Ben Okri’s Twitter poem in full

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 10:23 am

Around a week and a half ago, Ben Okri sent us a poem written exclusively for Twitter.  Inspired by the format, he wrote the short poem to be posted on the site a line at a time.  Since the first line was posted, his poem has had coverage everywhere from The Bookseller to The Guardian to the Canadian National Post and the New Yorker.  Bloggers and Twitterers alike picked the poem up, some loving the idea and others not so much.

Thanks to everyone who posted about Ben’s poem, talked about it, followed his Twitter feed, re-tweeted his posts or sent around articles about the poem. We looked on this as an experiment, with no idea how it would be received, and we are so pleased to see that so many people embraced it.  Ben’s poem in full is posted below, and will also be posted on his Facebook and MySpace pages.

I sing a new freedom

I sing a new freedom
Freedom with discipline.
We need freedom to rise higher.
Be true to yourself
In the follies of our times.

Become what you are
In this era of economic crimes.
Only the free in spirit
Will find their way out of this maze.
We are children of the stars.
We ought to amaze.

Ben Okri’s new book, Tales of Freedom, is out now.

Katie - Digital Marketing Exec

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11 Responses to “Ben Okri’s Twitter poem in full”

  1. Hayley Van Eyk Says:

    hey i am doing a school project and would like some help and we looked on the internet but i havent found what i am looking for. Im in grade 11 and was given an assignmet in english class to chouse a poem and my partner and i chouse a poem by Ben okri called “You Walked Gently Twords Me.” we thought it was a very lovely poem. Thats why we chouse it. We were wondering about some biographical information on Ben Okri that connects to why he/she might have written this particual poem and maybe who the speaker is really intended to be.

    thanx :)

  2. angela nwosu Says:

    I am amazed that Ben Okri is still writing, because i feel he has already written his soul into the universe. I salute his unvavering vision to great glory- to the magic of enchantment and to the believe that beauty is always there to be seen and lived- no matter what.

  3. Kyra Says:

    Starbook is scripture for me. I read it as slowly, savored lines of poetry and savored entire passages. I have finally reached the last page, but it somehow spirals me back into the enchantment of this universe intruduced to me on the pages of the book. I will never be done with it.

    I am so pleased to see Tales of Freedom

    A man who’s talents and purpose in this world are so perfectly aligned so as to give his gifts to humanity–what we so desperately need– maximum attention…

  4. Evan Maloney Says:

    Hi Mr Okri,
    I met you in Melbourne in the early 90’s at a rather posh dinner/talk when I was youngish. I asked you a question at the end of your talk, about whether you planned your stories in advance or if, when you started writing, it was like walking around in a dark room with a torch, seeing what objects might be illuminated, and only at the end did you turn the light on and realise what a mess the room was in.

    At the end of the eveing I got a book signed and you said to me very softly, as you autographed the book: “You’re a poet, aren’t you?”

    I was pretty happy but I said “noooo” all the same.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that after all these years I still may not be a poet, but I do have my first novel coming out in January 2010.

    You wouldn’t remember that night, but it was a powerful memory for me. In the many years that have passed since, and many years without success, it was one affirmation that kept me going, and writing, and writing and etc. So, cheers for that.

    Respectfully yours,

    Evan Maloney

  5. Alrik Fanshaw Says:

    I am the (author of) Alrik Fanshaw Noble Vi-king. I am also releasing small extracts on the web. I have a very good following now. Mr. Okri , you and I have been compared in style. We share the same dreams, until very recently, I am ashamed to say, I had not heard of you, now I shall never forget you.

    In response to your poem……
    I @alrikfanshaw© believe freedom can only be trapped by love, imprisoned in a heart of jealousy, given only @ death.

    Mr. Ben Okri, you are inspirationally enlightening.

  6. NorthsideRasta Says:

    An enjoyable poem of people striving for a better tomorrow amidst
    turbulent times that those in power have been accelerating the world
    towards the morass of today.

  7. Abang Joseph Says:

    Every time i read anything done by Ben Okri i always wonder how he does it… From The Famished Road to Star Book, every sentence of every Paragraph of every chapter is simply magical… And this poem, though short is no different..

  8. Tracey Says:

    The first time i read mr okri - it was as though his voice sliced through the clutter of my confused life. He drew me so deep down into a rabbit hole that I lost all perception of time and space…he accompanied me everyplace…I would read this books waiting in line, wining and dining, in class and even on dates.

    I was hooked.

    this poem is sweet
    we are so trapped in our individual mazes we have siezed to amaze
    freedom has been televised
    freedom is a face on a t-shirt made children in hell hole somewhere
    there is a higher freedom
    you remind me of that

    thank you ben


  9. Mary-Anne Says:


  10. omale allen abdul-jabbar Says:

    he lives like he writes… a true African, i salute you and the lore of enchantment weave to tell, connect our world to other worlds in our shared universes of space…do find the time to come back home and to ANA sometime soon. we all would be beside ourselves to see and touch you… BEN OKRI AFRICA’S SHINING PRINCE

  11. beautmind64 Says:

    I found this poem on Twitter and found it to be the manna my soul needed at the end of this trying and turbulent year.
    Thank you and God Bless you Ben Okri!

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