Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The President's Eulogy and Other Poems: Review

The President's Eulogy was my first encounter with Eldoret Poets Association and their enlightening thoughts and tales.
From the introduction I see these poets have a the right tools to make it in the business, their vesertility and drive is truly one of a kind. The prose is quite interesting and easy for even critics to be captivated by the tales of what the "common mwanainch" is going through.

I felt like I was being toured through the lives of these poets.
Thank you Michael ‘Wudz’ Ochoki and Richard Oduor Oduku for the captivating introduction.

The poem deals with themes ranging from politics, love, hope among other relative themes. The rhetoric moulds the reader to comprehend these common Issues in third world nations and funny enough it brings out the need to get in touch with common sense which might not be as common as I once thought.

The frontal flyleaf introduction is on point, the imagery does not need any more description, there's not much that needs explaining, however basic understanding of eulogy and rights of passage especially death is key to understand the juxtaposition.
Post poem reviews are minimal information on how to contact the editor and also a call to budding poets who would like to see their work in the next issues. There is also calls for contributions to make these dreams alive. A 'panda mbegu' of sorts but with the best of intentions.

Most of the poems are about two pages long, more than enough to get a good quote.
Here's an extract from "Faith & Irony",

You seem so agitated Mwananchi
Frothing and scathing,
After my evasive half a decade I am back to solicit your vote Why is anger Provoking your throat? Because I never honored My campaign pledges?
Have you not heard? Mwananchi
That great expectation Make frustrated men? Your eyes burn
With malice and animosity At me, your Mheshimiwa Mwananchi
My shoulders ache
With your village grievances Oh! Good roads Oh! Piped water Oh! Rural electricity Oh! CDF
Oh! Better health facilities Oh! Modern schools Ah! Mwananchi Stop it! Enough of this adolescence talks! I am under ulcers medication!

Some poems have grounding narratives that require you to open up your mind to understand. Here is " The Song Of A Divorced Poet",

What shall come of our love?
Honey I've no money but I journey back, Home of souls I broke and all alone I drove to unknown,
Forgive me and give me bliss I plead,
Rest on my chest and let of your breasts warm my bed, The warmth of your thighs, I sing this song tonight, Divorced of my treasures, For my poetess's seizure, Speaks of her prowess, Speaks of my poetess, Baby I'm coming home, I am coming alone, For you and my kids, Sweet moments I miss, Make a bed for me, For I'm a pilgrim,
Searching..... Coming..... Should.. I babe ???? ??? ?? ?

And here is, "Mama Africa," this one is the best of all(according to me).

How you endured this ill timed colonialism,
And why in the name of our forefathers we would cease calling the rains under the mugumo trees; And down our snow capped mountains and started listening to the weather man.
Mama Africa,
Teach me your ways,
Please help this generation understand,
That our forefathers lived of age because they ate of the wild,
Boiling and roasting their kill.
Let them know that their so called modern ways are killing them with cancers and incomprehensible diseases.
Mama Africa,
Teach me to embrace me for who I am Teach me to love my lovely skin color,

This is an attractive compilation of some of the best poems from the region.  I congratulate the efforts of these brood of wordsmiths,  they really captured my imagination.  Can't wait for their next one.
L. A. Miganda(2015)