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As she bent over to pick up the white board marker, the rest of the world faded out.

It was me and this intriguing glorious enchantress, oh, and that marker that knew just when to fall, in this life of sin. My breath caught in my chest as she rose, in a slow seductive motion, and stood erect, all five foot seven perfection of her. She turned towards the board and continued writing whatever it was she was writing in the real world, saying whatever it was she was saying to whoever was listening. For me, it was all lips and the glory of her perky backside positioned in my direct line of sight.

I love poetry.


I’d never been good at literature. I found reading a bore and hadn’t written a proper essay since secondary school.  So imagine my dismay when I realized I had a compulsory course in Poetry. I woke up that morning hating my life. Everything appeared to be working against me. I woke up late, missed the train and then missed my videography practical class, which, by the way, had been my only joy in Uni. I went into Poetry 101 with as much life as an old worn rag doll, waiting to count the minutes till I left the class. How pleasantly surprising my day turned out!

Five minutes past 11am, the lecturer hadn’t arrived. Boring and late, I thought. As if teaching poetry wasn’t bad enough.

Restless and bored, I asked the hippy looking lad beside me about the poetry classes he had taken in the past. He was an English major. He went into an unnecessarily detailed account of how poetry classes worked. Basically I picked up two interesting points:

1. The lecturer was a woman.
2. She was African.

I hadn’t had an African lecturer since I began studying in the UK, so I was mildly excited.

She stepped in.

It felt like the room became less noisy, like the lights became dimmer, like the air had been invaded by an army of sweet-smelling daisies. What I felt that day was beyond excitement. As the stunning African temptress swayed her magnificent hips into Poetry 101, that very moment, my life changed forever.

Every Tuesday or, rather, Poetry 101 Tuesday, I woke up with a hard-on. I woke up with thoughts of seeing my Afro-queen. I never missed a class. I never wanted to go through any Tuesday without watching her plump juicy lips bounce up and down as they went on and on about Shakespeare. I never missed a class—which is why it was odd that after a whole semester of taking Poetry, I knew as much about poetry as I did the first day I dragged my grumpy ass into class. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Everything I knew revolved around Ms. Okoh, my divorced poetry lecturer who had the most amazing behind I had ever seen in my entire

What I did that day with my poetry assignment still surprises me. Ms. Okoh had given the whole class an assignment to write a prose poem about a fascinating discovery. I spent that entire weekend reading up about photography which, at the time, was the most fascinating thing to me.

I got to class with my usual boner, ready to take on the world. I was prepared to impress Ms. Okoh with my knowledge of photography with hopes that she would notice me and one or two things might lead to the other. Of course it wasn’t really that much of a hope, more like a dream. I was young and in my prime. I figured if I could get her to, at least, say my name, all I needed was my mind, my soap and my… well, never mind.

We were all settled in and about to begin writing, when she bent to pick her marker. I had never been more disorientated in my life. All I could think of was that moment, that woman, that marker and well, that incredibly uncomfortable boner.

Time seemed to freeze. I started writing. Fiercely. Passionately. I didn’t know how long it was until the timer went off. Like someone in a trance, I turned in my paper and zombied out of the classroom.

Tuesday came again. I, and all of my penis, arrived in class. I sat in my spot. It was a strategic position I had discovered. I had her in my line of vision at all the important angles without her taking notice.

I was already far gone into my fantasies when I felt the whole class staring at me, which was pretty unusual. Then I heard my name, the slightly modified Nigerian accent that could only belong to one person.

“Jide Mbadiwe-Gold, please could you step out in front of the class and read us your beautiful piece.’

What beautiful piece!? What the hell was going on!?

I walked to the front of the class and took the paper from Ms. Okoh (a paper Ms. Okoh had touched! Holy Moses on a Molly!). Apparently, it was my essay from the previous Tuesday.

It read:

The Twin Planet That Never Gets Enough Credit

Spherical like the earth but different. Different because it stood on nothing. No, it didn’t hold such magic. It stood, round and proud, on the smallest pillar ever. A miracle in its own right. Just like the earth, it is a master piece, a work of art, a beauty to behold. Its tiny support gave it room to run wild and be free. To stand in all its glory or gyrate to the rhythm of movement. Now, these beautiful twin planets, a lot like the earth they seem, possesses an enchantment that  would outshine the earth’s magnificence. The inexplicable beauty of this roundness held up by sheer grace will forever be a marvel to me. For this reason it causes me great pain that the thoughts birthed in me by these oval beauties have been condemned as sinful. How can something that looks so good be so shamefully bad. I believe this roundness of sin can hold no evil. I believe the evil is in man and not in his body. I believe in the gift of nature and the purity of it. I believe in nudity and the body of a woman. I believe in the oval twin planet no one talks about, the most fascinating discovery I ever made.

That, Ladies and gentlemen, was my first attempt at a poem.

The class applauded as Mr. Mbadiwe-Gold left the platform. Murmurs erupted around the auditorium. The consensus of opinion was:

“This nigga really wrote a poem about booty.”




Post image by Fiona Shaw via Flickr.

About the Author:

Portrait - NnannaChioma Nnanna is a writer and content creator with educational qualifications in unbelievably “irrelevant” fields. Extremely artsy and a self acclaimed funny girl, Chioma is currently taking online courses in Creative Writing. She earns a living working as a content provider with motherhood-in-style magazine.

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.

3 Responses to “Poetry 101 | by Chioma Nnanna | An African Story” Subscribe

  1. Felicia April 22, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    LOL! Good read!

  2. Chinaza April 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    At the beginning, I thought a guy wrote this but it’s just Chioma….beautiful descriptions!

  3. Catherine O May 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Lol. Nice poem. Was fooled into thinking the author was male too!

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