From the new book ‘PARANG by OMAR MUSA
Coinciding with Eostre, this is an Ode to that other Spring Goddess, Ishtar, in praise of the divine feminine in all its forms, but in particular Women the world over, and Mother Nature herself. A sincere prayer of thanks from a grateful Man.
I was asked by Philip Werner, photographer and compiler of the book ’101 Vagina’, to write a piece for the exhibition and launch of the book. This is the result.
I have recorded it over the following music, which I respectfully borrow:
‘Together We Will Live Forever’ Clint Mansell (from the Fountain OST)
‘All Boundaries Are Conventions’ Tom Tykwer/Johnny Klimek/Reinhold Heil (from Cloud Atlas OST)
I have also combined the following videos together for the visuals
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpWTy… Slow Motion Belly Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIR9S… The Beauty of Earth From Above
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DoCl… ‘The Beauty of Pollination’
Learn more about the book here http://www.101vagina.com/
Filmed and Edited by Paul Evans.
SGB (Sonny Green), hailing from Southend on Sea, is one of the new bright lights in HipHop. OneTaste as Sonny is he’d like to make a spoken word video with us and we are immensely proud to team up and make this kind of piece with him. Spread it, his message needs to reach far and wide.
For more work by SGB go to:
For more OneTaste artists check out – http://www.youtube.com/user/onetasteuk
This is an investigative poem about the criminal record of the British Monarchy. Heathcote Williams has devised a form of polemical poetry that is unique, no-holds-barred personal and political. It is a great collection of facts that most people are unaware of.
Can we go on bowing and curtsying to people who are just like ourselves? We begin to wish that the Zoo should be abolished.
That the royal family should be given the run of some wider pasturage – a royal Whipsnade. Will the British Empire survive?
Will Buckingham Palace look as solid in 2034 as it does now? Words are dangerous things remember. A Republic might be brought into being by a poem.
Written by Heathcote Williams
Narration and Montage by Alan Cox
To This Day is a project based on a spoken word poem written by Shane Koyczan (shanekoyczan.com) called “To This Day”, to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.
Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying.
Animators and motion artists brought their unique styles to 20 second segments that will thread into one fluid voice.
This collaborative volunteer effort demonstrates what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together.
Watch the call for entries here: vimeo.com/56131212
Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, has worldwide recognition. The name Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, an Islamic dervish and a Sufi mystic. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical intellects. Born in 1207 AD, he belonged to a family of learned theologians. He made use of everyday life’s circumstances to describe the spiritual world. Rumi’s poems have acquired immense popularity, especially among the Persian speakers of Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan. Numerous poems written by the great poet have been translated to different languages.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~ Rumi ~
(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)
The 4th World War is a powerful tale of the global justice movement at the beginning of the 21st Century told through poetry, interview, music and historical footage into a seamless journey into a portrait of international struggle.
“We walked and these moments changed us. We saw the buildings burning and the pain in our neighbor’s eyes. We rushed bayonets in the mountain and lines of police in the city.
We were touched by too much death. We loved and felt alive. We heard the echo of our word in other voices. We watched the moon rise over the barricades.
We were wounded by the courage of small children. This is not the whole story or the only story.
It is an introduction to some of the people with whom we share this planet.
A much greater story remains to be told. A story that we will write together.”
A unique poetry/rap crossover project adapting Dante’s Inferno into a rap by the ever innovative hip hop artist Hugo Farrant (http://hugofarrant.com/) who is also known as Robert Foster of Juice Media’s Rap News (http://thejuicemedia.com/).
Read Hugo’s artist statement below:
Dante Inferno – The Rap Translation – Canto 1
A poet regains consciousness in a terrifying dark forest. How can he ascend out of it? When he comes across his all-time literary hero (dead for 400 years) he realises he has a hell of a journey ahead of him…
It’s seven hundred years since Dante Alighieri penned his epic poem, Commedia, in which he describes in breathtaking detail a journey into three realms of the Catholic afterlife. So insanely inspired was this poetic undertaking, that swiftly after its printing its giddy readers added the epithet Divine to it, and ‘La Divina Commedia’ has never been surpassed in scope or style in seven centuries of poetry in any language.
Dante made use of a poetic form described as the ‘Dolce Stil Novo’ which translates as The Sweet New Style. He was determined to prove that the collection of unrefined dialects of the peninsula that we now know as Italy were just as appropriate for writing poetry as the Latin which all other writers of the time felt obliged to favour. He called this principle ‘De Vulgari Eloquentia’ – the Eloquence of Vulgar Languages (i.e. the eloquence of the vernacular). In exile from his beloved Florence, he set about writing the Commedia, and over the course of 100 canti, not only proved that the disparate dialects were up to the task, but effectively created the Italian language in the process, and immortalised himself to boot.
