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“Some have found heaven, in the palms of God, and some, in the embrace of their mothers, and some, on their lover’s lips… I too found poetry on a journey different from others.”
George Owen is a Nigerian who currently resides in Canada. He is a story teller, and to him, writing has been a tool for self-expression of deepest memories, visions, thoughts, and ideas. His goal as a writer is to provoke the emotions of his readers for change and awareness.
Growing up in Nigeria, I was not overly fascinated with poetry.
I recall one of my favorite high school experiences; when I first fell in love with poetry. I was in Senior Secondary School 2 and that day, the teacher handed out our test scripts; a response paper to a poem. In this test, I got the highest mark. I was shocked and in disbelief as my literature teacher gushed about my result and even gave me money for lunch in reward. From that time, I became very intrigued with poetry. Particularly, I was attracted to rhymes and pun.
After graduating from high school, I developed interests in rap music. My interests in this style of music, unconsciously re-introduced me to poetry-writing. My biggest influences in rap music are 2pac, Eminem, Jcole, and Kendrick Lamar. I admire these rappers because one could hear their life and experiences in the lyrics to their raps. With the influences of these great musicians, my desire to rap increased and I started writing verses to rap, unknown to me, that I was subconsciously writing poetry.
In reference to this discovery, I think that rapping and poetry writing are very similar forms of art.
Soon, I realized that I had been writing poetry, and I decided to self-develop my poetry writing skills. Although I did not have mentors, I relied on listening to music from the rappers that inspired me. Poetry, also became an outlet for expressing my emotions. With poetry, I have connected with people and I have gained a sense of closure. In my poems, I reference my life experiences and reflect on how it may impact the audience’s life and experiences as well. Poetry writing, and matching rhymes has also helped me to improve my vocabulary.
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Sokuma Theophilus Mshelia
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