ONE of the enduring memories of Peter Pan’s How to be a Nigerian is, for me, his fascinating sketch of the Nigerian radical. If the Nigerian poet had been roaming the streets at the time the book was written, a place, I am sure, would have been found for him within the pages of that book. At any rate, living in these peculiar times when it is easier to write poetry than to read it, in work after work, I find him staring at me – as it were, daring me to attempt fitting him into a composite picture of a poet. To begin, let me use the definition of poetry as the grids on my sketch pad.
From Wordsworth’s view of poetry as ‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ whose origins lie ‘in emotions recollected in tranquility’, to Okigbo’s own view of poetry as ‘melodies/silences heard in retrospect’…
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