“By giving form and words to that which has none – such as the unfathomable beauty that surrounds us, the immense suffering and misery of the world – poetry contributes to the expansion of our common humanity, helping to increase its strength, solidarity and self-awareness.” – Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
A few months ago I was lucky enough to participate in a creative workshop facilitated by UK rapper, activist and academic, Akala founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company (THSC).
For our final exercise of an invigorating afternoon, we were given the task of taking a famous Shakespearian or hip-hop line and using it as the opening for a poem or short story. In my case I drew an Eminem line. We had 12 minutes.
Maybe it’s hatred I spew, maybe it’s food for the spirit,
Maybe it’s because I’m lacking Love and hatred is my limit.
Maybe I had Love once, maybe I let it be lost,
Maybe I spend my days trying to justify the cost.
Maybe it’s Love I need, maybe I’ll find it again,
Maybe I’ll look back, happy that these days all had an end.
Maybe I’ll break free from my mind,
and from this Freedom I’ll find
That ‘maybes’ are just ‘maybes’ and Love was biding it’s time.
THSC is a musical theatre production company that co-ordinates and runs education programmes, live music events and music theatre productions to engage young people, particularly those who are considered “hard to reach” and push them toward artistic excellence.