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

100 Most Influential Young Nigerians: Otosirieze Obi-Young, Arit Okpo, Kiki Mordi, Richard Akuson & Olutimehin Adegbeye Make Avance Media’s List

otosirieze obi-young, arit okpo, olutimehin adegbeye, richard akuson, kiki mordi on Avance Media's list of 100 most influential young nigerians

Brittle Paper’s Deputy Editor Otosirieze Obi-Young has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” in 2019 by […]

For Working Class Writers & Refugees, Sulaiman Addonia Is Giving Out 40 Free Tickets to the Asmara Addis Festival

Asmara Addis Literray Festival in Exile (13)

When writing is described as an elitist profession, critics mean that opportunities in the field are determined by access, which […]

Modern Sudanese Poetry | New Anthology Spans Six Decades of Sudanese History & Cultural Intersections

Modern Sudanese Poetry - graph

Modern Sudanese Poetry: An Anthology, translated and edited by the Sudanese poet Adil Babikir, was published in paperback in September […]

Chuma Nwokolo Compensated in Plagiarism Lawsuit Against High Definition Film Studio, Shares More Stories of Plagiarism of His Work

chuma nwokolo by Yusuf Dahir

In November 2019, the Nigerian author Chuma Nwokolo called out Nollywood filmmaker Bright Wonder Obasi for using sections of his […]

Apply to the African Writers Trust Publishing Fellowship Programme

African writers trust

African Writers Trust (AWT) is a non-profit collective that seeks to promote the sharing of skills and resources, and to […]

Dr Stella Nyanzi Receives Oxfam Novib/PEN International Award for Freedom of Expression

stella nyanzi - graph - kampala dispatch

The Ugandan academic and gender and queer rights advocate Dr Stella Nyanzi has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.