10 October, 2011

Labyrinths by Christopher Okigbo (1971)

I don't know anyone who much reads poetry anymore. There's the effort involved and besides, it's a tricky form, more personal than prose. Donne and Dickenson might speak to you, while Baudelaire and Blake beckon me (why, yes as it happens!). Which brings us to Okigbo. Slaughtered in the Nigerian civil war of 1967 at just 35, one legend says Labyrinths includes remnants of his work, prophetically titled “the Path of Thunder”, salvaged from his burning hilltop home. And though I can't say he speaks to me, he ought to get the last word: “tears scatter, take root, burgeon into laughter of leaf...”

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