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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
Collected Poems - Chinua Achebe I found a copy of Achebe’s collected poems at the library quite by chance. It’s a thin book with less than 90 pages. The book was split into five sections: Prologue, Poems About War, Poems Not About War , Gods, Men and Others, and Epilogue. I enjoyed these simple poems that dealt with various topics, including war,love, African life and mythology.

In 1966, Achebe says:


our thoughtful days

sat at dire controls

and played indolently.”

The section entitled Poems About War discussed the Biafran War. “Christmas in Biafra” was especially poignant:

“This sunken-eyed moment wobbling

Down the rocky steepness on broken

Bones slowly fearfully to hideous

Concourse of gathering sorrows in the valley

Will yet become in another year a lost

Christmas irretrievable in the heights.”

I also liked Pine Tree in Spring, which was dedicated to Leon Damas:

“Pine tree

flag bearer

of green memory

across the breach of a desolate hour

Loyal tree

that stood guard

alone in austere emeraldry

over Nature’s recumbent standard

Pine tree

lost now in the shade

of traitors decked out flamboyantly

marching back unabashed to the colors they betrayed

Fine tree

erect and trustworthy

what school can teach me

your silent, stubborn fidelity?”

All in all, a nice poetry collection that made me wish Achebe had written more.