Print

Print


I wonder if those closer than I am to the academic side of poetry have any view regarding the degree to which Rap is considered "poetry", and studied as such.

I'm not a rap fan myself (though I thought "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash was very good about 20 years ago), but it is plainly, apart from nursery rhymes, the major way poetry is presented to today's youth.  Has academia taken account of this?  And, to veer on topic, what do Eliot's writings, as poet and critic, suggest his reaction to it might have been?

As critic, I think his comments on Kipling and the verse/poetry distinction suggest he would at least have made distinctions between the better and the lesser rap, and not condemned the genre.  Naturally, that's conjecture.  But here's a bit of rhyme that would work pretty well as rap, which it happens someone recently commented on as uncharacteristic of Eliot:

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

I can just see Eminem up there swaying his arms to that.  (There's reason to be sorry for choosing him as an example, but he's the only current rapper I can actually name.)

Any thoughts, or other bits of Possum Rap to propose?

Tom K