B&P Shadorma and Beyond – The Bop – November 14, 2015

Hello World.

Today we’re going to look into a fairly recently created poetic form called The Bop.  It was created by poet Afaa Michael Weaver, an American poet (born in 1951, author of several collections of poems and a full length play) during a summer retreat of the African-American poetry organization Cave Canem.

It’s not totally dissimilar to a sonnet … it consists of three un-rhymed stanzas with a repeated refrain after each stanza.

The first stanza is dedicated to the statement of a problem and it is 6 lines long.

The second stanza is dedicated to the elaboration of the problem and it is 8 lines long.

The third stanza is dedicated to the possible solution of the problem and it is also 6 lines long.

Here’s an example written by Afaa Michael Weaver that illustrates the form:



…in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary

In general population, census
is consensus—ain’t nowhere to run
to in these walls, walls like a mind—
We visitors stand in a yellow circle
so the tower can frisk us with light,
finger the barrels on thirsty rifles.

I got rambling, rambling on my mind

In general population, madness runs
swift through the river changing, changing
in hearts, men tacked in their chairs,
resigned to hope we weave into air,
talking this and talking that and one brutha
asks Tell us how to get these things
They got, these houses, these cars.
We want the real revolution. Things…

I got rambling, got rambling on my mind

In the yellow circle the night stops
like a boy shot running from a Ruger 9mm
carrying .44 magnum shells, a sista
crying in the glass booth to love’s law,
to violence of backs bent over to the raw
libido of men, cracking, cracking, crack…

I got rambling, rambling on my mind

(From The Plum Flower Dance
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007) 


Now for our prompt which I hope will inspire you to write a really great Bop or a Shadorma ( a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5) or maybe you’d like to try-out one of the Shadorma variations.


And I’d like to add three words to be used inside the poem:  lost – men – crisp.

As usual, if you prefer to use your own artwork for your poem that’s great – and no one will frown if you add music or whatever – I do ask you though this week to please try to incorporate the three words to your poem. Oh and have fun of course!

Once you have written your poem and are ready to post please tag: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and B&P Shadorma & Beyond, then add you name to our Mr. Linky app so everyone can easily find your work!  Thanks and have a great week.  Bastet



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