“A golden drop of water
Mixed with the turbulent wave
Remains conspicuous in the wave
As such can’t hide under no cover.”
Reading the anthology ‘What Can Words Do?’ is the same as taking a physical walk with the Author Kukogho I. Samson, seeing through his eyes, and at the same time, aligning my thought with his – including his sighs.
The “have I understood?” question that comes with most poetry collections does not arise in ‘What Can Words Do?’ because what I hear sounds as my own voice; what I read (though not mine) looks like my own written words and what I feel, is like my own undiluted emotion.
‘What Can Words Do? The title of the book is a question that stirs the reader, forcing him/her to ponder what the words he/she has read, done or is doing, as each line seeps into the conscious mind.
I was confronted with the opening quote:
In this tale…
cold ovens bake bread,
earth fights itself,
tongues fool thumbs,
men chew seeds of discord,
they forget how to live.
There, a poet finds himself,
facing death with tears,
he looks love in the eyes
…and finds God.
Found it a bit difficult to fathom but as I proceeded to find the meaning within the collection, I arrived at the following conclusions:
- Each line prefixes other quotes within the collection
- Each line in the quote above represents/point towards various themes, the poems in the collection represent.
- Each line is like a compressed statement, which preserve the critical message, within the collection.
- Each line serves as pointers which direct/prepare the readers mind, for the journey into the heart of the poem.
- Each line makes up a powerful quote which links the collection of poems to one another as whole.
I marvel at the brilliance of such concept, in that the quote is a meaningful poem, yet, leads one to a broader perspective of the author’s message. This quote alone is a piece of ingenuity that leaves me spellbound. Carrying the weight of the collection, yet it gives at a glance, the impact words have on the author himself.
ALSO READ: WHAT CAN WORDS DO
My interpretation of the line “Cold ovens bake bread” with the sub-quote which read: “Who can bake after the heat in the oven is long gone” is that… our “Deeds can’t be undone” either good or bad. Also interpreted as… “A better preparation is the requirement for greater expectation”.
The collection of poems here addressed the author’s struggle through childhood, which I as an individual completely relates with, haven gone through a troubled childhood myself. Even those with peaceful childhoods could relate with it, as it might be seen as a contrast to theirs.
Consider the 7th line in the opening quote above;:
There a poet finds himself
1. It’s prefixed quote read
Peel my words;
Only few patient
Eyes and ears
Taste their honey
2. The theme: ‘Emotional/Self Discovery’
3. The critical message here, in my own view is:
- The poet’s self realization
- Staying glued to his dream
- Not minding the way others perceive/relate/react, his eyes are set on achieving his goal.
4. Journey into the poem; I select here the first stanzas of two poems in the category, as relative exampled
LET ME BE ME (page 57)
Liken me not unto my father
Nor unto my virtuous mother.
Let me be the simple me
That all eyes know and see.
EUODO (page 60)
I am the lizard:
I climbed the mighty Iroko.
I leaped from its heights to the earth below,
But no lips sought to sing my praise.
So I shall beat the drums
And write for myself an ode.
5. As a Linking quote; Am sure you (reader) will agree with me here that the line above justifies the appellation of a good ‘link-up’ line in the quote for both poems.
This collection of poems is extremely rich in Words, Rhymes And Rhythm. No wonder his facebook page, Words, Rhymes and Rhythm is named as such. The man has it even in his signature!
I see ‘What Can Words Do?’ as the beautiful coral-bead book, with each poem in the collection a beauty to behold, each poem resonating, with sparks on its own. Several themes such as social concern, politics, love and religion are poetically explored in the collection. It sends a message to one as an individual, to more as a group, and to all as a nation.
Kukogho has a special wand when it comes to poetry, this particular wand birth words that are pleasing to the ears, but vigorously warning against various ills we are bedeviled with, especially violence against women which he vociferously fights against.
All but praise is what I have for this man, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, whom I so much revere. He is a true Poetivist in his own class.
Personally, the way I see it, ‘What Can Words Do?’ isn’t just a collection of poems. It is as a collection of Classic and Enduring poems, written by a legend and when you read it, you will agree with me that there is virtually nothing, I mean nothing, that words cannot do!
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.