Grand Slam Poetry Champion | Harry Baker | TEDxExeter



my name is Harry Baker Harry Baker is my name if your name was Harry Baker than our names would be the same it's a short introductory poem um yeah I'm Harry I study maths I write poetry so I thought I'd start with a love poem about prime numbers um this is called 59 I was going to call it prime time loving that reaction is why I didn't say 59 59 wakes up on the wrong side of the bed relies Lula's hairs on one side of his head takes just under a minute so a Cal that is because of the way that he slept he finds some clothes and gets dressed you can help but look in the mirror and be subtly impressed how he looks rough around the edges and yet casually messiness he glanced out the window sees a study it's blessed with of 60 from across the street now 60 was beautiful perfectly trim cuticles Justin something suitable it never rude or crude at all unimprovable right on time as usual monkey then a snooker ball by like to play a super cool 15 I wanted to tell her that he knew her favorite flower it's thought of that every second every minute every hour but he knew it wouldn't work you never get the girl because hello she lived across the street they came from different was a 59 amide 60s perfectly round figure 60 thought 59 was odd you see one of his favorite films was 101 Dalmatians she preferred the sequel he romanticized the idea they were star-crossed lovers they could overcome the odds and evens cuz they had each other while she maintained a stripper isn't based on her by her mother that separate could not be equal and though at the time he felt stupid and dumped it on I love a girl controlled by her stupid mama should have been comforted by the simple son take 59 away from sixty and he left with the one and sure enough after two months of moping around 61 days later 61 was Sarita he had lost his keys and his parents were out so one day after school went into a house and as he noticed the slightly wonky numbers on the door and went away he never introduced himself before he let him in his jaw dropped in all 61 was like 60 was a little bit more see she had prettier eyes and an approachable smile and like him rough around the edges casual styling like him everything misses disorganized person like him home didn't mind a friend's date a walker she was like him and he liked her I reckon she would like him she knew he was like her and it was different this time I mean this girl was wicked so he plucked up the courage and asked for her digit she said I'm 61 he grinned said I'm 59 today I've had a written in ice time such more if you wanted you could come over to mine she said sure she loved talking to someone just as quirky does she agreed to this unofficial first day in the end it was only ready 1 minute early but that didn't matter cause she arrived 1 minute late and from that moment on there was non-stop chatter how they loved X Factor how they had to factors how that did not matter distinctiveness made them better and by the end of the night you know the limit together on one day she's talking about stuck-up 60 she noticed that 59 looked a bit shifty he blushed and told her of his crush the best thing that never happened because it led to us and 61 was clever see not prone to jealousy slit him in the eyes and told him quite tenderly you're 59 I'm 61 together we combined to become twice what 60 could ever be and at this point 59 had tears in his eyes so glad to have this one-of-a-kind girl in his life he told her there a definition of being promises only one and himself could his heart divide and she was the one he wanted to give his heart to she said she felt the same way national news longs for half true cos that wasn't real enough the love was just the sample when I came to real love they were a prime example so that was a that was the first poem that I wrote and it's for a prime number themed poetry ninth which turned out to be a prime number themed poetry competition and I became a prime number steamed furture competition winner or as I like to call it of prime minister and this is how I discovered details called poetry slams and if you don't know what a poetry slam is it was a format come up with in America 30 years ago as a way of tricking people into going to poetry events by putting an exciting word like slam on the end and what that meant is each performer got three minutes to perform and then random audience members with hot up scorecards and they'd end up with their numerical score and what this meant is it kind of broke down the barrier between performer and audience and and it encouraged the kind of connection with the listener what it also means is is you can win and and for you if you win a poetry slam you can call yourself a slam champion and pretend you're a wrestler and if you lose a poetry slam you can say Oh what purchase objective art for me comfort numbers on such things um but I loved it and I got involved in these slams and I became the UK slam champion and got invited to the poetry World Cup in Paris which was unbelievable it's people from all around the world speaking in their native languages to be judged by five French strangers and somehow I won which was great um and I've you know been able to travel the world since doing it but it also means that this next piece is is technically the best poem in the world so according to five French strangers so this is a paper people I like people I'd like some paper people they'd be purple paper people maybe pop-up purple paper people proper pop-up purple paper people how do you prop up proper pop-up purple paper people I hear you cry well I I probably proper a proper pop-up purple paper people with a proper pop-up Purple People paper clip but a pre prepare approval adhesives alternative to chica pack up which is a kids Ripper slipped because I could go to pop up metropolis but I wouldn't want to deal with all those paper people politics paper politicians with the papers in policies broken promises that appropriate apologies there'd be a little paper me and a little paper you and we could watch paper TV and it would all be pay-per-view we'd see those poppy paper wrappers rap about the paper package George paper people carriers get stuck in paper traffic on the a4 paper there'd be a paper Princess Kate but we don't stare at paper paper and we don't live in fear of killer Jack the paper Ripper because the paper propaganda propagates of people's prejudices people sprinting pictures of the footage in the terrorists it's a little paper me and a little paper you and Anna pop-up populations people's problems pop up to there'd be that pompous paper parliament who remained out of touch to ignore the people's protests over all the paper cuts and then the peaceful paper