We’ve seen a lot of art, attention and discussion inspired by the tough issue of teen bullying. But perhaps none have been as strikingly beautiful as Canadian poet Shane Koyczan‘s spoken word poem, animated and then posted on YouTube about a week ago.
Since then, the video has exploded–it’s been viewed more than 4.7 million times (and counting). Slate called the video “beautiful,” Yahoo! News dubbed it “powerful” and Mashable claimed it will “reshape your views on name calling, harassment and pain.”
“To This Day” tells the stories of bullied children and how it’s the words (not the “sticks and stones” often cited in cliches) others hurl at them that hurt and stick with them for many years after. Though quite sad in parts, the video ends on a positive note and brings the issue full circle. The video features gorgeous artwork by many talented contributors, who each illustrated roughly 20-second segments and are all credited at the end of the video.
Watch it now:
On cable news channel HLNTV, Koyczan told Kyra Phillips that the response has astounded him and that many bullied kids and their parents have reached out to him since the video’s launch to share their stories. He hopes to continue the journey and enlightenment through the “To This Day” anti-bullying project website. “My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways,” he wrote on the site.
Have you ever been a victim of bullying? How did you handle it and what do you think is the proper way to move forward? What did you think of the video?