Bop Poetry

Dec 31, 1969
Image for issue at Youth Voices

Will you: 

The title of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk is connected to blues music. Since there is a strong connection between music and modern poetry, it might be interesting to briefly study bop poetry--a poetic form created by Afaa Michael Weaver--because it is a genre that speaks about a problem (as blues music often does) and uses repetition (as songs usually do). Read several examples of bop poetry and write an original bop poem of your own.

There are usually three stanzas in a bop poem: the first stanza is six lines long and states a problem, the second stanza is eight lines long and explores the problem, and the third stanza offers a resolution or attempts to find one. Each stanza is followed by a refrain. For more information on bop poetry, go to