The Bop – Black Lives Matter

Hour 3, Prompt 3

The Bop is one of my favorite poetry forms. It’s something I discovered last year during the poetry marathon, although I’m going to warn you, it’s on the longer side.

This is the only formal poetry prompt that is part of the Marathon. We always do one per year.

The Bop was developed by Afaa Michael Weaver at a Cave Canem summer retreat a number of years ago.

There are three stanzas. Each stanza is followed by a refrain (so the same statement is repeated three times).

The first stanza is 6 lines long and presents a problem. The second stanza is eight lines long, and can explore or expand the problem. The third stanza is 6 lines long, and can either present a solution or document a failed attempt to resolve the issue.


The Bop – Black Lives Matter


Why should I care
when my life is fine?
I do not understand
what I have not lived.
I resist the change you need
ignorance blind, but

Black Lives Matter.

I have been shown
your dangerous life via screen
and rather than engage with pain
clear to see; I look away, afraid
that what I see could happen
to me; or anyone else
When the time is right
This is our fight too, because

Black Lives Matter.

All life is sacred, yes
But not all life is endangered now
Some of us are born blessed
in ignorance; a solemn vow
to learn to understand
that we can be better, because

Black Lives Matter.

Poem 3 of 24, written for the 24hr Poetry Marathon 2020 by DS Coremans – Forever Distracted by Life

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