Homeland and 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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She lay dying at Oshodi
Her bed is vacant again
9 other sections not shown
23 January ANA/Cadbury poetry prize anger anguish asked Association of Nigerian baobabs battle bed is vacant beneath bitter blood brows cassava cast child close to bone cock may crow colours cowries crocodiles crow thrice dance December Downing Street Driftwood dust earth you walked evil eyes are born face faith fear feet fire flesh forest funeral graves Greed will kill guns harvest heart hoofs Joe Ushie kill the beast knife laughter leaves Little England living mantle will burn mark Music is muscle night Nnimmo Bassey Obiora Udechukwu Oshodi palms paths peep into earth plead pledged poem police dogs politicians poplar and pine pots praise song quake red cloud rivers season shadow silent cry sirens soldier sorrows wider soul Soweto space you left spirit enjoins sprout stone streets swords teeth terrors are gathered thrones tomorrow's song tongue tree truth turn Uba Ofei Untold terrors voice weeping whip wounds