EBIDENYEFA EMPLOYS IMAGES TO STIR, INCITE in ‘THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE’: a review by Joseph Omotayo

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TITLE: THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE
AUTHOR: EBIDENYEFA TARILA NIKADE
GENRE: Poetry
PUBLISHER: Words Rhymes & Rhythm, 2015
ISBN: 978-978-947-211-6
REVIEWER: Joseph Omotayo

I should tell you something about this book ‘THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE’ before anything else; at a point you will stop reading it, you will be purged, you will react, violently. However you react is up to you.

Ebidenyefa Tarila Nikade employs images to stir, to incite to a cause of action. For me, that is the beauty of poetry. Poetry should cause many things within its condensed lines and stanzas, this is when language in its compressed form is relevant.

I will be sentimental in the way I talk about this book. Forgive my bias.

Now, I want to disregard Monroe Beardsley’s and W.K. Wimsatt’s Affective Fallacy on Literary Formalism. If the emotion a text welled up in me is not used in relating with the text, then what is the significance of literature as being reflective of life?

‘THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE’ jabs at my sensitivity, the collection moves me. With fifty-five poems and five sections, the collection traverses many issues.

Every section of the collection is thematic. In A Pilgrim’s Note, the poet is awash with nostalgia. This nostalgia reminds you of Gabriel Okara’s The River Called Nun. Just like Gabriel Okara’s The River Called Nun romanticizes nature as he becomes homesick, the poet reminiscences about home and her loved one. Section Songs From An Angel’s Heart examines love with the young and old and the disappointment of it. Femininity blazes hot. I will return to Femininity later. The Flood explores the horror of nature and its essence. Life explores life and its morasses.

Femininity

I have a preference for this section; that is my bias. This section deals with womanhood, female victimization, hurts, and loses.

This part of the book engages me more. It is replete with justifiable venoms. The tone is fiery. Lines of Innocence will jolt you. A rape happened in it.

The very act is x-rayed and fiery vexation overcomes you and you want to do something, you want to protect, you will wish you were a superhero.

Lines of innocence
Cringed and flinched
At the turgidity emanating
From the phallic assailant…

Moans of ecstasy and picketing
The immiscible rhythm of pain and pleasure …

The showers of his spill
Like the Gurrara falls
Defiles her desirable pride

Dishabille, she rises
From the sinful lounge of shame
Her shredded raiment…

In Still Birthday, a mother writes a birthday poem for her gone child. It is poignant. This piece moves one to tears.

“…But you were the arrival of a hurried departure
The momentary miracle gone too soon
Another proof of my womanhood”
Flow makes menstruation stylish:
“Blood!
Crimson
Unstoppable
Flowing from within
Without bruise’

‘THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE’ is a book that doesn’t leave you. It reads on in your head.  [CLICK HERE TO BUY IT]

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JOSEPH OMOTAYO (@omotayome) is a Nigerian reviewer and blogger. Some of his works are published at criticalliteraturereview.blogspot.com and josephomotayo.blogspot.com.

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