The Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English

Adewale Maya-Pearce, Author, Pearce Adewale Maja, Author, Adewale Maja-Pearce, Editor Heinemann Educational Books $13.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-435-91323-6
The works Maja-Pearce ( Loyalties and Other Stories ) has selected, all written in English by poets from Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries over the past 30 years, attest to the vision and fearless commitment of their authors--well-known political critics, such as Dennis Brutus and Wole Soyinka, writers imprisoned or in exile such as Jack Mapanje and Frank Chipasula, and others. These poets mourn the loss of African tradition and condemn the oppressive postcolonial societies that have replaced it. Soyinka describes how ``A crop of arms dethrones the ancient / Reign of lush, compliant plains'' and ``Tearless as dried leaves, whose stalks / Are sealed from waste, we shed green hopes.'' Arthur Nortje, who killed himself in exile, declares that ``It is not cosmic immensity of catastrophe / that terrifies me: / It is solitude that mutilates.'' His alienation echoes the belief expressed throughout this very fine volume: ultimately, the past must be abandoned so that a new future can be fashioned, requiring what Kojo Laing called ``a strong will to reshape / her heart for her own sad life.'' (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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