Sunday, June 18, 2006

spinning odialetics

After all the ‘lurve’ in the posts below on Idonije and Osofisan, how about we stir things up a bit, and offer you something a little different? Here goes…

Chiedu Ezeanah
The Spinner of Dialetics

“If you want to know the sex of the lagoon
Jump, jump into it, and you will suffer
The swollen silence of rebirth...”
(The Poet Lied - Odia Ofeimun)

He spits virulent tirades against everything,
Because he must meet a vituperative need.

His supernal sense of human solidarity endures
In sundry fixations, and in his pet slogan-

Everything is political. The end justifies the meanness.

He dabbles in every discourse to sell his hit.
He spawns treatises even on the dialectics of silt.

Tons of dusty manuscripts celebrate his sagacity.
Like the undertaker, he beats his chest in triumph
For dispatching an older poet to his “literary tomb”.

He would gossip and meddle in another's young matrimony.
He would suck the bliss in every wench, but won't dare marry.

Blind to the funny image rambling in the mirror
He harasses the air in self-ballooning anger…

The above poem by Chiedu Ezeanah, was published along with other works by himself and other poets in the current issue of the Sentinel Poetry Online. But on reading the above, The Spinner of Dialetics, some would have been forgiven for thinking that Ezeanah is indulging in what we might call ODIAlectics.

Ezeanah gives the piece an intro taken from The Poet Lied, possibly Odia Ofeimun’s most famous work. Then he goes on to talk about someone who “spits” “tirades against everything”; whose slogan declares that “Everything is political”; who despatched “an older poet to his literary tomb”. Well, the poet John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo was the persona treated in The Poet Lied… to state the obvious.

And many, no doubt, have been reaching the somewhat obvious conclusion that the ‘Spinner of Dialetics’, as presented us by Ezeanah - is none other than Odia Ofeimun.

Here's what Chiedu Ezeanah has to say…
"The very idea of writing and art, to advert to Tolstoy's words, "is about communicating a feeling". This process is not complete until it reaches reception point. Feedbacks are a boon of a bonus!

Seriously, since last Sunday in Lagos when I was informed that there was a big hoopla being made of one sonnet out of the four or five I sent for publication in the Sentinel On-line Journal, I have been rather amused that the work is being so personalised.

Let me state clearly here that I truly revere Odia Ofeimun, but that fact does not imply that I censor myself from my creative responsibility. Just as no one man-mountain can hinder Odia from writing his work.

For the first, and I hope the last time, The Spinner of Dialectics is not about Odia, even though one grants every reader his/her right to read/misread the work. This poem is just one out of 100 Sonnets (in 25 Quartets) that make up Song of Songs (soon to be published by the poet/publisher Nengi Ilagha, hopefully before next month.)

So please, I think readers should simply read and enjoy the poem. I consider the big noise being made out of this a big distraction."

Well folks, you heard it here first; Chiedu says it's not about Odia. That settles it then. Or does it? Watch this space.

* The Spinner of Dialetics (a) Chiedu Ezeanah. Reproduced with permission.

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