Poetry Depot

December 10, 2010

Wole Soyinka, contemporary poetry from Nigeria

Filed under: Africa, Nigeria — Tags: , , , — razvan @ 10:48 am

He is called “Nigeria’s warrior poet”. In 1986 The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to him, “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence”. (Nobel prize web)
In 1999 emerges new tome of his poems entitled Outsiders. His newest play released in 2001 has a title “King Baabu” and is another strong, political satire on African dictatorship. In 2002 a collection of his poems Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known is printed by Methuen. And in 2004 utters WS: A Life is Full, an illustrated biography of Wole Soyinka by Bankole Olayebi, with more than 600 photographs since 1934.
The latest release of WS is a memoir called “You Must Set Forth at Dawn”, published in April 2006 by Random House. ( from Wole Soyinka blog)

In The Small Hours

Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze, Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes, Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers Comb seaweed hair, stroke acquamarine veins Of marooned mariners, captives Of Circe's sultry notes. The barman Dispenses igneous potions ? Somnabulist, the band plays on.

Cocktail mixer, silvery fish
Dances for limpet clients.
Applause is steeped in lassitude,
Tangled in webs of lovers' whispers
And artful eyelash of the androgynous.
The hovering notes caress the night
Mellowed deep indigo? still they play.
Departures linger. Absences do not
Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze
As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,
Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn
The notes hold sway, smoky
Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.
This music's plaint forgives, redeems
The deafness of the world. Night turns
Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats
The broken silence of the heart.
from Famous Poets

Also, you can check this CNN interview with Soyinka (more…)

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