Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Benjamin Zephaniah

I saw a featurette on VegNews about Benjamin Zephaniah, a British Jamaican vegan dub poet and writer. I decided to check out some of his work. I found him to be fascinating and I wanted to share him with you here.

This is part 1 of 6 of an interview with Benjamin on ConsciousTV, A Poet Called Benjamin Zephaniah. This 'short' 10 minute episode will give you a good flavor of his poetry and his life and personality, but I do recommend you watch the entire hour or so, which is available on youtube.

Below the video is a written version of the poem he opens with, for your reference.

A quote from Benjamin:
My favourite word is 'overstanding'. It's not a proper word. It means you have empathy with somebody. Politicians say: 'We understand you', then what do they do? They stand on top of you so you're under them.

Open up yu mind mek some riddim cum in
Open up yu brain do some reasoning
Open up yu thoughts so we can connect
Open up fe knowledge an intellect,
Open up de speaker mek we blast de sound
Open up de sky mek de Bass cum down
Open up yu eyes mek we look inside
If yu need fe overstand dis open wide.

Open up yu house mek de Refugee cum in
Yu may overstand an start helping
Open yu imagination, gu fe a ride
If yu want fe overstand dis open wide
Open up yu fiss an welcum a kiss
Getta loada dis open up business

Open up yu Bank Account an spend
Open up yu wallet an chech a fren,
Open up de dance floor mek I dance
Open up yu body an luv romance
If yu have not opened up, yu hav not tried
See de other side an open wide

Open up de border free up de land
Open up de books in de Vatican
Open up yu self to any possibility
Open up yu heart an yu mentality,
Open any door dat yu confront
Let me put it straight, sincere and blunt
Narrow mindedness mus run an hide
Fe a shot of overstanding
Open Wide.

~Benajmin Zephaniah

Benjamin on Veganism:

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