Grand Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker at TEDxExeter (Full Transcript)

I like people.

‘Cause even when the situation’s dire,

It is only ever people who are able to inspire,

And on paper, it’s hard to see how we all cope.

But in the bottom of Pandora’s box there’s still hope,

And I still hope ’cause I believe in people.

People like my grandparents.

Who every single day since I was born,

Have taken time out of their morning to pray for me.

That’s 7892 days straight of someone checking I’m okay,

And that’s amazing.

People like my aunt who puts on plays with prisoners.

People who are capable of genuine forgiveness.

People like the persecuted Palestinians.

People who go out of their way to make your life better,

And expect nothing in return.

You see, people have potential to be powerful.

Just because the people in power tend to pretend to be victims

We don’t need to succumb to that system.

And a paper population is no different.

There’s a little paper me. And a little paper you.

And in a pop-up population people’s problems pop up too,

But even if the whole world fell apart then we’d still make it through.

Because we’re people.

Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ve just got time for one more.

For me, poetry has been the ultimate way of ideas without frontiers. When I first started, the people who inspired me were the ones with the amazing stories, and I thought, as an 18-year-old with a happy life, it was too normal, but I could create these worlds where I could talk about my experiences and dreams and beliefs. So it’s amazing to be here in front of you today. Thank you for being here. If you weren’t here, it would be pretty much like the soundcheck yesterday. And this is more fun.

So this last one is called “The Sunshine Kid.” Thank you very much for listening.

Old man sunshine was proud of his sun,

And it brightened his day to see his little boy run,

Not because of what he’d done, nor the problems overcome,

But that despite that his disposition remained a sunny one.

It hadn’t always been like this.

There’d been times when he’d tried to hide his brightness,

You see, every star hits periods of hardship,

It takes a brighter light to inspire them through the darkness.

If we go back to when he was born in a nebula,

We know that he never was thought of as regular,

Because he had a flair about him,

To say the Midas touch is wrong

But all he went near seemed to turn a little bronze,

Yes this sun was loved by some more than others,

It was a case of Joseph and his dreamcoat and his brothers

Because standing out from the crowd had its pros and its cons,

And jealousy created enemies in those he outshone

Such as the Shadow People.

Now the Shadow People didn’t like the Sunshine Kid,

Because he showed up the dark things the Shadow People did,

And when he shone he showed the places where the Shadow People hid,

So the Shadow People had an evil plan to get rid of him,

First up — they made fun of his sunspots,

Shooting his dreams from the sky, their words were gunshots,

Designed to remind him he wasn’t very cool

And he didn’t fit in with any popular kids at school.

They said his head was up in space and they would bring him down to Earth,

Essentially he came from nothing and that is what he was worth,

He’d never get to go to university to learn,

Only degrees he’d ever show would be the first degree burns

From those that came too close,

They told him he was too bright,

That’s why no one ever looked him in the eyes,

His judgment became clouded

So did the sky,

With evaporated tears as the sun started to cry.

Because the sunshine kid was bright, with a warm personality,

And inside he burned savagely

Hurt by the words and curses of the shadowy folk

Who spoke holes in his soul and left cavities,

And as his heart hardened, his spark darkened,

Every time they called him names it cooled his flames,

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By Pangambam S

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