A love poem for lonely prime numbers

Harry Baker’s list of awards for his spoken word poetry speaks for itself. In 2012 he was the World Slam Champion.

What does his ‘A love poem for lonely prime numbers’ say to us in our quest to write our own poetry?

Some of the things evident in Harry’s poetry:

  • assonance/alliteration
  • puns
  • putting things like odd/even numbers into a different context/playing with perception of things

We think about prime numbers in a certain way in Maths class but in English class (through this poem) we think of prime numbers in a different way. Harry encourages his audience/readers to think see things in a different way.

  • description/clues for reader to see things in a different way

Try that in your own poems. Start with something specific/detailed and move out to abstract. Don’t start with abstract that the reader can’t ‘see’ in detail. The reader needs something to hang the ideas/concepts on, just like in ‘Presents from my aunts…’ the poet hung her ideas on the clothing imagery.

  • look at sound of words

When you’ve written the poem, read it out aloud to yourself and pay attention to how it sounds, how it flows, what sounds clumsy or not right. If your are using rhyme or flow-on sentences, make sure you don’t lose the meaning, and that it doesn’t sound jarring to the ear.


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