EMEKA NWAKOBI

Why not start your week with this selection of classic poems from Maya Angelou to Christopher Okigbo?  Enjoy.

  1. STILL I RISE BY MAYA ANGELOU: Poet, singer, writer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, in this beautifully rendered poem, talks about her rise in the midst of thorny bushes. Formed by a history of rape and prostitution and everything imaginable in an America where blacks were regarded inferior. Every piece ever written by this great woman, is worthwhile.
  2. DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP BY ELIZABETH FRYE: This poem leaves one, indeed everyone that has lost a loved one, with a sense of solace, consolation. Worthy of note is that this poem was inspired by a Jewish, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who had been staying with Frye’s family and had been unable to visit her dying mother in Germany because of the anti-Semitic unrest.
  3. BLUE BY CHRIS ABANI: See slavery through eyes of this poet, author, who at a point gave it all for his country Nigeria. Imprisoned severally for his activism and criticism of the then military government of Nigeria, Chris Abani says he is part of a new generation of Nigerian writers working to convey to an English speaking audience the experience of those born and raised in “that troubled African nation.”
  4. MOTHER TO SON BY LANGSTON HUGHES: A mother encourages a son to forge ahead, even when things may seem tough, using her life as an example. Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright; find strength in his words
  5. WISHES BY NIYI OSUNDARE: As the poet states his wishes, some lofty, some unimaginable, yet humorous, it aligns with a lot of dreams and hopes out there. One of Africa’s finest, Niyi Osundare, is the author of dozens of collected poems, including ‘city without people.’
  6. PATHS OF THUNDER BY CHRISTOPHER OKIGBO: Arguably one of Africa’s best poets, often neglected, Okigbo unleashes one of his masterpiece. This poem should be read by all lovers of poetry, by those who wish to understand this poet whose life was quite short; it should be thought in our schools. It speaks!
  7. A SONG OF COLOURS BY AFOLABI BOLUWATIFE: Young, yet witty, Afolabi Boluwtife is among the new generation of promising Nigerian poets, that deserves even more attention than they are getting. Notice how strong, firm, a voice he has. Notice how clearly, yet poetic his thoughts are expressed. You can access his poems- www.africanwriter.com