In class, I recently played a recording of a poet reading one of his poems. The students should have already read the poem, but one girl admitted that she had not done the homework. She expressed sadness because she loved poetry, but did not like to hear someone else read a poem before she had had the chance to develop in her own head how she thinks it should sound. I respect this independent thinking. One of her classmates felt differently. The second student argued that poetry was born as song and the acts of writing it down or reading it on a page were putting limits on the words’ freedom and thus reductions in quality. This point of view also had a lot of merit. Of course, these two positions are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to embrace them both and we’re lucky to live in a world where poetry can reach us in so many ways. That what I was thinking today when I saw this video of Rudy Francisco performing at a poetry slam in Toronto. It was also what I was thinking when I ordered his most recent book online.