Whoever Controls the Poetry…
By Donald Bakeer
Whoever controls the poetry controls the youth, and whoever controls the youths aesthetics will determine the future. Their politics are determined by hip hop & rap poetry, and/or R&B poetry. Their morals mimic much of their parent or parents’ Oldies poetry.
In fact, this generation is bombarded with powerful lyrical poetry 24/7 (as the gangsters first said) – all night and throughout the day their vocal music poetry is pumping out mostly misguided messages through a myriad of devices, and the words shape them - their language (heavily profane and slang), their values (heavily materialistic and spiritually lacking), sexual behaviors (mostly illicit), spending habits (reckless and undisciplined), their relationships (tempestuous and temporary), and their children (neglected and often abandoned).
A cappella (traditional) poetry, however, has next to no impact on the masses, today, because most of it’s esoteric, sterile, and anti-technology. Some Spoken Word poetry is promising, however. And, quite frankly, there are more poets, today, than there have ever been. So, I predict a renaissance in these poets' influence on society as a whole.
When they realize, en masse, that poetry has a social function beyond self flagellation and purging psychoses, or preening for praise (for that matter), these pubescent bards will be the spirit behind historical social solutions. Their potent poetry, raps, and songs will inspire solutions to homelessness, ignorance, poverty, illiteracy, pollution, and incessant war.
These cultural flower buds will grow into a powerful resource – fertile moral ground to create a healing zeitgeist in our society. But, we must strive to control the messages of all of our poets, be they rappers, singers, spoken word artists, or plain old fashioned a cappella scribes. We must curry their favor, and offer them our wisdom for they will write our future.