Friday, December 02, 2005

Tap Natch Poet

Andrew Motion's poetry site - recordings of poets reading their own material.

Have a look - there's some 'historic recordings' including 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' read by Tennyson. Patrick Kavanagh won't be on if for a while I suspect - I heard that his estate was subject to a bitter copyright dispute (unless it's been resolved?)

A few years ago, I was driving along and I heard Linton Kwezi Johnson reading 'If I woz a tap natch poet' on the radio. It nearly caused a car crash, and if that's a recommendation, then you can either search out the 'A Capella' CD that it came on, or ask Mr Motion to talk to Mr KJ's people about adding it to his site.

In the meantime, I hope LKJ doesn't mind me posting a taster for you:

"If I woz a tap-natch poet
like Tchikaya U'tamsi Nicholas Guillen ar Lorna Goodison
an woodah write a poem soh beautiful dat it simple
like a plain girl
wid good brains
an nice ways
wid a sexy dispozishan an plenty compahshan
wid a sweet smile an a suttle style..."

"...mi gat mi riddim
mi gat mi rime
mi gat mi ruff base line
mi gat mi own sense a time ..."

2 comments:

rockmother said...

LKJ is fucking brilliant. I have a couple of original albums on vinyl and I miss them - mainly because I've down-sized to ipod but - that's got me thinking and I might have to set up my turntable again and fight back!

Anonymous said...

I sat in my driveway listening to LKJ perform "Tap Natch Poet" on NPR, and so couldn't crash. It absolutely thrilled me. He did it better than on _A Capella_ I think (though A Capella is great). He read a little bit from the Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry along with it: "dub poetry has been described as ...'over-compensation for deprivation'", a slur to which, it seemed, his poem responds. I'm playing it for my students in Intro to Poetry tomorrow.