Favourite Poems of 2009

Readers' Picks:

Apology to Witches by Darko Antwi (Issue 3.41, October 10th - 16th, 2009)
Comments on Apology to Witches:

"I chose this poem because it holds a stock of lesson for every African to read. Many times we have lashed out at Europeans for being the sources of our woes. Though they can't be left out entirely, much havoc have caused by we ourselves and the writer explicitly reveals that. He pinpoints some instances where societies have come in to decide the fate of African and makes it quite satirical, compelling readers to reorganise their thoughts and assess themselves before the cast the first stone.

In a nut shell, I chose this poem because it's not meant for relaxation, but instead is meant to cause to people to change their ways in order to see the change that they long been looking for."
- Adjei Agyei-Baah

"A critic and a constant on OGOV, Darko has almost single-handedly resurrected the power of analysis on OGOV. With this poem, he goes straight into the issue of projection, of blaming others for the consequences of our actions. Darko fearlessly presents the subject with the splendid couplet:

Nobody did us
We did ourselves
"
- Prince Mensah


Savannah Rain, West Africa by Daniela Elza (Issue 3.6, February 7th - 13th, 2009)
Comments on Savannah Rain, West Africa:

"Cinematic. Great pacing. Carries itself in 11 couplets, until the very last line. Harnesses the suddenness of a tropical storm, then slows it down so the reader can experience it as if through a stop-motion lens. It is about the Savannah's most precious and treasured element - water - and how its action shapes everything else." - L.S. Mensah

"Brilliant. Brilliant. And I want to say this again." - Martin Egblewogbe


For my Husband, an Educated Fool by Nana Yeboaa (Issue 3.23, June 6th - 12th, 2009)
Comments on For my Husband, an Educated Fool:

"Nana Yeboaa just said what so many women would like to say but can't... "
- Mariska Taylor-Darko

"I like this poem because it channels the frustrations of women who are caught up in the constant redefinitions of love within and outside a race. It is about the travails in the exposure of familiarity to a terrain of new options. There is a theme akin to the central one in "Things Fall Apart" - the center cannot hold because a new reality has risen on horizons of heritage." - Prince Mensah


Zimbabwe by Prince Mensah (Issue 3.44, October 31st - November 6th, 2009)
Comments on Zimbabwe:

""Zimbabwe" is a beautifully crafted poem in which Prince explores the ideas of place-naming, identity, and boundaries. He does this with a melodic voice, carrying the reader through the politics of Zimbabwe with seeming effortlessness." - Marta Taylor

"The struggle continues, a bold moving poem Prince." - Ivor W. Hartmann



Staff Picks:

Why Birds Sing by L.S. Mensah
(Issue 3.37, September 12 - 18th, 2009)
Comments on Why Birds Sing:

"L.S. is a treasure. She writes with such probing ability that just one read of her poem is an injustice to the love of poetry. She commands attention from her readers with her style and manages to present language in a bouquet of beautiful images - here's a prophecy: L S will become one of Ghana's top poets. Mark this on the wall." - Prince Mensah

""Why Birds Sing" is my favourite poem published on OGOV in 2009. L.S. Mensah's attention to form and to sound is admirable. Like Edith Faalong in 2008, L.S. has arrived in full form. We can only hope that 2010 will bring us new poets of similar talent - and of course more work from L.S.!" - Rob Taylor


Pantoum #4 by Van G. Garrett / Fui Koshi (Issue 3.35, September 1st - 4th, 2009)
Comment on Pantoum #4:

""Pantoum #4" is from Van's "Snaps of Ghana" series, which ran on OGOV throughout August and into early September. "Snaps of Ghana", featuring Van's photographs and poems from his travels throughout Ghana, was the first time we focused an entire month on the work of one poet, and was a great success. With or without the rest of the series for support, "Pantoum #4" is a strong poem, utilizing its form to reinforce its themes of relaxation and contemplation." - Rob Taylor


Interregnum by L.S. Mensah (Issue 3.45, November 7th - 13th, 2009)
Comment on Interregnum:

"What an apt poem! The beauty of being is on display in this poem. This is juxtaposed with the bleak sense of emptiness with laughter-morsels with Brother Silence. L.S. Mensah just gave Zimbabweans a gift, a still picture of existence, a reportage on reality. This poem showcases a poet who is observant of the past, present and future in a single passing moment." - Prince Mensah
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