Summary: ''Featuring seven new, never-before-published poems in addition to Chinua Achebe's award-winning earlier work, Collected Poems makes available again after more than twenty-five years the poetry of Africa's foremost novelist. From an account of the tragedy of Biafra to an appeal to African consciousness, from a gentle mockery of tradition to a recollection of personal relationships, Achebe's poems are marked by a richness of language and blend simplicity and eloquence, fierceness and
tenderness and a careful attention to the minute - a facial expression, a wrinkled hand, a sunbeam.''--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Summary: ''Featuring seven new, never-before-published poems in addition to Chinua Achebe's award-winning earlier work, Collected Poems makes available again after more than twenty-five years the poetry of Africa's foremost novelist. From an account of the tragedy of Biafra to an appeal to African consciousness, from a gentle mockery of tradition to a recollection of personal relationships, Achebe's poems are marked by a richness of language and blend simplicity and eloquence, fierceness and tenderness and a careful attention to the minute - a facial expression, a wrinkled hand, a sunbeam.''--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved ...show less
Edition/Copyright:04 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Anchor Press Published: 08/10/2004 International: No
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Prologue 1966 absentminded our thoughtless days sat at dire controls and played indolently slowly downward in remote subterranean shaft a diamond-tipped drill point crept closer to residual chaos to rare artesian hatred that once squirted warm blood in God's face confirming His first disappointment in Eden Nsukka, November 19, 1971 Benin Road Speed is violence Power is violence Weight violence The butterfly seeks safety in lightness In weightless, undulating flight But at a crossroads where mottled light From old trees falls on a brash new highway Our separate errands collide I come power-packed for two And the gentle butterfly offers Itself in bright yellow sacrifice Upon my hard silicon shield. Mango Seedling Through glass windowpane Up a modern office block I saw, two floors below, on wide-jutting concrete canopy a mango seedling newly sprouted Purple, two-leafed, standing on its burst Black yolk. It waved brightly to sun and wind Between rains-daily regaling itself On seed yams, prodigally. For how long? How long the happy waving From precipice of rainswept sarcophagus? How long the feast on remnant flour At pot bottom? Perhaps like the widow Of infinite faith it stood in wait For the holy man of the forest, shaggy-haired Powered for eternal replenishment. Or else it hoped for Old Tortoise's miraculous feast On one ever recurring dot of cocoyam Set in a large bowl of green vegetables- This day beyond fable, beyond faith? Then I saw it Poised in courageous impartiality Between the primordial quarrel of Earth And Sky striving bravely to sink roots Into objectivity, midair in stone. I thought the rain, prime mover To this enterprise, someday would rise in power And deliver its ward in delirious waterfall Toward earth below. But every rainy day Little playful floods assembled on the slab, Danced, parted round its feet, United again, and passed. It went from purple to sickly green Before it died. Today I see it still- Dry, wire-thin in sun and dust of the dry months- Headstone on tiny debris of passionate courage. Aba, 1968 Pine Tree in Spring (for Leon Damas) Pine tree flag bearer of green memory across the breach of a desolate hour Loyal tree that stood guard alone in austere emeraldry over Nature's recumbent standard Pine tree lost now in the shade of traitors decked out flamboyantly marching back unabashed to the colors they betrayed Fine tree erect and trustworthy what school can teach me your silent, stubborn fidelity? The Explorer Like a dawn unheralded at midnight it opened abruptly before me-a rough circular clearing, high cliffs of deep forest guarding it in amber-tinted spell A long journey's end it was though how long and from where seemed unclear, unimportant; one fact alone mattered now-that body so well preserved which on seeing I knew had brought me there The circumstance of death was vague but a floating hint pointed to a disaster in the air elusively But where, if so, the litter of violent wreckage? That rough-edged gypsum trough bearing it like a dead chrysalis reposing till now in full encapsulation was broken by a cool hand for this lying in state. All else was in
''A magical writerone of the greatest of the twentieth century.'' Margaret Atwood ''The father of African literature in the English language and undoubtedly one of the most important writers of the second half of the 20th century.'' Caryl Phillips, The Observer ''Chinua Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.'' Nadine Gordimer
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