Performance poetry

20th March 2009 at 00:00

Public school pupils and rapping does not sound like a match made in heaven. Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman strolls into his workshop at Edinburgh's George Watson's College unperturbed. You need three things to rap, he tells the Advanced Higher pupils - content, rhyme and rhythm.

In rap, there are four strong beats or stresses to every line, giving it more in common with Beowulf than Shakespeare. There can be any number of syllables, and rhymes do not have to be single words, but can be multi-syllable, he explains.

Some pupils are here because they are specialising in Chaucer. Others are here to give their creative writing a boost.

Everyone gets something down. One pupil, John, agrees to perform:

"My mom got real mad; could not go to my friend's party

"I had to stay home and read up on my Thomas Hardy

"There was nothing I could do I was getting kind of sad

"Cos that d'Urbervilles guy was treating Tess so bad

"I put the book down and picked up the Great Gatsby

"Something about that Fitzgerald just got right at me."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now