When I found out Gil Scott-Heron passed away I thought, “I should write a blog post about it!” After scrolling through the multitude of other bloggers who were paying their dues to him I realized everyone and their mom was probably going to write their few lines in respects for this great orator. Nevertheless, I’ve got to climb up on my soap box and at least say a thing or two. I’d feel completely disrespectful if I didn’t acknowledge Gil Scott – Heron and his poetry.
I only recently discovered Mr. Scott and his poetry sitting on my roommates shelf in a book called Now and Then a few month ago. I’d been wanting to increase my working knowledge of poetry for a while, but hadn’t found enough motivation to do so until I flipped through a few pages of the book. I found poetry I enjoyed, poetry written for those who enjoy spoken word. I didn’t look too much into his story until after I heard of his passing. Little had I known that he was also the poet who inspired my reinterpretation of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
He built much of the hip-hop foundation we hear sampled in current music. Some of his messages are relevant even to this day. One of my favorites, Space Shuttle, happens to talk about the space program (the final trip for the space shuttle Endeavour was today), war, natural disasters, and the state of the nation and the world.
I’ll leave you to chew on one verse of this poem as I pay my respects…
“Tornados and hurricanes,
dead rivers and Acid Rain,
volcanoes ages dead
suddenly just get up and lose their heads.
and tidal waves come down from an angry moon.
It’s earthquaking all the Goddamn time
and the only common denominator we can find…
Space Shuttle / raising hell down on the ground!
Space Shuttle/turning the seasons upside down.
Space Shuttle/and all the hungry people know
all change sho’ ’nuff ain’t progress when you’re poor.
No matter what man goes looking for
he always seems to find a war.
As soon as dreams of peace are felt
the war is raging somewhere else.”
Much respect, R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron