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Now and Then...

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  15 reviews
"A poet and polemicist whose lyrics have inspired and galvanized generations."  —GQOne glance at Now and Then and it becomes evident that this is not merely a collection of a songwriter's lyrics. The song-poems of this undisputed "bluesologist" triumphantly stand on their own, evoking the rhythm and urgency which have distinguished Gil Scott-Heron's career. This collection ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Canongate UK (first published 2000)
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4.36  · 
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 ·  163 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I own a copy of this one. I was thinking of keeping this read for Black History Month but recently I've been listening to a lot of Gil Scott-Heron's music (which is excellent, by the way) and decided I couldn't wait to read his poetry.

This was a great collection. From his writing you can tell that Scott-Heron was many things. As well as being a musician, he was a social activist, a pacifist,an advocate for education, a person who strove for authenticity etc. Some of his poem's topic
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Scott-Heron published prose and poetry even before he’d embarked very far in his musical career but much of this collection seems to be the lyrics to songs from his long recording career. Like Dylan lyrics (or song lyrics by most anyone), they play better than they read and I found myself enjoying most the ones my ears knew best.

An innovative songwriter and performer, Gil Scott-Heron was influential; but beyond influence, his political lyrics, his distinct perspective, and his linking of past to
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
now and then collects nearly five dozen of gil scott-heron's poems, many of which were also recorded and released on albums spanning three decades. as a musician, poet, proto-rapper, and novelist, the accomplished scott-heron's writing never strayed far from the sociopolitical ramifications of poverty, racism, violence, and empire. many of his poems actually have a greater effect on record, as the rhythm, cadence, and overall essence of his vocal delivery enriches his wordplay. imbued with passi ...more
Charlie Eskew
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book...damn.
The worst part is I never really knew about Gil Scott-Heron until now, beyond of course his most recognizable "The Revolution Won't Be Televised." His work is filled with wit, and a display of absurdity, but mostly what I dove into, what I often find myself lacking honestly, is that ownership of his anger. His frustration at the hypocrisies and inequalities surrounding marginalized groups. Read. This. Book.
Tobias van der Wal
Gil Scott-Heron modestly addresses the reader in the introduction of this volume of his selected poems: "Your most significant asset is your time and your commitment to invest a portion of it considering my ideas means it is worth a sincere attempt on my part to transmit the essence of the idea."

With the passing of time, the transmission of some of these ideas could however be enhanced if the texts here presented were accompanied by clarifying remarks.

The piece 'Work for Peace' has been deemed p
Ce recueil de poèmes et chansons de Gil Scott-Heron vient sympathiquement compléter ses quelques albums en ma possession.
Le support écrit offre une perspective complètement différente, même si la majorité de ses textes DOIVENT être lus ou récités. C'est vraiment bon de pouvoir s'y arrêter.
Le commentaire socio-politique percutant et juste sur des États Unis (et un monde occidental) des années 70 et 80, en particulier sur l'ère Reagan (le poème 'B' Movie est un incontournable), est presque entière
Danny Daley
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Musician, poet, social activist - Scott-Heron's poems are insightful and convicting. The quality of the poems, in terms of meter and rhyme scheme, varies from time to time, but the content is always spot on, and the poems always come across as authentic. I not only enjoyed most of the poems, I was motivated by them - motivated to be better and to do more to listen to and understand the narrative of people with different backgrounds than mine. A highly recommended collection.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Love his music, love the weird fact that his Jamaican dad played football at Celtic and Third Lanark in Glasgow in the 1950s and this collection of lyrics/ poems is a great read. I particularly liked the ones about Ronald "Raygun" and those from the recent "I'm New Here" album.
Tiara walls
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection worth the read. My first introduction toe Gil Scott-Heron was through his music. I've added his to the log list of talented and influential African-American figures we should but fail to learn about in the American Public school system.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'll need to write more about this piece of timeless dissent, of 'poetry as an insurgent art', so expect a blogpost on this in the not so distant future. Tbc.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, usa
A beautiful collection of poetry. The topical nature of many of the poems left me frequently referring to secondary sources, and I'm sure I still missed a great deal. Worth revisiting in a few years.
great poems
James Tracy
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read this. Stripped away of the music, GSHs poetry is laid bare in its brilliance. At once a snapshot of history and durable work.
Simon Sweetman
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One to re-read every year, at least once.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
reading the music restructures the flow
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Gilbert Scott Heron was born in 1949. His mother was a librarian and his father a soccer player from Jamaica. In his youth Heron displayed both sporting prowess and academic ability (he won a place at Pennsylvania Lincoln University, like his role model Langston Hughes, the Harlem Renaissance man). But he quit college after the first year to write his first novel, The Vulture (1970). While Heron w ...more
“Because I always feel like running
Not away, because there is no such place
Because if there was, I would have found it by now
Because it's easier to run,
Easier than staying and finding out you're the only one who didn't run
Because running will be the way your life and mine will be described,
As in "the long run"
Or as in having "given someone a run for his money"
Or as in "running out of time"
Because running makes me look like everyone else, though I hope there will never be cause for that
Because I will be running in the other direction, not running for cover
Because if I knew where cover was, I would stay there and never have to run for it
Not running for my life, because I have to be running for something of more value to be running and not in fear
Because the thing I fear cannot be escaped, eluded, avoided, hidden from, protected from, gotten away from,
Not without showing the fear as I see it now
Because closer, clearer, no sir, nearer
Because of you and because of that nice
That you quietly, quickly be causing
And because you're going to see me run soon and because you're going to know why I'm running then
You'll know then
Because I'm not going to tell you now”
“Life inevitably translates into time. That is why the sum total of it is called ‘a lifetime’. Freedom is the potential to spend one’s time in any fashion one determines.” 2 likes
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