AUTHOR: SERVIO GBADAMOSI
NUMBER OF PAGES: 86
DATE OF PUBLICATION: March 9, 2015
REVIEWER: Shoola Oyindamola
A TRIBUTARY IN SERVITUDE by SERVIO GBADAMOSI is a book that you have to read carefully if you don’t want to miss the point.
Interestingly, this poet, who I would call a “poetic god,” put the key to unlocking and understanding his poems right in the title of the book. So, before you read the book, interpret the title.
I read this book twice, casually the first time. The second time, I first interpreted the title, then searched for comment other readers had written about it and I picked a pencil with a dictionary to read again.
I could not just scroll past the words with perception. This time, I understood most parts of it and it made me so happy to be able to unlock simple messages, fascinated by the way that he sew words and ideas together.
After this process, it dawned on me that, unlike what was implied by some comments that I earlier read about the book, the poems are not difficult. The reader just has to read them differently, patiently and curiously. For example, in page 9 of the book, there is a part where he wrote:
“saved from the alley by knives
And septic gloves which
still laugh at the strewn path on mother’s womb”
This excerpt is most brilliant and intelligent! It used poetry to describe birth by C-section surgery!
I fall in love with Servio’s words over and over again at each new meaning they produce when I read them. This collection carries life in it and it bears a poet’s description of struggles, finding one’s self, reference to the old times, culture, tragedy, slavery, and colonialism.
For me, the best part of the book is his reference to culture and folklore. He also wrote about love – his perception of what it means to love someone was well portrayed and I enjoyed it.
I hardly ever write on books but I wrote on A TRIBUTARY IN SERVITUDE because it forced a new consciousness out of me. This book successfully engaged me and improved my attitude towards perceiving poetry.
SHOOLA OYINDAMOLA was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a published poet, a feminist, a mentor, a blogger and Co-founder and Resource manager of Sprinng Literary Movement. She loves to writes poems, essays and her non-classifiable opinions. She uses her writing skills with her feminist drive to discuss the gender injustices that need to be fixed. She published her first collection of poems titled “Heartbeat” in New York, USA at the age of 16.