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Collected Poems

Chinua Achebe

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
RRP: GBP£ 9.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857548 43 3
Categories: 20th Century, African, Black and Asian
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2005
216 x 135 x 6 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Digital access available through Exact Editions
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  • remember also your children
    for they in their time will want
    a place for their feet when
    they come of age and the dance
    of the future is born
    for them.

            from 'Beware, Soul Brother'
      
    Chinua Achebe is one of the founding fathers of African literature in English, a writer of world stature whose novel Things Fall Apart is one of the essential works of the twentieth century. This Collected Poems draws on his three collections of poetry, and includes seven previously unpublished poems; it reveals a lifetime of poetic engagement with politics, war and culture, inherited wisdom and the making of new futures. Achebe's poems are ironic, generous and tender, drawing deep on the Igbo traditions of his African roots, confronting the continent's harsh realities of violence and exploitation.
    Table of Contents

    In Lieu of a Preface: A Parable

    Prologue
    1966
    Benin Road
    Mango Seedling
    Pine Tree in Spring
    The Explorer
    Agostinho Neto

    Poems About War
    The First Shot
    A Mother in a Refugee Camp
    Christmas in Biafra (1969)
    Air Raid
    Biafra, 1969
    An "If" of History
    Remembrance Day
    A Wake for Okigbo
    After a War

    Poems Not About War
    Love Song (for Anna)
    Love Cycle
    Question
    Answer
    Beware, Soul Brother
    NON-commitment
    Generation Gap
    Misunderstanding
    Knowing Robs Us
    Bull and Egret
    Lazarus
    Vultures
    Public Execution in Pictures

    Gods, Men, and Others
    Penalty of Godhead
    Those Gods Are Children
    Lament of the Sacred Python
    Their Idiot Song
    The Nigerian Census
    Flying

    Epilogue
    He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not
    Dereliction
    We Laughed at Him

    Notes
    Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi in 1930, and graduated from Ibadan University in 1953. After studying in the BBC staff school with other Commonwealth broadcasters, he worked as a radio broadcaster until 1966, when he left his post as director of external broadcasting in Nigeria during the national upheaval that ... read more
      '...easily the most powerful book I read in 2005.'
    Matthew Sweet, the Independent
    Praise for Chinua Achebe 'There was a writer named Chinua Achebe, in whose company the prison walls fell down.'
    Nelson Mandela

      'The father of African literature in the English language and undoubtedly one of the most important writers of the second half of the twentieth century.'
    Caryl Phillips
      'A magical writer - one of the greatest of the twentieth century.'
    Margaret Atwood
     'Chinua Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.'
    Nadine Gordimer

     'He taught us a way of integrating what we know from being African with what we've become - hybrids of a kind.'
    Nuruddin Farah

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