Friday, July 15, 2005

Steal This Poem

This poem is copy left.
You're free to distribute it and diffuse it,
re-write it and abuse it,
and use it.
For your own ends,
and with your own ending.

This is an open source poem
entering the public domain.
Here's the source code,
add a little salt and pepper if you like,
share it out amongst your friends.

Because I didn't write this poem,
I moulded it,
picked the lines out of a skip as I was walking on over here
took used up fragments of leftover ideas,
and put them to use.

Think about it,
I can't tell you anything new.
In all these millenia of human existence
there can only be a few new ideas to be thought through.
So do we treat them like rare commodities?
Plunder arctic reserves for new ideas buried deep beneath the permafrost,
suffocate them with patent protection
and junk the rest?
Or do we re-use and recycle them?
Pile our public spaces high with shared ideas beyond anyone's imagining.

So I steal a verse here and a line there
a riff there and a rhyme there
pass it on around the circle,
roll it up
add a joke
here have a toke
does it get you high?

This poem is indebted to Gil Scott Heron, Abbie Hoffman, Jim Thomas and Sarah Jones
This poem is indebted to all the words I've read and the voices I've known
This poem is a community of intellect, yours and mine,
This poem, is RIPPED OFF line after line after line

Because intellectual property is theft
and piracy is our only defence against the thought police.
The revolution
will be plagiarised!
The revolution will not happen if ideas are corporatised
So steal this poem
and use it
with your own ending and for your own ends.

This poem is copyleft
all rights are reversed

down load audio file (2.3MB MP3)


Anonymous said...

Hi Claire,

I found your "Steal this poem" in one Linux magazine a few months ago.
Very inspiring, touching and thought provoking. I love it.
It tells a lot about you, your personality and I can only say I am glad to live in a world with people like you :-)
I am a technical person myself, and electronic engineer (much older than you too :-(, and you would think technical guys have no creativity and no sense for arts - but photography is my passion. So visit my "Poems with pixels" web site ( and I hope you (and your blog friends) will enjoy it...
Keep up the good work :-)

leesun said...

I love this poem. Thanks for sharing it!

George said...

i met you at word on the street in huddersfield and loved your poetry, particularly this one. really sticks in my head

Anonymous said...

Hey Claire,

I'm doing a poetry unit in school and I really like your poetry. Reading your poetry has inspired me to write more poetry and better poetry so thanks for sharing your poetry with us.

elf_asura said...

Thank you for this poem from India. Very few really understand what you are saying. :)

Kois Muhammad Irpan said...

nice article, its greats