some days all i startle

It's been a while since I mentioned anything about One Ghana, One Voice here on the blog. This is in part because I took a hiatus over the summer, my first in five years. Well, we're back at it, and I'm very pleased to be able to present two poems by one of my favourite Ghanaian poets, L.S. Mensah, over the next two weeks. Both poems look at Nigerian literary characters from the perspective of their mothers (whose stories were overlooked in the original texts). The first, Mother of Ikemefuna, is already up on the site, along with a Q+A with L.S., which is, as always with L.S., both thoughtful and informative. My favourite answer of hers this time was in response to a question about her opening line (the title of this post):

Looking back, I believe that phrase started life in one of my Congo poems but it always impeded my efforts to do anything with it. It became the starting point for this poem, but even then I wouldn't say the outcome was guaranteed. Seamus Heaney makes a point about how the right opening line can lead one to generate a whole poem, but one does need some luck too. A lot of the time I feel like an Accra cobbler, making shoes out of those worn car tyres, hammering them into place with oversized Kantamanto nails!
The second poem in the series, along with another Q+A, will be published next Saturday.

To see more of what OGOV has been up to of late, check out the archives. And if you, or someone you know, is somehow connected to Ghana + poetry, get those submissions coming!

No comments: