Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Raymond-Depardon-1984

i

ENTRY:

with your hands in your pockets,
you walked into the room and the lights went off.
“you’ve come on your own accord!”
a voice roared and the doors locked behind you.

“on your knees!”
another voice ordered.
you knelt and closed your eyes as Mozart’s
requiem in D minor embraced the room.

ii

ACT:

those rules read to your hearing
knocked off the air you once breathed,
the tales that taught you magic,
the wands you dreamt to usurp,
the taste of  wines that built your bonds;
that night, you drank a new wine served
in a skull with sauce.
a new bond was born.
each vow was sealed with a thumbprint
in a basket of torn papers and spilt inks.

iii

EXIT:

lights on.
you opened your eyes and the requiem
resumed; nothing remained the same.
in the midst of those who formed that arc,
your new self came on a tray of books and pens.
you became a  slave to every written word.
when you left the room, tales hung over your head
and followed you everywhere; you must be a writer.

 

******************

Image by Raymond Depardon (1984) Via manufactoriel

About the author:

Portrait-eche-ndukaEchezonachukwu Nduka is a Nigerian musicologist who writes poetry, short fiction and essays. His works have appeared in reputable literary journals and poetry anthologies within and outside Nigeria. He is currently a Postgraduate Research Music student  in Kingston University London, UK.

 

Tags: , , ,

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

8 Responses to “The Initiation | by Eche Nduka | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. AQUA November 17, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    Thumbs up Echezona!!!

  2. Kiru Taye November 17, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Love this. Brilliant.

  3. henreitta November 17, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Very good work, I would have worked at a less dramatic transitory verse (part 2), or would have worked at a very dramatic concluding verse just like in the intro. But all in all, ☆☆☆

  4. Umar November 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Brilliant

  5. Ola Nubi November 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Well done. Great use of imagery and language.

  6. Ekejiuba Onyebuchi December 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Awesome art, awesome piece of art.

  7. PHILEMON OYUGI February 4, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Nduka, my favorite line in your poem is ” you became a slave to every written word.”

    Kudos

  8. Obi Vincent March 22, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Great use of Mozart’s requiem in D minor figuratively. Wonderful

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Interview | Feminist Library in Abidjan Challenges the Erasure of Women from Africa’s Political History

Untitled design - 2020-03-25T234455.168

Last week, we shared the news of an Abidjan-based library focused on women’s writings from the continent and the Diaspora. […]

Warscapes Magazine Seeks Video Entries: Open Call: The Corona Notebooks

Untitled design - 2020-04-02T003336.695

Bhakti Shringarpure, Editor-in-Chief of Warscapes magazine and author of Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital, has issued a call for […]

PHOTOS | The Second Asmara Addis Literary Festival in Exile

IMG_20200227_224102

The second year of the Asmara Addis Literary Festival in Exile was held from February 27 to February 28, 2020, […]

Is It Still Beautiful? Motherhood and Mental Health During a Pandemic | Ukamaka Olisakwe | Nonfiction

unnamed (5)

The only photographs I have on my LG mobile phone are my children’s. They are 17, 15, and 13, and […]

Six Poets Shortlisted for the 2020 Brunel International African Poetry Prize

Untitled design - 2020-03-31T142647.307

Six poets have been shortlisted for the 2020 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Among the list, which is dominated by […]

An Argentinian Crocheter Made a Doll of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We Interviewed Her.

Untitled design (1)

Fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie may have heard that earlier this year, she gave a keynote speech at Chile’s Future […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.