Poems by Kofi AwoonorIntroduction by Ezekiel MphahleleIn Night of My Blood, Kofi Awoonor uses the medium of traditional Ewe song to lament the neglect of his ancestral shrines and gods by a society perverted by the "senseless cathedral" of Western culture. In his vision, Africa is a corpse; the scavengers of modernity defile its memory and its people have chosen to forgetPoems by Kofi AwoonorIntroduction by Ezekiel MphahleleIn Night of My Blood, Kofi Awoonor uses the medium of traditional Ewe song to lament the neglect of his ancestral shrines and gods by a society perverted by the "senseless cathedral" of Western culture. In his vision, Africa is a corpse; the scavengers of modernity defile its memory and its people have chosen to forget the Old Song. The only music left is a dirge, the only ritual a burial. This is thus an evocation of a people, their land and their gods but with a strong sense that they have passed.Awoonor blames the malaise and instability of the contemporary Africa on the failure to maintain an organic continuity with the past. A complete divorce from the old values has led to sterility and imitation. The poet therefore advocates a return to the culture of his forefathers, to which Africans must owe their identity and life-style....
|Title||:||night of my blood|
|Number of Pages||:||96 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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night of my blood Reviews
Reading this book of poetry in memory & honor of Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, who was killed this past week during the Nariobi mall attack. (The Washington Post obituary is here.)Here is a PBS interview with his nephew (also a poet) in which his nephew reads one of Awoonor's most famous poems, The Weaver Bird.-----------------I finished Night of My Blood by Kofi Awoonor today. He is the Ghanaian poet who was killed recently in the Nairobi mall attack; his poetry is required reading in many of Ghana's high school literature classrooms. Parts of this collection were interesting & his poems cover many topics & issues related to old Ewe ways, colonialism, the struggle to emerge as an independent country, role of identity (new Africa vs. old Africa), etc.... Many thoughtful & moving pieces of poetry here, but I am sure that I am missing some of the depth just because it is from a different cultural tradition than mine. The few footnotes were interesting. One of them referred to a "ceremony of widowhood performed for any woman whose husband dies. It is an elaborate and at times painful ceremony, since tradition believes that the wife of a dead man bears some spiritual responsibility for her husband's death." I am not sure if Awoonor himself has left a wife behind, but this tradition sounds harrowing & hard on top of the reality of dealing with the death of a loved one, imo. Not the lightest of reads, but recommended if you are interested in African poetry.
A dirge to Ghana, to West Africa, maybe all of Africa. Beautiful, and heart stopping at times. Universal and specific. A good one to keep on hand. "If you turn your neckLook at the whole world.""The journey beyond is a long journey/ That is why not one alone can make it." (I Heard a Bird Cry)"The joy, brothers, the joy! of waking up breathing the benedictionof yet another dawn."(I Hold the Dreams)