Homeland & Other Poems
Ifowodo was a frontline student leader in the early eighties and is a lawyer and civil rights activist. In 1996 he was a writer-in-residence at the Heinrich Boell Foundation. He was imprisoned between 1997 and 1998 and was subsequently adopted by PEN. This is his first collection of poetry which won the 1993 Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize. Many of the poems are responses to politics; or spring from the tensions between writing political poetry, or art for art's sake, and other competing subjects of poetry, such as romantic love. The poet, quoting Neruda, first asks the reader expecting a poetic celebration of his natural world to 'come see the blood in the streets'. In the section section he writes tributes to Tracey Chapman, Winnie and Nelson Mandela and Margeret Thatcher ('the butcher'). The subject of the third section is the rediscovery of romantic love, amidst and beyond turmoil and oppression.
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Untold terrors are gathered
Our eyes are born again
Her bed is vacant again
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