life. Here the subjunctive disappears and is increasingly being replaced by imperative forms that spur the collective “we” and “us” to act. "Let's ..." (line 30/34/43/50 ...) is one of the most frequently used word combinations in the second half of the text. It calls for turning away from idleness and daydreams. Because nothing is lost yet, nor can the hypothetical be made true. Time will pass either way, but we can choose how we want to shape it and which stories we want to write. We just have to start with it.

The poem can thus be divided into two parts, both thematically and linguistically. The subjunctive and the topic of lethargy form the first part up to line 28, from line 29 the second part begins with the use of mainly imperatives and the topic of motivation.

Intertextual references

As already mentioned, poetry slammers often refer to the texts of other slammers or to their own texts. Using the text example selected here, you can see how the recipients also refer to passages or examples that lie outside the actual competitions. On the one hand, the lyrical I refers to the Buddenbrooks (line 9). Of course, it remains unclear why this particular example was chosen, but one could assume that it could be due to the story and its scope, for example. It's about storytelling, after all, and Buddenbrooks is a very powerful and well-known novel that has also made its mark in literary history. So you could say the book has already made history.

In addition, however, there are mainly echoes of passages from modern songs. So the lyrical self repeats twice the line “until the clouds are purple again” (lines 11 and 37), a sentence from the song Purple clouds by Marteria, Yasha and Miss Platnum, who was number one in the charts for a long time and should therefore be known to many. In addition, there is something poetically dreamy about this passage through the purple clouds that takes people a little out of the gray everyday world. Here the sentence stands above all for the long nights in which something was experienced until morning, so it opposes the general lethargy. Appropriately, reference is made to the line from Kesha (line 48) which translates as “let's make the best of the night”. And before that one quotes a sentence by Casper with "the meaning of life is life" (line 46). These two quotes one after the other are very concise for the listener. Many are already familiar with the lines, and if not, the meaning is still clear. Both mean that life is too short to do nothing and just let time go by. These two quotes urge you to act immediately.

What is interesting here, however, is the contrast between the quotations used and the statement "Come on, let's write stories (...)" (line 68), because basically this results in a paradox: In that the lyrical self uses quotations and other old stories or suggests ideas, it doesn't really write its own after all. It refers to others that were significant or meaningful and thus have already been written.

In the end, you can see that the text consists of many contrasts and it would be interesting to take a closer look at these pairs of opposites, both in terms of content and form.