Over the epic journey, in effortlessly flowing and ingenious rhyme form, he shows the language’s ability to run the gamut of tones from the brutal and disgusting tortures of Hell to high flown and awe-inspiring visions of Paradise. So great was his prowess with rhyme, that he effectively placed himself at the top of the all-time great rhymers that humanity has produced for seven centuries.
However, when in the latter half of the 20th Century, in New York, an upstart group of young musical innovators gave birth to a style of music and a subculture called Hip Hop, all of a sudden, in the form of Rap, there arrived poets who took the art of rhyming to obsessive extremes, finally presenting a poetic form that, in terms of rhyming at least, could hold its own alongside and perhaps even surpass that of history’s greatest.
Immortal innovators of the artform such as Rakim, Talib Kweli, Eminem, KRS One, Mos Def, Nas, Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Pharoahe Monch, took this rap rhyming to incredible depths, exploring all angles of their own vernacular, spitting intricate multi-syllable rhymed verses over irresistible hip hop beats and delivering their version of the Dolce Stil Novo to an insatiable world, and in the process proving, like Dante, that their Vulgar vernacular could have global relevance in its eloquence.
So, to this project. The basic agenda being simply to retranslate the Inferno using some of the forms of Rap – Multi-syllabic rhyme patterns, driving beats – to reengage with this epic medieval poem, and maybe contribute to garnering it a new audience. Of course, being a mere beginner in this art form myself, I have done my best to do justice to both the form and the source material. Any seeming deficiencies in either are in fact mine, and I apologise in advance.
With this in mind, I humbly present the first Canto of the Inferno, translated into Rap, using the hip hop mix-tape convention of rhyming over existing beats.
The beats respectfully used are
‘Agent Orange’ by Pharoahe Monch
‘Call to Arms’ by Harmonic 313
As references to the original poem, I have used the following editions
The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume I Inferno, edited and translated by Robert M. Durling (Oxford University Press, 1996) – an excellent side by side translation with great commentary
The website Danteinferno.info which places the translations of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Henry Francis Cary (December 6, 1772 – August 14, 1844) and Charles Eliot Norton (November 16, 1827 – October 21, 1908) alongside each other for easy comparison. I have to admit I favour the Longfellow translation, and have made liberal use of his ideas for this piece. http://www.danteinferno.info/translat…
Finally, the superlative performance/lecture series ‘Tutto Dante’ from Roberto Benigni, in which he appeared night after sell-out night in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence to deliver a commentary and reading (from memory) of the entire Inferno. It has been an indispensable resource, and is available on dvd http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tutto-Dante-0…
I would very much appreciate knowing if you feel this type of presentation is listenable, enjoyable and makes you curious to hear more.
Filmed in North America, Iceland, France, Ireland and England.
Film and production by Joel McKerrow.
Words and Voice by Joel McKerrow (www.joelmckerrow.com).
Featuring Heidi McKerrow (www.heidimckerrow.com)
With the music of Tom Hoey (www.thompost.bandcamp.com).
“PARANG” the new book of poetry and writing by Omar Musa, and this video is a preview of the insights and beauty of this leading Australian poet.
“To order a copy of “Parang” send $25 to my paypal account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll sign and personally send one off immediately. This is all very independent but I like it that way, because I know it will get right from my hand into yours, the reader’s. Be sure to get in there quickly because it’s a limited run. Cheers!
Video by Vis Pajori
A meditative ode to the transcendental beauty in nature.
A film by Jesse Rosten – twitter.com/JesseRosten
Words by Kallie Markle – twitter.com/lightningvsbug
Music – “Window” The Album Leaf
…Spinning through the world, half musicians, half tornadoes, they carry with them a uniquely contagious will to live. Not in the sense of staying alive – far from it – but rather in living each day fearlessly, creatively, spontaneously and generously. -Forest Woodward Onward, Etc.
In anticipation of Luka Lesson’s 2012 visit to Beijing, a short film competition asking participants to use the message of his poem ‘May Your Pen Grace The Page’ was established. This film is the result of that competition. It is underground filmmaker Wang Di’s portrayal of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s struggle for freedom and the recognition of human rights in China and abroad.
Made with no budget, the film uses local actors, media footage banned in China and Luka Lesson’s recording of ‘May Your Pen Grace The Page’ to bring light to this important issue. It is now the only ‘Official’ video made for the inspirational poem ‘May Your Pen Grace The Page’ in existence.
For the full poem go to
For more by this artist, check out:
A powerful, yet intimate vision of war, beauty and life in refuge by Melbourne spoken word artist Alia Gabres.
Produced by Shuttermain
Wu-Tang Clan leader and hip-hop production genius, The RZA breaks down “Unspoken Word” off his alter-ego solo album, The RZA as Bobby Digital In Stereo and his verse from Wu-Tang’s break out hit, “Protect Ya Neck.”