Tag Archive | "poetry"

Carlye Arden: speaking Truth

Anyone who attended the Gungor concert, Surge or chapel last week knows who Carlye Arden (so) is. But students may be confused on what she was actually doing.

Spoken word, according to Arden, is “performance poetry.” The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s website says spoken word is “poetry written on a page but performed for an audience” and involves rhythm, wordplay, rhymes, slang and more.

Arden began writing spoken word during her senior year of high school, when she was questioning life and asking God lots of questions.


Spittin’ rhymes – Arden first performed spoken word the summer going into her freshman year. This year she has performed several times at IWU. // Courtesy Photo

“I remember I would think so hard about things, and I didn’t know how to release, and so I would just write … whatever came out of my brain,” Arden said.

When she wrote her first piece, she did not know it was considered spoken word until she read it out loud to her friend, who encouraged her to perform it in front of people. The first time she performed was the summer before her freshman year of college at the Bible camp where she worked.

“[My friend, Daniel,] pushed me to read in front of a crowd, and from reading that one piece … I started writing more spoken word pieces,” said Arden. “It wasn’t until this year that I called myself a spoken word artist.”

Arden said she is unsure how people found out about her talent, but this school year she has been able to perform at multiple venues. Every time she performs, she writes a new piece and never wants to repeat one.

After the chapel with speaker Karolina Goncharenko (sr), Arden received lots of positive feedback. Many students complimented her during her McConn shift after the chapel.

“I have had an overwhelming amount of encouragement,” Arden said. “People were constantly coming up to me. … I was overwhelmed. … I left that shift thinking, ‘I am so tired!’”

Sometimes when she is sitting and doing her homework, she will feel God pointing out someone to her and telling her to write a poem for them. She said she listens to what God “prompts” her to write about the person and shares it with them afterward. There will be times when she is walking back to her dorm, and she thinks, “Yeah, I am feeling a spoken word piece tonight.”

“I love the writing process,” she said. “It is a time where I can be super honest with the Lord and write whatever I am thinking and He teaches me. If I am wrestling with something … He will bring the answer.”

Though Arden comes off as confident on stage, she says she can get pretty nervous, especially when she has to sing.

“With [spoken word], I am pretty insecure about it. Every time I perform, I have to step out of my comfort zone,” said Arden. “The chapel for Karolina, I almost threw up beforehand because I had to sing in the piece that I wrote and singing is one of my biggest insecurities. … But it’s fine, I am working through it; the Lord is working on my heart and every time I perform I become more comfortable with it. But at the same time I know I am no Alicia Keys.”

Arden also would like to dispel the rumor people have spread about her having a record deal. She is working on creating an EP and hopes it can sound like the songs she performed for the Gungor concert. At that performance, she played with Alex Lynch (sr), Kelsey Gilles (s0) and Jenn Weidman (sr). They sang, rapped, played instruments and performed spoken word.

Arden plans to drop out of school and pursue her music full-time as she also wants to become a female rapper. This past summer, she was offered a couple of opportunities to perform but had to decline due to school.

“[I want] to be able to get on stage without anything to prove, without having to be promiscuous … and speak truth,” Arden said. “Being an artist who is a Christian but not a Christian artist is something that is super appealing to me.”

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An empty basket atop the currents – the pull of fate –
I picture an empty cradle cast into the river discarded and forgotten.
That is my feeling.

A bird abreast the morning sky, a victor over Dawn- the tyrant of time-
I picture a young blossom broke free of the soil conquerer of land and of law.

That is my seeming.

But the currents flow only so far

The bird’s strength so finite
And the seedling’s stem so stout,

At which point I relent the fight already won.

I bear my flag off-white
tattered, surely, of time and trust lost.

In that surrender there is sweet shame.

Stranger yet is the freedom of your embrace

and there,
I am overcome

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I’m going to vanish any day
It’s not a question of if
Of in what way
Over time or in the blink of an eye?
You’ll look for me, but I’ll be gone
Call out my name, but in vain
I’m preoccupied in blissful sigh

And I’m going to move on
To greater things
Leave behind this world of suffering
Cash in my chips to see what I’ve compiled
I’m going to miss you all too much
But what a trade, what a deal
That body of mine?
It was such a crutch

I’m going to be buried 6 feet underground
Still somehow I’ll be amid all sights and sounds
I’ll embody them
And bless those alive
With unrelenting joy and peace
But for now
I’ll settle on being one of those blessed
Until this throbbing decides to cease

I’m going to vanish any day

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A Christmas poem by Rev. Dr. Kyle Huckins

Christmas comes but once a year, all about the single Savior we seek
But deadline comes steadily once every week.
From the front page to sports, A & E to opinion to features
Lauren Sawyer directs each faithful Sojourn creature.
Molly Meyer stands true to her task, managing by Sawyer’s side
Taking each story idea without breaking her stride.
The editors arrange for said stories, rewriting and making marks of every stripe
Pyle, Porter and Sharp ensuring every story picked is ripe.
Stoff, Spencer and Middelkamp feed them from the front lines, discussing arts, games and divisions
Filling column inches with grace and precision.
Graham handles stylings in design, using Towler and Krupp to weigh sections in the scales
Ensuring good eye flow and taste always do prevail.
Out with the cameras are Gales and Mack – prowling the sidelines, f-stops, every IWU hill and dale
Choosing carefully their pixels, crops and grayscales.
Over on the Web are Page and Bridgman, taking care of the virtual version
Wordpressing each article with digital immersion.
Keeping the presses hopping with ads is CrizVaun, a Dixie from Marion’s south side
Going like 60 to keep up with the advertisers’ tide.
Finally, there is Huckins, their adviser, seeking to guide and defend the paper’s bastion
Loving each minute with a staff full of journalistic drive and passion.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Sojourn!

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