||Sudan Currency Printing Press
Author: Mohamed Abdikadir
This is my second book that has been released this year. It was published by Sudan Currency Pring Press in Khartoum and it is now available for order. The book is to be launched in Khartoum by Somali Poets Club in Sudan.
Single Kiss – Book Review by: Hiwot Tesfeghergsh
Single Kiss – Book Review by: Hiwot Tesfeghergsh
JLN – Literature: Single Kiss Reviewed by: Hiwot Tesfeghergsh
Author: Mohamed Abdikadir (Stanza)
Publisher: Sudan Currency Printing Press
Published Year: 2012
Writing a book is a tiring work for many people while others enjoy this essential art which plays progressive part in human development therefore, the gifted East African poet, Mohamed Abdikadir, aka Stanza is among the handful personalities that God empowered them with a unique talent of playing with words and writing wonderful books for the general benefit of our world.
Although there is an English proverb which says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” lots of people don’t know the enormous positivity of book reading and the motif of the above saying is full of wisdom which is of great importance to all walks of human beings. Let me paraphrase the fore-mentioned proverb as: Don’t judge a book by its size – smallness and bigness. There are range of books written by famous writers that can make you drowsy as you are in the middle of the first page due to their complicated subject matters, superficial connotations and vague meanings but the newly released book of poetry collection, “Single Kiss”, by the genius East African poet, Mohamed Abdikadir, is mind-sharpening and contrary to the above mentioned kind of books.
Single Kiss is an inspirational poetical genre that is small in size but interesting and enjoyable in style with on account of its rich symbolization. It is among if not the most wonderful poetry collections in English written by an East African poet that I ever read.
East Africa is known by the world for its endless civil wars and destructive political violence but if one reads this knowledgeable book by Mohamed Abdikadir aka Stanza, one will admit that East Africa is not a bastion of warlords but a cradle of human civilization that is, full of creative and marvelous poets who the confused people in this war-prone part of Africa, are proud of at this difficult time.
If West Africa has been leading the creative imagination of the continent for the last century as a result of their artistic and literary works in foreign language, English, Mohamed’s Single Kiss is an innovative collection which can put him in the history of East African literature in the position of Earnest Hemingway in the American literature or Wole Soyinka in West African literature. As a reader of his book, Single Kiss, I confess that without hyperbole. I read this book countless times from page to page and it really gives me appetite for poetry that I was not fond of reading before getting access to Single Kiss thus, Mohamed is my favorite poet of all time whose talent epitomizes the rich depth and width of East African literature.
The Rhyme Scheme
If we look at the rhyme scheme of the book, all the poems are formal and have regular patterns of fantastic rhyming which makes the book to be of professional standard. There is no free verse in Single Kiss and we commonly encounter end rime as in the stanzas in the poem entitled “Ethiopian Maids in Plight” on page 31:
As a poet armed with humanity, (A)
On my shoulders is responsibility, (A)
I love Africa with its all walks of life, (B)
And I am proud of its botanical hive; (B)
The poet mostly uses the above shown style of rhyme scheme though he sometimes employs other types of rhyming such us central or initial rhyming but what is rarely seen is an eye rhyme which great poets don’t rely on their poems professionally therefore, the systematic setting of the formal rhyming in Single Kiss is an indication of the abundance of denotations in the memory of this smart poet which gives him academic prominence that improves the artistic standard of the work.
If we explore the diction of the poems, the poet’s style in this particular part is very distinctive but really complex to catch up with in a simple means. The way he selects words and plays with them is also very interesting because it captivates the attention of the reader magically. So, on reading the poems in the book, you can hear, smell, taste, touch and depict the wonderful images and elements in the world of Mohamed Abdikadir who is to me can be a celebrated for contemporary poet who contributes a lot to our African literature. With competent presentation, we are full participants in the world-wide literature.
The tones of the poems are very lively and there are antagonists and protagonists that the poet tries to reconcile them both internally and externally therefore, Single Kiss advocates for the rights of all beings for that we can say it is a book which is of great use for conflict resolution and crisis management at all standards. If one reads this book, one will simply get the feeling of the writer who represents the suffering people of East Africa. There is no time that the poet is relaxed and his tone is full of sadness and sorrows owing to the opposing parts that he calls them for reconciliation for example see his poem “Somalia Lives Without Life” On page 65. Let us take some stanzas from it:
Somalia lives without life!
For two decades of civil strife!
See the civilians are losing hope!
Without any help from the globe!
On the other hand, the poet does not speak for human beings only but he also defends the environment with his opulent poems as an example let us cite a poem he names “Deforestation” which is environmentally resourceful for he encourages the world to take preventive steps to save our natural surroundings from deforestation:
Deforestation is the mother of desert,
The father of the disturbing dust-storm,
The brother of death and dryness,
The sister of grisly blindness,
The grand-parent of shapelessness;
There is also another fantastic poem entitled “Protect the Elephant of Africa” on page 56 that he mourns for the elephants of Africa which are on the brink of extinction according to Mohamed Abdikadir who as an intelligent poet sees a hidden problem that others do not feel the way he feels simply because he is more sensitive to the problems and reacts to it more than others.
However wild and aggressive!
Dangerous and destructive!
Slaughter it not for its ivory!
Recall it is a valuable property!
If you read his other wonderful poem “My Dear African Mother” on page 47, you cannot imagine how Mohamed values his African mother and adores her with his God-given ability. I believe there is no African poet who praises his African mother with a poem like him. This poem which Mohamed extols his African mother enters the heart of every African lady without her knowledge as the poem is a gift from Mohamed to every African mother. If there is an African poet who wrote such a poem, then I have not yet read his book. Let us enjoy some of the lines that attract my attention and touch my heart:
If gold makes meaning, it is you Mother!
If money is valuable, it is you Mother!
If diamond is dear, it is you Mother!
If oxygen is important, it is you Mother!
The major theme of the book is peace, unity and stability simply because the poet is from a country that lacks peace and that influences him so much. He is not in peace with the problematic groups in his country, Somalia, and the main antagonist that haunts him is the war in Somalia. There are other ranges of poems that the writer emphasizes the importance of human integrity and ethics but he focuses on peace so, Mohamed is a brilliant poet and an open-minded peace activist at the same time. He is a nationalistic writer whose sentimental conscience is above the level of his tribalism-envenomed countrymen.
To the conclusion of this review, Single Kiss is a useful book which I call for all human beings to read and benefit from.
By: Hiwot Tesfeghergsh
Hiwot is an Eritrean lady educated in the Eritrean capital city, Asmara. She is the former staff of the United Nations Mission in Eritrea. She is now in Sudan as a freelance interpreter and ad hoc interpreter for UNHCR in Sudan. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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