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




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


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


because there is no silver lining.

Now, it’s your turn!


Way out.. north?

February 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m in Umeå! About as far up north as you can come if you live in the south end of Sweden (if I would go even further up I’d have to travel for more then 14 hours from home, and that’s just too far north. There is a limit to how far north it’s possible for me to go and still stay fairly sane.). It’s half a meter snow here at the least, and sunny. Beautiful!

I went here partly so I could relax and get some distance between me and reality, and get some work done, write a bit, program a bit. But mostly breath in, breath out. My soul needs some space, and this is the perfect place to get it. I still seem to have a tight schedule while I’m here, but it doesn’t matter, I can still relax in a completely different way here.

On friday Olivia Bergdahl and Loke is playing up here, which is great, since I’m missing out of a lot of stuff while I’m gone, seems like all good shows and clubs are on this weekend.

I’m gonna try to get time to have a beer with Olivia or just hang out in the snow, you know, stuff you do when up north. We’re going to dinner at a friends house as well (not with Olivia mind you), and there is a poetry slam on thursday that I’m thinking of squeezing in. I really hope I get time to go out into the outbacks here and just watch the nightsky. Two weeks is a long time, but not near as long as it feels like.

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