Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 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: , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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

  1. AQUA 2014/11/17 at 02:28 #

    Thumbs up Echezona!!!

  2. Kiru Taye 2014/11/17 at 03:53 #

    Love this. Brilliant.

  3. henreitta 2014/11/17 at 06:49 #

    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 2014/11/17 at 13:25 #

    Brilliant

  5. Ola Nubi 2014/11/17 at 18:27 #

    Well done. Great use of imagery and language.

  6. Ekejiuba Onyebuchi 2014/12/23 at 15:58 #

    Awesome art, awesome piece of art.

  7. PHILEMON OYUGI 2015/02/04 at 02:01 #

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

    Kudos

  8. Obi Vincent 2015/03/22 at 07:51 #

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

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

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

Archives

Mabanckou, Mengestu, Shoneyin: The Caine Prize Recruits Big Names as 2018 Judges

Alain Mabanckou - Afropolitain

For its 2018 edition, the Caine Prize has recruited a host of big names for its panel of judges. Alain […]

Nnedi Okorafor Releases First Issue of “Black Panther: Long Live the King.” Long Live The Queen.

Black Panther - Long Live the King

The forthcoming Black Panther movie, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has generated a world of hype. […]

Paris Review Editor Lorin Stein Resigns After Accusations of Sexual Misconduct at Work

Lorin Stein

American critic Lorin Stein, editor of the prestigious, career-making literary journal Paris Review, has resigned from his job after accusations […]

Revisiting Childhood | Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau | Poetry

5570178377_ca5e11db25_o

in church today/ the pastor mentioned the twelve ways to burning in hell/ he did not mention love/ i began […]

Photos | Happy Birthday to Ainehi Edoro, Founder and Editor of Brittle Paper

Ainehi Edoro 2

One evening in mid-2010, in her apartment in Chicago, Ainehi Edoro, then a PhD student at Duke University, looked up […]

Lola Shoneyin Is a Cover Star on Guardian Life Magazine

lola

It’s almost two years since Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation, graced the cover of Guardian Life Magazine, […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.