Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Poet Kofi Awoonor Killed in Nairobi

by lizard

Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet, is among the casualties of the mall massacre in Nairobi:

Prof Kofi Awoonor, a former diplomat, was killed in the attack in Nairobi. He was in the city attending the Storymoja Hay literary festival, a celebration of pan-African writing and storytelling.

His fellow Ghanaian poet Nii Ayikewei Parkes said people attending the festival had realised something was wrong when Awoonor, known affectionately by many in Ghana as “Prof”, failed to turn up for a session at which poets from west Africa and east Africa were due to perform a reading.

“Professor Awoonor and I and two other poets were representing west Africa, and there were four poets from east Africa,” said Parkes, author of Tail of the Blue Bird, who is also Awoonor’s nephew.

“The high commissioner had phoned to say that [Awoonor’s] son Afetsi was injured in an attack at the mall, and that they had lost track of [Awoonor].

“Later that night the high commissioner phoned and said that his body had been found.”

If you click continue, you can read a portion of a poem titled ACROSS A NEW DAWN. The full poem can be read here. To read more of Awoonor’s poetry, the poetry foundation features 13 poems here.

*

from ACROSS A NEW DAWN

 

We are the celebrants

whose fields were

overrun by rogues

and other bad men who

interrupted our dance

with obscene songs and bad gestures

 

Someone said an ailing fish

swam up our lagoon

seeking a place to lay its load

in consonance with the Original Plan

 

Master, if you can be the oarsman

for our boat

please do it, do it.

I asked you before

once upon a shore

at home, where the

seafront has narrowed

to the brief space of childhood

 

We welcome the travelers

come home on the new boat

fresh from the upright tree


  1. 1 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Poet Kofi Awoonor Killed in Nairobi […]




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