Poetry

Buying Mum A Birthday Book Gift

The love of books has taken me on journey my Mum paid for many years ago. Without her asking me, ‘can you read better?’ Just before she stood up from her white work table to dismiss my interruption with a dusty literary gift. She thrust a Nancy Drew serial in my small palms from the looming, dark brown, wooden bookshelf in her room. Without her offering that wooden, Spectrum Publishers book box to me to pick first before she does. I won’t have fallen in love with African literature, romance, erotica and crime detective novels.

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Three years ago I began gifting her a book on her birthday. Although my siblings and I get her other birthday gifts. Initially, I had no idea what book to gift my Mum on the 18th.  This year’s gift is The Parrot In My Head by Anuoluwapo Sotunde.

• Did You Know? The world record holding parrot knew and spoke 1,700 words!

My top five types of book gifts for Mum’s birthday are:

1.  A book from a genre she doesn’t commonly read. You want to be the one to introduce her to Afrofuturism adventures, vibrant Young Adult Fiction, inspiring Christian Romance or even honest, health themed, African Literature. I can remember how my excited my mum was reading an African magical realism and Fantasy novel.

2. Buy her a witty poetry or intriguing short story collection. If she loves poetry. A collection would be a delight. If she doesn’t read so much, a short story collection will be a suitable gift. It isn’t as lengthy as a novel. This will be the first time I’d give my Mum poetry collection. Fingers crossed.

• Did You Know? Parrots feathers have antibacterial properties.

3. Get her on Okadabooks! If she is always on the go and online. Download the reading app on her device. Set up a reader profile and curate a reading list. Pay for the books or buy reading airtime(affordable in naira) on the Okadabooks app. With over 10,000 books published on Okadabooks, Mum can hop on the ride to her next favourite ebook. She doesn’t have to be internet savy to open the app, load airtime, pay for a book she’s interested in and read.  

4.  Gift her a business, career or self-help book for her self development. This option is more suitable if she is a fan of creative non-fiction.

• Did You Know? Many parrots have near-human lifespan.

5.  Buy Mum an old edition of one of her favourite books or a classic she loved reading. It’s a nostalgic gift she will appreciate. If you can’t find any, look for theatre adaptations of these classics. Get tickets, slay and enjoy the show with her.

DON’T

Forget to add a thoughtful note and not just a birthday wish. You can write about a childhood memory, one of her life quotes, what you hope the book teaches her or simply how your love for her is more than your love for YA Romance. If you ordered the book from an online bookstore. Send them a draft of your note to add to the delivery package. Make sure the book is neatly wrapped and she gets its delivery. These tips will also be helpful in a choosing a mother’s day gift.

Happy birthday to a Gem Maker!

 

 

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#instastory:EVERYWHERE?!

I read small white-biege pages on yellow danfos amidst the sunny Lagos bustle. Not even the jolts of an okada can tear my eyes away from devouring ebooks on my @okadabooks app. My fingers hold down a novel’s open spine hoping salt or palm oil won’t scar the characters while red stew boils behind me in the kitchen. When standing on a lengthy atm queue of stout, lean, brown, black bodies–I pull out and continue the day’s poetry collection from my handbag. The @rovingheights book mark protects my spoon before I launch it into the depths of a glass jar of hazelnut chocolate spread, when reading African literature. Heck, my bookstagram is filled with quirky book photos. The imaginary lives, world and adventures of unforgettable characters enclosed in a book can always be seen next to me.

Even in the shower. I can’t just leave the exposed world crafted by the tiny black words of another creative. So don’t judge. Am I the only one who carries my new books everywhere?

Musings of a Tangled Tongue

 

Musings Of A Tangled Tongue By Yemi Adesanya

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because in our walking in the shoes of a writer through reading, we experiences something different, something new, that may call attention to yet undiscovered parts of our humanity”– Kola Tubosun wrote amidst his slightly lengthy Foreword of this excellent collection of poems.

A friend who saw the book with me asked what its title meant. Then I said, ‘thoughts from someone trying to say a lot’. But after typing, erasing and typing my own description of this collection. I realised my tongue got tangled while describing this collection of thoughts. I found this collection to be a delicious mix of engaging, mischievous, bold, well written and fun commentaries about contemporary life. This book lived from my handbags to my book stacks through January to February. Yet I haven’t finished beginning new daring and stimulating poems.

This is one of my favourite book photos from January.

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Below I share my favourite poems, titles, lines, stanzas and thoughts from February.

Bless This Day is my fav favie favourite poem so far! It has seven stanzas that bless, aptly describe and tell me about the personality of every day of the week. I plan on framing it.

Special Characters uses imagery and personification  to gossip about special characters.

‘Awaken from a Comma,

As someone shouted: “His Colon is on fire!”

Saved by a timely Exclamation!

Now he’s gotta live with a Semicolon;

Slayed by a Muse: I had to reread this poem a few times to understand it.  It’s first stanza starts with dope imagery and metaphor, ‘Once upon a heart beating oxygen rich lines. Valves of words and arteries of rhymes.’ This poem tells the story of the death of a mysterious persona. I was left to muse on how the drunk girl in stanza two was related to the murder continued in stanza three. Or was this poem just a poetic description of a creative overly inspired by a deadly muse? I’m still pondering.

Was Born in Sin: The persona in this short poem  does not confess but shares difficulties every believer faces without pretense. The last lines of both stanzas were written in Pidgin English. I could only say Shey? and Amen o!

Mind Mirage’s four stanzas were laced with lovely oxymoron and witty satire.

‘clean face, dirty mind

You look so good,

But smell one kind’

The second stanza brought an old roommate to mind ‘..You buy so much, But dress so razz’ and the fourth stanza aptly critics some men.

Snoring Is The Devil’s Chorus, I love the title of this poem. It was short, witty and ended with a sarcastic pleading. ‘Snoring is death, it’s the devil’s chorus; That’s not music, please sing a new tune’ The use of repetition, metaphor, simile, alliteration and imagery made the poem come alive. ‘Heartstorm rhymes like blunt knives.’

I found Evolution fascinating. The use of repetition didn’t stop the various stanzas from telling different  vivid, metaphorical tales. I love the third stanza; ‘In the beginning was a spark. With another, a flame. Burned by a game. And drained by his sport. Not a matter for court. Snack for a city shark’. What sport? I asked, Oscar of SA maybe? A spark ..a flame? I thought. Sport betting debts gotten him burned to death!

Hallelujah! The rhythm of this lengthy poem had me humming to Leonard Cohen’s hit Hallelujah tune.

McHunger was not on my list of fascinating or favourite poems. But when an online exercise asked what the first sentence on pg 15 of the book beside me was. I picked up M.O.A.T.T and flipped to page 15. I read the two lines and texted, ‘I shiver, but not from cold’. This is still my favourite line from this poem.

Seeing this title got me curious about what story Ailing Soul would tell me. The following lines from various four stanzas caught my eyes. ‘Live! Dont marinate your young soul’. ‘Fasting won’t matter if joy never comes. Life is what you make of its tick and tock.’

In No Kidding a mother tells me how to raise a forward, forthright and diligent being. Captivating poem about home training and motherly love.

Echoes from a Buried Ballad, Life on its Glide and Death Left You a Note are titles that powerfully used personification. I could reread these titles all day.

This collection has made a poetry lover out of me. With different personas sharing captivating or downright mischievous tales through the poet’s exquisite use of literary technique. As I continue reading, I anticipate more wondrous poems to fall in love with in March.

image source: amethystsaw