Night Falls on Children Playing - Kofi A. Amoako

I could predict, almost to that very minute
When mothers would begin calling their children
Kofi! Ama! Kojo! Esi! Kwame!
Of course, the sweetness of play encouraged boys to ignore these calls
But one by one, they would disappear as play began its slow death.

I could predict because it was almost always at the same time
When the pestle and mortar began their fufu dance
When pots and pans chimed as they struck the ground
When ladles swam across hot pots of groundnut soup.

I could predict because this was right after
The sun had settled but not comfortably still
And bats were eagerly flying to wherever in their thousands
When the coops were quiet because the roosters had began dozing
And the young shepherds trailed the last sheep and the excitable goats.

Such were the times when nights fell on playing children.


Dela Bobobee said...

Kofi O. Amoako,

Your poem definitely makes a very interesting read. It showcases indigenous Ghanaian culture in naming their children after the seven days of the week. It is highly predictable that most Ghanaian men have a “K” as their initials or middle names, the popular ones being Kofi, Kwame, Kojo, kweku, kwabla, Kwesi, etc. Lol…. This is very interesting to outsiders, especially the way Ghanaians take pride in mixing such names with borrowed Christian and English names.

The humorous and nostalgic undertones in the poem are also unmistakable. The mental imagery painted by the poem ideally depicts such times when nights fell on playing children. Like the interviewer rightly noticed, the feeling of motion evoked in the poem is also perceptible. When compared to Mariska’s poem “The Deer Hunt”, one could point out similarities like, kinetic, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, auditory, and visual imageries. You make my mouth water with yummy images of fufu and hot groundnut soup...hmmn.

Well done Kofi, “I could predict, memories of such times surely bring smiles to your face.” Aren’t we all? Lol.

geosi said...

Beautiful lines, i think.

Darko Antwi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kofi A. Amoako said...

Thank you gentlemen for your kind words. I greatly appreciate your comments.
for me, (though not in all instances) moments in childhood are worth acknowledging and celebrating 'cause they remind us of a simple time before taxes, and other stresses consumed our lives.

Darko Antwi said...

With respect to narrative beauty and cultural benevolence, Kofi Amoako's poetry symbolises Ghanaian literature in its golden age.

Amoako's published copy is the kind of stuff for which poetry lovers would in future queue at Silverbird. Such is likely going to happen.

Welldone Kofi, our Canada-based gentleman!

Thanks to Prince and MSP Dela. You make me feel that I have something to offer - to add up to the brilliant critical work you, L.S, and others have been serving at OGOV. Let me open up:

When I read the proximity and appropriateness of your commentary, I begin to reason as though you guys are palmists. As though each has a sixth sense that reads into the lines drawn in the palm of poets. Glory be to God.

Once again, thank you for encouraging what I bring to the table.