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.”
A hard hitting spoken word by Abe Ape condemning police violence against African youth in Australia.
Noni Hazelhurst, reads a story about a naughty baby who won’t go to sleep.
Here is also a version of the same book being read by Samuel L Jackson:
A video version of David LaMotte’s book White Flour, illustrated by Jenn Hales. Read by the author.
Feel free to link to this video, embed it in blogs or show it in any public gathering or virtual space that stands for love, against racism and against violence. We reserve the right to deny its usage if we do not agree with the goals it is being used in service of.
Follow David LaMotte on Twitter: @davidlamotte.
I Slam (Ya Muslimeen) by Husam Aldiery
I slam in slams to slam stereotypical labels out of your mind
And I’ll slam six hundred and sixty six thousand times for you to enter mine
I’ll grab your finger and let it grace that button to re-wind
Rewind your mind back to the ages of pre-ignorance
When your view of me was pre-militant
My words are melodic, hypnotic, sporadic and slightly spastic
And my thought process is futile when I’m twelve hours fastin’
If you cross me I’ll smile at you and swallow my anger
Aint nothing in this world worth fighting for so take a step back.. son
Brother, sister, father, mother, grand-father and teacher you all are my equals
Take my hand as we circle around our ka3ba like oceans are circled by eagles
Let us walk amongst the mountains of our forefathers
And may the mercy of allah be on the souls of all our beloved martyrs
Let us breathe in the air that is purified by the light that our heart shines
There voices echo between each and every one of my weighted rhymes
This is for Hamza al khatib, Ibrahim al hayjee, mohammed turki
This is for you and you and you and me
I write these poems to show you the truth of who we could be
Let us pack sandcastle mountains of knowledge on the shores of our lands
Far enough from the oceans waves for our hands to crash softly into the sand
Let us illimunate around our brothers like the moon lights the stars and the sun glistens off the seas
Let us grow like dafodils in the cracks of broken stone like the bones of our knees
Let us smell like the roses at dusk after a hurricane
And let our words sweeten the eardrums of our brothers like sugar cane
So take my hand and walk with me to the gates of heaven
Grab a group with you blessed like the skies and seas.. seven
Circle around the oceans and fill your pens with the ink that god has given
Hold your voice between your fingers and widen your vision
Write like the instrument that god made you
Write till your soul shakes you
Till your breath overtakes you
Till your mind can’t take you any further
Write for your brothers and your sisters struggling
Write because the truth is humbling
Write because you have a purpose
Write because we are all worth it
Shrug aside facebook, twitter, tumblr, and youtube
Our voices are the social media that God speaks through
We are the bird’s chirp at dawn
We are the rhythm of the ocean’s waves
We are the rigidity of Mountains
We are the rays of the sun
The shine of the moon
The smell of truth
We are the taste of grace
We are fresh cut grass
A cold glass of water
The warmth of a campfire
The beating of a drum
The meaning of music
The rumble of thunder
The spark of lighting
We are Muslims
So let us spread our existence like perfume fills a room
And let our scent descend and transcend the existence of men like flowers about to bloom
Because we are the instruments through which god speaks through
So speak with me and shine light on the truth
The City of SABA was written in the 13th century by the Sufi mystic poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi and translated and recited in our film by Coleman Barks. What is so striking about this poem is it’s relevance to what is happening in our SABA – Washington, D.C.
One of 21 video poems in Four Seasons Productions newly released Moving Poetry Series – Three innovative new films – RANT * RAVE * RIFF.
‘My City’ a poem about the forgotten parts of London, A collaboration between George the Poet and director Rob Ryan.
Filmed by Paul Kirsop
Graded by Fergus Hally (in Melbourne!)
Part II – ‘creativity in adversity’ is now in production.
For more info contact email@example.com
Below is a profile of George the Poet by Link Up TV:
Stylistically, many Slam Poets are close to preachers – even Saul Williams has spoken of the influence of his father the Baptist Minister in his style of spoken word. However, the connection between slam and proselytizing is becoming more and more visible in the online world these days, as the theological debate goes online and the slam poems and the video responses are creating a fascinating global discussion.
Some might say that Religion has been going around in circles for thousands of years, debating the pros and cons of each set and subset of the splintering churches of the monotheistic juggernaut. Perhaps what is most original about these young spoken word artists is that Youtube has become the pulpit, or the soapbox, and the different worlds of religion are able to share their idealistic, mutualistic, and mono-mystic views without the discussion debasing into violence. Everyone in between can tune in and make up their own mind, or tune out and live their own life, in Peace, whilst the preachers argue about something that is supposed to bring us together.
Although we are non-partisan, SLAM TV presents a taste of the debate from the Christian to the Muslim to the Atheist and a few notes inbetween. These videos have collectively received millions of hits online. But is it poetry, or preaching, or both?
Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word
Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Muslim Version || Spoken Word || Response
”Why I Love Islam, And Love Jesus Too” The Zaghloool | Spoken Word HD
Why I Love Jesus But Reject Islam
Why I Love Religion, And Love Jesus || Spoken Word
I Hate Religion, And Jesus Too
These Spiritual Window Shoppers was written in the 13th century by the Sufi mystic poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi and translated and recited in this short film by Coleman Barks.
From the anthology of video poetry ‘RIFF RANT RAVE’