On Monday, Feb. 6, Colin Edwards’ spoken word poetry piece “Victory” was released on YouTube.
Edwards, a senior communication arts major from Gadsden, had written the poem encompassing the events that followed his father’s diagnosis with stage IV colon cancer and subsequent death.
Created with powerful diction and accompanied by a compelling performance, the video was filmed by one of his best friends, Andrew Livingston, a sophomore communication arts major from Miami.
“I wrote it with intentions of orating it, with certain structures and rhymes,” said Edwards.
According to www.powerpoetry.org, “Spoken word is written on a page but performed for an audience. It relies on a heavy use of rhythm, improvisation, rhymes, word play, and slang.”
In addition, spoken word uses words and phrases with the intention of projecting vivid images into the minds of the viewers.
Spoken word has received worldwide recognition and is often utilized as a powerful form of communication.
“I started writing it the summer of 2015; I wanted to be able to tell the story and I wanted it to be clear and accurate,” said Edwards.
Edwards’ father passed away on Nov. 20, 2016, 23 months after his initial diagnosis in January 2015.
“We felt peace in him passing away because we knew he wasn’t hurting anymore,” said Edwards.
Edwards had written the poem and filmed it as a Christmas present for his parents the same year his dad was diagnosed.
Later, he made changes to it as new things happened; he would add to it, take something away, and in the end, he completed the story.
According to Edwards, it has helped him get through struggles then and even now. He has watched it several times to find new encouragement.
“I like to watch it from a viewer’s perspective, as if I haven’t written it, as if I am watching it for the first time, and I get re-empowered and re-encouraged every time,” said Edwards.
“It’s cool to look back on it and trace the story, see what I felt like, how the word ‘cancer’ ringed in my ear, how it resounded with me.”
The video has received a great deal of positive feedback, with various people, organizations, and publications attempting to reach out to him.
Based on statistics from three weeks ago, his video has been viewed over 6,500 times in 49 out of the 50 states in America and in over 30 countries around the globe.
“His story has impacted me greatly because of the perspective he and his family shared,” said Gray Gilmore, a political science major senior from Marianna, Florida.
“I know they were only able to overcome this impossible situation because they had hope.”