A Book Review On The Anthology
“Piquant (Love poems to Prince Tonye Princewill)”
Reviewer: P. C Enwereuka – BA. English – First Class Hons. , MA
(ED) English, ADV. DIP. ED. ADMIN/ENGLISH, DIP. TH.
The word Piquant means at first level, “having a pleasantly and strong or spicy taste”. At second level – it means “exciting and interesting.” OAL DICTIONARY.
A careful reading of the anthology reveals a lot about the author. He is a young man whose mind is not only creative but a volcano of ideas about men, events and things.
He is perhaps one of those rare minds that Providence placed in this part of the world but trampled upon by jackboot of a class of satanic leadership that has kept this country down for too long.
If the author were born in the First World Country, he could have been among the intellectual celebrities of that part of the world. The reason in not far fetched. In the words of Prof. Tekena Tamuno, (if I am quoting him right):
“Whatever is noble
Whatever is excellent
Whatever is beautiful
A panoramic view of the anthology stands the author as a dancer in the arena who understands how to throw the steps of both gospel and secular classics.
The poems address spiritual, secular, social and individual matters. At the spiritual plane, the author acknowledges and extols the Almighty for being an impregnable defense to His people and the Provider for His people. See “The Lord's Instrument,” “Have You Heard The Voice Of God?”
The poems breathe hope through its pages – refer to “To Us You Are Born, I Praise …. I Have Trusted And Never Will I be Afraid…” (Lines 6-7) “I Praise”.
Without furrowing further, the author goes on to expose both political and religious hypocrisy. In “Church And Democracy”, lines 10-13, Onwumere highlights the contradictions in the life of the political class. He describes them as “Men (who) hide in guise of church and democracy extirpating (destroying) mankind with friendly words”.
Hope keeps on blowing through the pages. In the author's belief, the oppressed will outlive their oppressors, and the persecuted outlive their persecutors. This is so because the God of Justice and Equity is on the throne of the universe. The author did not fail to admire and extol the great Lucky Dube now of blessed memory who was cut down by the wicked hands of assassins.
Odimegwu Onwumere makes no secret of his interests in things spiritual and mundane. He does not want to be so heavenly and spiritually conscious as to be of no earthly/secular use. He paid tributes to some people who mean much to him.
Above all, Odimegwu Onwumere 'adores' Prince Tonye Princewill whom he sees as a role model, a paradigm for contemporary youths and politicians.
To the author, Prince Tonye Princewill is the man of the moment. Any man is free to make a choice without apologies to any other man. That is life.
It is also pertinent to observe that the language of the poem is prose-like, making it easy for any average reader to understand.
The author's bold adventure into the literary world of poetry is commendable. After all, do we not know that poetry is the language of the noble while prose is the language of the ordinary people?
So, Prince Odimegwu Onwumere is encouraged to ride on, he is paying the price, washing his hands so well that he may have a permanent seat with the literary nobles and dine with them. Thou budding poet, ride on and let nothing deter you!
Finally, this budding literary icon deserves the financial and moral support of all lovers of literary work. Those he has immortalized and eulogized in this anthology as well as those of us have to do something so that Nigeria does not continue to kill ideas.