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Poetry insurrection: words rise up against oppression
Literature Today - and Yesterday...
'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou (1987, Live performance)
(Final poem from 'Maya Angelou - Live and Unplugged') Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. [There I go!] (Last line not in original poem)
The Masque of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley narrated by Malc Cowle
In the month of August in 1819, Manchester's leading Magistrates disgraced that town in the eyes of the civilised world. Over sixty-thousand peaceful working men, women and children demonstrating for Parliamentary Reform had assembled on Saint Peter's Fields. They were slashed with sabres, trampled by horses and crushed to death by panic for having the temerity to do so. Shelley wrote The Masque of Anarchy as a result. Not surprisingly, many workers of the subsequent period could recite every single verse, word for word, and the scarcely hidden revolutionary message they contain wasn't lost on them. As a result Manchester and Salford took the lead in the struggle to advance the rights of working children, men and women and spear-headed the fight for social justice, universal suffrage and Parliamentary Reform. Video by the workers at www.penandmouth.com
Obiodun Oyewole - Joe's Pub (9.3.12)
Saul Williams and his band of poets did a reading at Joe's Pub to celebrate the release of the anthology "Chorus." The honor of invocation and first poem went to Obiodun Oyewole, member of The Last Poets and grandfather of rap. Video by Kevin Yatarola http://www.kebya.com
The Insurrection of Poetry
Chrys Salt reads her poem ' The Insurrection of Poetry'. It features in "A Kist of Thistles: An anthology of radical poetry from contemporary Scotland", edited by Jim Aitken, 196 pps. ISBN: 978-1-912710-32-4 Price: £10 plus £3 p. and p., available from the Culture Matters website, www.culturematters.org.uk.
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