Hello all and welcome to Poetry Friday. Mr. Linky is down below to add your link.
But first, I have a review of Hip Hop Speaks to Children edited by Nikki Giovanni
So, this is an anthology of poetry, hip hop, and sermons, showing the evolution of the spoken word with rhythm and using rhythm to best spread the word.
It's beautifully illustrated by multiple artists and contains a wide range of poets--Langston Hughes, Queen Latifah, Sugar Hill Gang, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kanye West, Walter Dean Meyers, and Maya Angelou and more.
The best part is the included CD. I have long loved Gwendolyn Brooks's "The Pool plays: Seven and the Golden Shovel" but never knew how to read the rhythm of her punctuation and line breaks
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We...
And I never thought I'd see "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in a children's book. This is one of those tracks that helped define hip hop. (And you might know it as the song that the old lady rapped in The Wedding Singer
I said a hip hop the hippie to the hippie
the hip hip hop, a you dont stop
the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie
Some things are texts we think of as for adults--"The Creation," "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "The Song of Smoke," and some are things we tend to associate with children--"Books" and "Principal's Office."
I'm not a fan of all the poems, but many are ones I love.
But the CD... hearing Langston Hughes introduce and then read his work is amazing. There are also some interpretations of songs. I wasn't a fan of the rap of "I Have a Dream"--I liked the concept, but not the execution. But, the hamboning version of "The Pool players" and Josephine Cameron's sung version of Sterling Brown's "Long Track Blues" are tracks I can listen to over and over again.
I highly recommend this one for all collections. If the title didn't include the word "children" it'd be an excellent book all the way to high school. My coworkers and I are already talking about doing a Hip Hop poetry story time for our elementary school kids. The only question is if we wait until April (Poetry Month) or go ahead and do it now. Well, do it in October, when the book comes out, but pre-order today.
full disclosure: book provided by publisher
NOW! I want to read your poems! Leave your link below!