Monday, 14 June 2010


Adisa, a rap poet, came to TRS in May to work with two groups of Year 9 students. Adisa’s approach is very particular, so it is best to let Adisa speak for himself:
“My emphasis is less on the teaching of poetry and more on what poetry has to teach us. Poetry can be used to increase young peoples understanding and awareness of the world, increasing their quality of life and in turn the quality of their contribution to society. The individual using the artistic expression of poetry whether five or sixty five, who writes or speaks about the details of everyday living and shapes them by matching sound and sense will develop a strong sense of self. After all, words are tools used to externalise experience.
When we get children looking for relationships and correspondences, evolving similes and metaphors, what we are really doing is helping to exercise and develop that faculty of the imagination on which artistic, scientific and technical progress depend. Surely this is what education is all about?”
And now let the students speak for themselves:

Adisa suggested the students write a poem about the place they think of as home using personification and metaphor. The students began thinking of the place they think of as home and then creating a spider diagram. They had to think of metaphors for their chosen place represented by an animal; music; transport; food; nature; a precious stone or metal; a building. The students then wove these metaphors into a poem.


The man stands like a detached house

proud standing over his cubs.

My Home
 She is a traditional roast dinner

Safe and calm
A middle aged female she strides like an elephant
An elephant that never rushes
She is like a tree that is strong and sturdy
 My Mum
 She is a koala bear
That nurtures her young
She is a bright coloured flower
That stands out from the rest
She is life.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is beautiful and like a diamond cannot be broken
In her fierce eyes I can see the suffering
She is like a mother
She shelters her people
She is independent like a cottage.


Stop looking for what you ain’t got
And appreciate what you have now.
My Road
She’s sometimes loud
But sometimes quiet
She likes to dance around
She’s spicy but fresh
She’s fast like a Ferrari
She is like a big eye
She looks out for everyone
She’s like a ruby because
She is one in a million
She’s like a sheep dog
Looks after everyone
Comforts them.


Lewisham, Lewisham, Lewisham
What a person it could be
Sometimes rude, sometimes nice to me
Lewisham can be poor
but it still has enough money to get me chicken and chips from the store
Lewisham likes to take me to its house
Blast music, let the neighbours know he is about.


Our conversations at the dinner table come together like waterfalls
The atmosphere is like an R ‘n’ B tape
Chilled and fast


Her eyes twinkle like rubies in
The heather green fields
Marmite smears the view
History spoils the dew
IRA splattered on the walls
Classical music floods the halls
Families join together
And hopefully it will be forever.


Her arms are palm trees that provide me with shadeUnderneath her skin I see the sun.

Bromley Valley Gymnastics Centre

Her training fiery and intense like a chilli
Leotard glittering like diamonds
Flipping in time to a classical beat
Like a dolphin in the warm heat


Mother Nature sprouts like a rose
Her beautiful ruby skin
Makes you feel like a sauna
A peacock making its mark
Spreading its wonderous feathers with strength
Watermelon juice slowly trickles down
The mouth of the seas
Ocean sounds all around
Soothing the youth of the Island.

Winchelsea Beach

Classical music flows out
Of her bungalow windows
Her deer like nature make
Her timid and calm
Her pearly pale skin tans
Softly in the golden sun
Here they come, the loud ones
To trample har and squash her
They pollute the air and
Litter the ground
Then off they go at the end of the day.


As she wait
Her sapphire eyes gleaming in the sun
Leaning out of her convertible car
Hearing the sound of the wind blowing against her face
Her clothing as bright as tropical fish
Swimming in her sea
Without the sea there are no fish.

My House

Pop music blaring out her bedroom window
Her wealthy friends and family are here to play
Flowers glowing as I walk down her front path
The smell of her mothers cooking makes me feel hungry
As she take is out of the boiling oven
Her golden jewels
Flashing back off her shiny skin.


Her golden skin
Glistening in the sun
Her tall, long legs as tall as a sky scraper
Waling proud like a lion
Listening to up beat, quick pop music.

Adisa suggested that we are made up of three things – our voice, our power and our dreams. The students then decided what those three things represented for them. They then wrote a poem combining the three elements.

Adisa, having performed his ‘Auntie Pearl’ poem which uses lots of metaphor, suggested the students write a poem about their favourite kind of music using lots of metaphor. The students were asked to find a metaphor for the vocals, the lyrics, the melody and two instruments. They then wove these metaphors into a poem. He then asked them to think of what freedom was to them and place this anywhere in their poem.

My voice speaks the words
Which make me gain power
My dreams can happen

I shade under the waterfall lyrics
As the flower melody opens up
Trying to compete against the rose vocals
Freedom is a journey with no destination
A tornado piano is expected
By ignored by a sunny flute

My dreams inspire me
To build up my power
That lets out my voice

The trees sway to the wonderful lyrics
As a velvet melody overlaps
Freedom is a never ending boat journey
That connects with the smooth vocal
An electric piano make the flowers sing
Mixes with a lively guitar
A free guitar with no strings

 My voice is power
My power is achievements
My achievements are dreams

 Friends are my support
Fashion dictates who I am
Sunday is a free day

 My tap shoes dance through the tune of the keyboard
I am riding the waves through the base
The football fans spell out the drum beat
The seismograph plays out the up and down movement of the tone
I am on the run with all my power and heart
Music is a map with no destination

Friends are my support Family everything
My voice is my art
My pencil is my power
My dream is my hobby

Freedom is a hot air balloon
Drifting in the sky
Not to be tied down
There’s no limit, how high

Freedom is a sky with no sun
The vocals are sweet honey
The steep pan drum
Keeps me going, keeps me hearing
Those velvet rhymes

The heavy rhythm vibrates in my head
The steady beat repeats over
And over like a never ending river flowing
Across the dance floor

My voice is drama
I am powerful when I am home
I have so many dreams

Sandpaper lyrics
Smoothing out the rough patches of my life
Fashion is my voice
Freedom is the path I make for myself

My voice is my faith
I feel powerful with my God

My voice is football
My power is in my books
My dream is the net

Freedom is an empty cage
Drums are the stampeding elephants
Bass is the rhythm of an African dancer

Voice is your power
Power is within your dreams
Dreams come from your heart

You got the banging beats bang into you head
I got the lethal rhyme that kills me all the?

Words flow like a never ending river
People jumping like they are on a huge trampoline
Freedom is a place with no walls
The lyrics breathe freshness into my mind
The speed is like a test of a racing red Ferrari

My voice is football
My power is my feet
My dream it to play

Freedom is a bird in a forest
Freedom is a hot air balloon that never returns
The vocals are like a stampede of Kangaroos
The rhythm is like a large group of people
Jumping on pogo sticks simultaneously
The energy is like a room full of voices
Screaming and laughing children with joy
The drums are like boulders
Rolling down a staircase

Love is my comfort
Comfort comes with my friendship
Friendship is my love

The pogo stick vocals
And the volcano lyrics
Flow as the tractor drums and brain
Computer’s fireball energy flies round the room
Freedom is a key to open may doors

If we have love in our hearts all the time
We will have peace
I am may not be rich in money
But I am rich in dreams

Dreams open up doors
Courage makes the dreams come true

The vocals bounce like a space hopper
Through my ears
The rhythm never ending like a river
The ice cream lyrics melt into my head

Voice is your power
Power is within your dreams
Dreams come from your heart

I dived into the synthesizer sea
The sharp guitar cut through my cage
The bomb beat blew me off my feet
Down a hole of resounding lyrics
I solved the rhythm puzzle
Because freedom is a beat with no tune

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