A Book of Poems Written By 11-Year Old Tupac Shakur Goes Up for Auction

Tupac Shakur poems auction

Photo Credit: Duncan C / CC by 2.0

An unpublished book of poems written by 11-year-old Tupac Shakur is up for auction at Sotheby’s.

The collection of haikus has a starting bid of $140,000 USD and is expected to reach bidding as high as $300K. It is part of Sotheby’s second auction focused on hip-hop memorabilia. The collection also features love letters Tupac wrote to a high school crush.

“Following the success of Sotheby’s historic first hip-hop auction in 2020, our second sale in this series expands on the generational, geographical, and artistic scope of hip-hop’s creative narrative,” says Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, Cassandra Hatton.

“From the ’70s to the present, from the East Coast to the West Coast, ‘The Art and Influence of Hip-Hop’ seeks to represent and honor the voices and visionaries who continue to move the crowd and redefine culture.”

The haiku collection written by Tupac also features personal commentary. “This is dedicated to my family who are imprisoned for trying to build a better nation for me. Stay Strong,” the 11-year-old writes, referencing his family being arrested by the FBI. “Haiku is a Japanese form to write poems. The form is 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and again 5 syllables mostly about life and nature.”

Tupac Shakur Haiku Poems

The sunset is nice.
The color is beautiful.
I love the sunset.

The ocean is huge.
The ocean has fish in it.
I watched the ocean.

Faith is what we need.
It keep us alive day by day.
Faith is important.

Black is our color.
We were born black in Africa.
I am black and proud.

A dream is lovely.
You drift to another land.
I dream in the night.

“At the time the present manuscript was written, Tupac, Afeni, and baby sister Sekiya were under constant FBI surveillance,” the Sotheby’s auction description reads.

“He lived with the trauma of seeing members of his movement family being arrested, imprisoned and killed. He turned his pain to artistic power by creating a book of Haiku filled with poetry and art that spoke of nature, peace, hope, strength, and liberation.