Thursday, January 30, 2014

Friday Poetry: Tupac Shakur-And 2Morrow

Tupac Amaru Shakur remains a public figure that did, and still does, split public opinion significantly. His music has influenced the growth of black culture in general as well as the phenomenal growth of hiphop music worldwide. While he is more well known for his music filled with deep lyrical content and sometimes violence-laden symbolism, his deep interest in poetry remains largely unknown to many, including his fans. Unbeknownst to many, Tupac was deeply into poetry and wrote many poems touching on a wide variety of issues ranging from social justice, black identity, love and general black consciousness. Despite his masochistic posturing in some of his songs, poetry allowed Tupac to bring out his other side as well captured in this poem titled "And I Still Love You" which appears in his book 'The Rose that Grew From Concrete.'

I don't have everything
as a matter of fact I don't have anything
except a dream of a better day
and you 2 help me find my way
Being a man I am sure 2 make mistakes
but 2 keep u I would do all it takes
and if it meant my love was really true
I'd gladly die and watch over u
I wish u knew how much I cared
u'd see my love is true by the life we'd share
Even if u changed your mind and said our love was thru
I'd want 2 die continuously cry and still I'd love u.

 Reading his poems, I always get the feeling that it allowed him to deal with the many challenges that he was facing at such a young age.Indeed in his poem 'I cry' poetry becomes his friend and confidant:

I find it difficult to carry on.
If I had an ear to confiding,
I would cry among my treasured friend.

His passion for social justice  is also well brought about in most of his poems. My all-time favourite is "And 2Morrow" which I have reproduced below:

Today is filled with anger
fueled with hidden hate
scared of being outcast
afraid of common fate

Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face
nightmares 2 humanities
and morally disgraced

Tonight is filled with rage
violence in the air
children bred with ruthlessness
because no one at home cares

Tonight I lay my head down
but the pressure never stops
knawing at my sanity
content when I am dropped

But 2morrow I c change
a chance 2 build a new
Built on spirit intent of Heart
and ideals
based on truth

and tomorrow I wake with second wind
and strong because of pride
2 know I fought with all my heart 2 keep my
dream alive
© Tupac Shakur

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