Omar Musa captures downtown with words

Omar Musa gave an electric poetic performance at TEDxSydney 2013.

What I loved most about his talk is that his poem sounded like a conversation at first but then with the skill that only comes from a master wordsmith he worked up a series of vivid pictures as he shared characters and ideas in a rich brew of poetic colours.

I’ve heard many great performers including spoken word and Omar is the real deal.

You need to hear the these words delivered even though they work on the page poetry is a spoken form. Listen /watch the poem first and I have added a correct transcript of the last 120 seconds below.

Update: the poem is called “Capital Letters”

“i’m talking about the unrecognized street tumblers
numberless underground kings and queens who taught us the power of our voices
of nonconformity that each lyric, each windmill, each scarred forty five and fan of paint from a nozzle
was a story aching to be told
unfolding before us the fractals of cosmos and starlight
a world all of a sudden unbearably bright

so linger now
linger with me
consider that somehow
somehow despite the broken bottles and tattered bigotry
we could still own that something
be that something
something airborne something gold shot (shod?)
beings arranged in a calligraphy of rhythm and rebellion
people with so much damm resilience

its impossible not to smile
so let it play that something
let it play weave your stories into shining nets

drag them behind zig-zagging decks souped up cars trains and trams
through streets and sunsets
trawl for the things you thought you’d lost because you, me, us
we are more than statistics
we are more than misfits
we are more than your dreams are unrealistic
this is the paint that drips from every brick
the spirit that soothes the weary limb

this is the new scripture of our lives spelled skyscraper high in capital letters

For background off the TEDxSydney site | For Omars blog try here

Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He is the former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. He has released three hip hop albums, two poetry books (including “Parang”) and appeared on ABC’s Q&A. He is currently working on a play, “Bonegatherer”, to be staged in 2014. He is part of international hip hop group MoneyKat and his debut novel “Here Come the Dogs” will be published by Penguin Australia in 2014.