Thursday, August 28, 2014

Poetry vs Guitar Playing

There is a fallacy that has been perpetuated for centuries, that guys who play guitars and strap them around their shoulders are the coolest human beings this world has ever encountered. Unfortunately for them who have believed that lie, I am here to demystify the fallacy, set the record straight and demonstrate to you how the advocates of that erroneous notion are duping the world.

Being the poet that I am, I am inclined to demonstrate the point by simply showing you that the coolest human being you can ever meet in this world is a poet, not a guitar player like they have tried to make you believe for all these years. And the reasons are not hard to find.

Now some hopeless fool is about to blather “but the guitar is more popular than poetry”.  Well, that is where we all get it wrong, using popularity as the yardstick for determining which of the two forms of art is more appealing. However, you need to remember that poetry is not for every Tom, Dick and Harry. It is for the noble few, those who can appreciate its sophistication. You do not expect some nigger in the Firebase crew to recite a poem or even understand its import.  I guess you are getting my drift.

Besides, have you seen or heard of those guitar players or Kadongo Kamu clowns who keep traversing the local markets in this country with their guitars, piercing the ears of their listeners with disjointed chords and sounds in the name of trying to make a living. I am very sure if their peers had sat them down, taught them the value of reading books, perhaps they would be poets by now. But because somebody told them that to play the guitar and accompany that with the disjointed chords and sounds, you did not need to read any books, they are now guitar players.

This reminds me the other point I wanted to make. Any ignorant idler can play a guitar but my dear to write a poem or understand poetry, you need to read books, and not just any book, really good books.

You need to read Okot P’Bitek, Pablo Neruda, Robert Frost and obviously William Shakespeare. Now if those names sound alien to your ears, it is understandable why you still think guitar playing is the most relevant skill a human being can posses.

But even then, poetry is not a cheap popularity kind of thing. You know the kind of high school thing we used to do to impress teenage girls, move around with guitars even when we don’t know how to play them because we thought that girls can never have an excuse for not falling for guys who can play the guitar. Well, the high school days are way behind us and we need to move on. We are past the stage of making false impressions. We now need to make real impressions. That’s where poetry comes in. You see, it is the kind of valuable treasure that you carry on the inside. In fact, you may not look like it but the moment you open your mouth to release it, the girls will be like “ooohh banange nga this guy is so sweet”. And all the girls will want to marry you. It’s that cool.

Read more on poetry

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