Young poets find performance home at the Natal Museum

Music may be the food of love, but poetry is one of the most popular forms of group communication amongst the youth today. Pietermaritzburg's township poetry group KOSS (Knowledge of Self Society) has been holding monthly sessions at the Natal Museum for the past two years.Recently more than 100 local poets got together at the Natal Museum on Saturday March 17 when KOSS organised a session to celebrate the forthcoming Human Rights Day (on March 21).  The poetry at these sessions ranges in style from the more familiar formal presentation - the kind of classic recitation poetry we used to love (or hate) in the classroom - to performance art combining poetry with dramatic presentation and even music (such as the performances of New York's Laurie Anderson). Also very popular is street-style hip-hop poetry and fast off-the-cuff rap poetry. In both, pace, rhythm and word flow are used with great skill. A feature of the Museum sessions are the verbal duels of the rappers, either battling it out with microphones, or in the open, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters of either rapper.The sessions inside the Museum usually end after the show with an impromptu battle of rappers on the pavement outside the Museum. The photograph above show some of the rappers duelling it out outside the Museum after the Human Rights Day session.
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