Recipe for a poem

April 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

However it begins, it’s gotta be loud
and then it’s gotta get a little bit louder.
Because this is how you write a political poem
and how you deliver it with power.

Mix current events with platitudes of empowerment.
Wrap up in rhyme or rhyme it up in rap until it sounds true.

Glare until it sinks in.”

How to write a political poem

by Taylor Malik

Recipe for a poem

You need:

A subject you care about

Paper

Pen

Dictionary

Start with writing one line. This is your “hook”. For example I’ll start my poem with ”I never saw that”. This line we will reuse several times in our poem.

Skip one line and then write an explanation that takes about four lines.

My example goes:

I never saw that…

That thing you claimed

you saw

with all its glory

Maybe it was hidden from me

Next, we put in that first line again, to make our reader or audience get a feel for the poem. Make them feel the rhythm. Make them listen.

This part can be any length, but preferably more than 8 lines, so go into a bit more detail!

My example continues:

I never saw that

and I don’t believe in hiding things

I don’t believe that was it

.” and so on..

When we have finished this part, we use a variation of our first line again, in my case:

I can’t see it

or something similar. At this point the “that” in my poem has been a bit more explained. The reader or audience has an idea about what I talk about, so now it’s time to wrap it up neatly.

Start with your “I can’t see it” and add on the next line “because.. “, and explain to your listener. Let it take about four lines.

Now, you have almost finished, all you need is a punch line. In my case it will be

because there is no silver lining

All in all my example would be something like:

I never saw that…

That thing you claimed

you saw

with all its glory

Maybe it was hidden from me

I never saw that

and I don’t believe in hiding things

I don’t believe that was it

I don’t believe in the words

so filled with nothing more

than letters filling space

hanging out in corners

waiting for better things to do

better words to attach themselves to

your words

that there is always a silver lining

I can’t see it

because

that world is dead

that one right there

where haiti falls into pieces and the preachers reach for guns

and guns reach out and touch the hearts of bankers

and there is nothing left but falling

apart

because there is no silver lining.

Now, it’s your turn!

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