Regular readers of this blog will remember the memorable guest edition featuring the young Nigerian poet Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, who graced these pages with his words and wonderful pictures.
I am thrilled to bring you this review of his latest book of poetry, Punctured Silence.
Punctured Silence is the much-anticipated follow up collection of poetry to his second solo work, The Light Bearer.
A young poet, Freedom’s work has gone from strength to strength in this collection. His compositions have evolved and grown, the structures more sophisticated and the imagery more delicately expressed, such as in the verse ‘I fall no more’. What has not changed is the motive for his writing. What speaks to readers in Freedom’s poetry is the raw emotion he expresses, and the irrepressible hope that shines through each piece.
Readers of Christian poetry will enjoy this collection, but it is by no means exclusive. Freedom’s verses speak on a universal humanitarian level with their constant call for peace and co-existence. He draws on the violence in the world around him, and poems such as ‘It could have been you’ describe the terrible violence inflicted on Africa by groups such as Boko Haram. Through his words, he illustrates the scars have been inflicted upon his country and that will remain for many years to come. And yet, ever the optimist, the author shows his dreams for a better future through poems such as ‘Arise O Africa’.
One of the best aspects of this collection are the snippets of African language and culture that permeate the poetry. In poems such as ‘Healing the world with words’, the reader is treated to short explanations in the footnotes relating to Nigerian flora and fauna, as well as cultural figures and Gods. This really enlivens the work and adds another dimension to the pieces.
Overall, Punctured Silence is a wonderful read and a breath of fresh air.