11 September 2009

a poet comes home

Last Addendum (30 April 2012): Last? Well... maybe? Probably? NEXT has been gone for some time. Hasn't been producing for some time, at least (and hasn't paid employees for even longer). The website appears to be gone which means none of the links below work. Maybe it will come back; who knows. It does suggest one reason I am still partial to print...

Niyi Osundare on Sunday in NEXTLast Friday's email blast from NEXT, the still relatively new Nigerian daily paper, announced "Niyi Osundare writes for us on Sunday / Read his poems every first Sunday of the month in The Lagos Review".

And here it is, "September".

It's good to see Osundare publishing in the papers again (his collection, Songs of the Season, came out of an earlier stint with The Nigerian Tribune). The poem itself is vintage Osundare, and while the closing stanza is a little heavy-handed for my taste, the "ginger-footed" month and the "lingering stench of haram wars" are marvelous constructions.

It's not the first time that Osundare appeared in NEXT. There is also "Lily" from 31 July 2009. And uncovering it led me to Femi Adedeji's "Blighted" and Dave Chukwuji's "Wetin".

It's good to see yet another publication, accessible online, worldwide, taking poetry, and poets, seriously.
Addendum (2 December 2009): Osundare's contributions continue -- with "October" and "November". His voice is, as almost always, strong, confident, and recognizable in these two; and to paraphrase and perhaps bastardize one reader's comment, his poetry is rarely out of reach but can carry you a long way gone. Perhaps the most striking lines from these two: "A liquid glimmer rakes the roofs / of suffocating cities" -- pop!

My one wish? That there was a page on the NEXT website linking to the run of poems: a "Niyi Osundare Poem-a-Month" page. As it is, readers have to rely on the rather scattershot search tool available on the site. Or am I missing something?
Addendum (8 February 2010): Not going to wait on NEXT any longer and have added a box to the sidebar on the right here, linking to each of Osundare's monthly poems...

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