Five books for po­etry lovers

Sunday Trust - - ARTS & IDEAS - With Eugenia Abu

I know how po­etry came to set­tle in my bones. It came from the many books I read, mostly po­etry books as a young girl and my English teacher who was Cau­casian and tall and pretty and po­etic in many ways. Mrs. Whit­tle was that teacher who in­tro­duced me to this new world which has kept me en­tranced all these years. Rhyth­mic and self-as­sured, she in­tro­duced me to the beauty and the hid­den de­li­cious mean­ing of an art the unini­ti­ated find be­fud­dling. I love po­etry, the use of lan­guage in its most aus­tere form, the twists and turns of mean­ing, the crash­ing of waves and the de­light of clouds, the heady po­ems of love and the chal­leng­ing lan­guage of War. Every­day life takes a new mean­ing and mean­ings tend to take dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Po­ets con­tinue to dom­i­nate land­scapes of many na­tions in peace and war and they also serve as the con­science of na­tions. I write po­etry and have a col­lec­tion pub­lished, the crit­i­cally ac­claimed, Don’t look at me like that but I have al­ways buried my­self in po­etry books en­joy­ing the play of words, the mes­sage, the lan­guage and its de­li­cious­ness. For all those like me who en­joy po­etry, here is a col­lec­tion for to sa­vor and en­joy.

1) Rime of the an­cient Mariner by Sa­muel Tay­lor Co­leridge re­mains one of those po­ems that have stayed with me from when I read it as a twelve-year-old. This is the long­est ma­jor poem by an English poet writ­ten in 1797. It tells of a sailor re­turn­ing...

2) Eaters of the liv­ing by Musa Idris Ok­panachi is the award win­ning col­lec­tion which cat­a­pulted Ok­panachi to our con­scious­ness. De­scribed by most as the an­gry poet, Ok­panachi’s craft has in­deed pro­pelled him to wellde­served recog­ni­tion. His...

3) Lola Shoneyin has earned her place in lit­er­ary devel­op­ment in Nige­ria by or­ga­niz­ing many lit­er­a­ture fes­ti­vals, but it has po­etry that has me singing par­tic­u­larly her third col­lec­tion of po­ems, For the love of flight. This col­lec­tion has deeply...

4) Par­adise Lost by John Mil­ton. This was re­quired read­ing for my A-level lit­er­a­ture but I was taken in by one of the most am­bi­tious epic po­ems in blank verse by a blind and im­pov­er­ished English poet who wrote this poem in1667. The en­tire poem is...

5) All po­ems by the late Pres­i­dent of As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria Au­thors, my big brother, Abubakar Gimba. As a pro­lific au­thor, he wrote many books, Es­says and fic­tion but his po­etry are pro­found and are now in my li­brary as lim­ited edi­tions. Find one, own...

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