This slim volume of thirty-three poems, which was longlisted for the Nigeria NLNG Prize for Literature in 2017, is bound thematically by the three-ply cord of death, gloom and positive self-deception. Peering through the anguished eyes of the persona in the poems, the reader finds a world smeared with melancholy. And since such reality can be daunting, a reasonable diversion is to set up an alternative reality, even one that is unrealistically optimistic. More…
‘I felt my standpoint shaken
In the universal crises.
But with one step backward taken
I saved myself from going’ – Robert Frost, ‘One Step Backward Taken’
The poet’s mind jumps about from the important to the trivial, from the savoury to the unsavoury, gathering ingredients, the type that T S Eliot refers to as ‘disparate experiences’. These ingredients, when collected proportionately and blended, result in honey. This analogy is reinforced in Ikeogu Oke’s The Heresiad where the discerning reader finds sufficient traces of the classics, history, religion and myth.
Every day, we hear or read about employers ‘actively poaching’ stars from their rivals. Should these employers grow weary of their new hires shortly after taking them on, they begin assigning them either impossible tasks or, paradoxically, unchallenging ones, all in order to get them to quit by their own volition. But in The Score, what starts out as a ploy to frustrate the protagonist, Voinjama (Vee) Johnson, ends up making her more valuable. More…