In Search of the New for (US) National Poetry Month

Small-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-LogoThe obligatory intro:

‘It’s that time of year again. Poetry is celebrated every April in the United States. The National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. It is one of my favorite monthly celebrations.’

This year’s celebration theme here at Kinna Reads is

“In Search of the New”

How broad can new be? New new or old new? I’m thinking a focus on women poets of Africa and her Diaspora for this month but I probably stray a bit.  21 poems like in previous years, more or less? Decisions, decisions. Let’s have fun, shall we? Poem, poems and more poems. What’s not to like?

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11 comments

  1. Written in 2012 in honour of Ama Ata Aidoo

    The Coconut Tree

    From Fanteland long ago
    A cry of a baby was heard
    A girl or a boy
    Does it matter, asked the father?
    Ah, you know our people
    A boy is a human being
    A girl is well, a girl.

    But do I want a boy
    But you have boys already
    Ah, but I want a girl
    To be a woman
    Have you forgotten Papa Aggrey?
    Oh no, then so shall it be
    A girl, a girl baby, a girl child, a girl woman
    To educate the whole nation.
    And so it was

    Ama Ata Aidoo, my lady born on Saturday.
    A twin, whose twin left for the land of our people;
    Aidoo, the name of our father.
    To school, then to learn the ways of the world;
    And the Knowledge of our People

    What! Does she have such brains?
    Brains suitable in a man
    Ebei, my people, brains in a girl child is a gift from the gods
    Go to Abrewa and ask her

    To Wesley Girls then
    What! Such excellence! Such brilliance
    To Legon then, that symbol of the best in education
    Aha, is it not enough? Must she not settle down?
    Ah, my people, why must you cut down the Coconut Tree
    To prevent it from fruiting?

    And so, the Coconut Tree must bloom,
    Reach out and soar above the skies
    The Fruit ready, ripe and full
    To nourish the living and the dead

    But wait! Ama Ata, they say the brains of a woman
    Should not be more than a man
    Oh no! Should I compete with my Brothers
    Nephews, Fathers, Uncles and Husbands?
    It is only that the Coconut tree must nourish

    And so, daughter of our land, write on
    For the Fruit of the Coconut tree
    Must nourish
    And fill the thirst
    With the coolness
    And fullness
    Of the Fruit of the Coconut Tree

    Copyright © Celestine Nudanu
    23/3/2012

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  2. Lemon Cream ~ Toyin Adewale

    Like never before, we conquer our stammering

    Phrases no longer trail away
    No, we catch them and instill in them
    the speech of open, confident rhythm

    Bubbles arise within you
    laden with coconut flavour
    and your laughter as forceful as
    rushing water heads to wash me clean
    in the meeting hall of our openness

    Soon thereafter, peace will step in to our door
    to an embrace possessed of silence
    and we will merge, I the lemon, you the cream.
    We shall be christened Lemon Cream
    I ripen, ready and reaching.

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