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In Honour Of World Poetry Day, 5 Collections Of Poems From Music Legends
March 20, 2014
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Coke Machine Glow by Gord Downie

When you think of poetry, your first thought might be the big names you learned in high school English class: Blake, Shelley, Shakespeare, Whitman. But what about musicians? Sure, lyrics are a kind of poetry — but that's not what we're talking about here. There are a few musical icons whose literary talents are bigger than songs. These polymaths have also tried their hands at honest-to-goodness poetry, published and bound in books. In the gallery above, with a little help from George, we've collected five books of poetry from musical legends that are worth checking out.

If you're interested in more genre-busting poet-musicians, check out work by Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets. They were both instrumental in the development of hip-hop, and while they recorded music and published poetry, it's hard to say which discipline they're most associated with. That is, they blurred the lines between music and poetry so well we didn't include them on this list — but their work is definitely worth exploring. 

And if you just want to read poems from a non-musician, a final message from George: "If you haven't read Howl, what are you doing? Sure it can get a little indulgent, but it's also essential reading."


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