process would get blown to paper pieces by the confetti cannons my pre-emptive police and yes there's still be paid for money so there's still be paper greed and the paper piggy bank is pocketing one then they mean purchasing the popery to pepper the paper properties others live in poverty and any knowledge properly a proper poor economy with so many a proper poor but what I need to get ignored the money goes to big Wars origami armies unfor plans for paper planes and we remain in prison in our own paper chains but the greater shame say it always seems to stay the same which changes us who's empowered shoes and had to lay the blame they're naming names but getting these the names of people in the end it all comes down to people I like people even when the situation's dire it is only ever people who are able to inspire an 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 because I believe in people people like my grandparents who every single day since I was born of taking time of the morning to pray for me at seven thousand eight hundred and ninety two days straight of someone checking I'm okay and that's amazing people I my own hoop at song plays with prisoners people who are capable of genuine forgiveness people like the persecuted Palestinians we've got out there way to make your life better and expect nothing in return you see people have potential to be powerful discuss the people in power tend to pretend to be victims only to succumb to that system and a paper population is no different there's a little paper me and a little paper you and then a pop up populations people's problems pop up to view and if the whole world fell apart then we still make it through because we're people very um I've just got time for one more for me poetry has been the ultimate way of kind of ideas without frontiers when I first died the people inspired my other ones with amazing stories not as a you know 18 year old with a happy life I you know it was too normal but I could kind of create these worlds where I could talk about my experiences and dreams and beliefs and so you know it is 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 soundtrack yesterday and this this is more fun so this last one's called the sunshine kid thank you very much for listening old man sunshine was proud of his son and it brightened his data see his little boy run not because of what he'd done though the problems overcome but a despite that his disposition remained a sunny one this hadn't always been like this there been times when he tried to hide his brightness you see every star hits periods of hardship it takes a brighter light to inspiron through the darkness and 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 flower about him to say the Midas touch is wrong but all he went near since a tiny little bronze yes this son was loved by some more than others was the case of Joseph and his drinker and his brothers because standing out from the crowd had its pros and it's cons and jealousy created enemies and those he out shown such as the shadow people and 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 son's birth and shooting his dreams from the sky their words were gunshots designed to remind him it wasn't very cool and didn't fit in with any popular kids school they said his head was up in space and they would bring him down to earth essentially he came from nothing and that was what he was worth he never gets to go to university to learn early degrees he'd ever showed be the first degree burns from those that came too close told him he was too bright that's why no one ever looked him in the eyes as judgment became clouded so did the sky was evaporated teased the Sun started to cry because the sunshine kid was bright with a warm personality and inside he burns a bird be hurt by the words and curses of the shadowy folk who spoke holes in his soul enough cavities and as his heart hardened his spark darkened every time they called him names it cooled his flames he thought they might like him if he kept his light dim but they were bitter tenant lightning she had terrible aim he couldn't quite get to grips of what they said so he let his light be eclipsed by what they said he fell into a long star state like Texas and Fellig even punched in his solar plexus but that's when Little Miss Sunshine came with singing her favorite song about how we made to be strongly don't have to be wrong to belong just be true to who you are because we are all stars at heart and Little Miss Sunshine was hot stuff the kind of girl when you look to her you forgot a stuff but for him there was no forgetting her the mini he saw a hit image burning his retinas she was out of this world she accepted him the thing about this girl meant he knew whenever she was next to him things weren't as dark as they seemed he dared to dream shadows were nowhere to be seen when she was there he beamed in his eyes with lights up in ways that can't be faked when she grinned her raise a raised eraser tip words of hate they give each other nicknames they were cool star and fun Sun and gradually the shadowy damage became undone she was one in a septillion and she was brilliant qatar Nakata spreaded reptilians for MIDI and loved by billions from Chileans to Brazilians and tour the sunshine keep the meaning of resilience she said that all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light from a single candle so how the hell could they handle your lights only you can choose the dimmer and the sky is the limit so silenced the critics by burning and if I had windows to the soul and she drew back the curtains let the Sun Shine through the hurting so in a universe of adversity these stars stuck together and the day's became that's the memories would last forever weather the weatherman said it or not it would be fine because you're behind the clouds the kick is still shiniest the sunshine kid was bright with the warm personality and inside he burnt savagely fueled by the fire inspired across galaxies by the go he showed him belief thank you for him you

21 thoughts on “Grand Slam Poetry Champion | Harry Baker | TEDxExeter

  1. His last poem about the sunshine boy and the shadow ppl is very related to me except the part about where he meets the girl

  2. I watched this today for school our teacher put it on and it’s really good poems he reminds me of my cousin who’s 21 but in college and I don’t get to see him a lot but this made me feel better he had the same personality as Harry

  3. How I Love the Slam
    The Numbers and Division.
    Paper Clips and Ripping
    I Like People
    And That’s Amazing.
    Because we Pop up in Our Origami
    Of People Too.
    Because We’r Sunshine Kids Too.

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