On Sentinel Poetry (Online) #40, March 2006
I have just caught up with my reading, beginning with the past three editions of Sentinel Poetry Online and it has been worth the investment of my time. I would recommend that lovers of poetry click on this website and delight their senses with a riotous array of poetry. I say array, because the emphasis seems to be on showcasing poetry in all its colors, shapes and forms. We see poetry in Amatoritsero's extremely intense prose, in the poems, and in the haunting imagery of the works of Victor Ehikhamenor, Victor Ekpuk, Olu Oguibe, Toyin Loye, Kathleen Morbey, Emeka Udemba, Chike Azuonye, and Hassan Aliyu. Taken together, these works complement each other and present delectably robust offerings to appreciative deities. This editor and his colleagues-in-the-craft are riding the crest of the wave of technology innovation and rocking on a boat of reality. And that boat rocks! More grease to your hard working elbows!
The possible applications of the web in terms of true mass communication are really exciting. For example, it ought to be possible for institutions in Nigeria and elsewhere to use online sites like Sentinel for instructional purposes. There are issues to be ironed out - copyrights, remuneration, etc, etc. But even were it to be pro bono, it certainly would offer a sense of purpose to the owners of these works. If I was that gifted and I had the opportunity to be so rewarded, albeit in kind, I would gladly take a vow of poverty just to make a difference in the lives of the truly needy.
There was a time that print was the primary medium of dissemination of ideas. I see that notion fading; who wants to trap ideas, no matter how bad, in reams of paper that would probably never be read? Increasingly people are choosing to download and print what they deem worthy of their time. That is the way it is going to be; there is no going back!
There is enough food for thought in Amatoritsero's editorial: For example, what should have precedence, the urgency of the message or the beauty of the craft? I imagine that it would depend. I continue to argue that African thinkers do not have the luxury of waiting for their crafts to be finely honed. We almost cannot afford to be merely artists. There has to be a higher calling. And Amatoritsero's probing essays offer us inspiring introspection on using our gifts to foster meaningful change. In the editor’s musings there is plenty to agree with, plenty to disagree with.
I loved the poems of E.E. Sule. Dear editor, where can one get his works? Forget it, I don't read books! I'll google him and add whatever I find to my personal compilation, my very own anthology of truly riveting works. I love the Internet; it can be a great leveller!
The editor may consider introducing a section reserved for truly seminal essays on the subject of poetry. The interviews do help, but I think it would be nice to mix it up with essays that are relevant to those issues in poetry that attract the editor's attention.
The interview with Eugene B. Redmond filled me with awe. That interview is a must read. I loved it.
By the way, Sarah Parry shook me up, really shook me up. The aftershocks from her piece below kept reverberating through my consciousness like several little tsunamis cleansing me of sins I did not commit. Is she published? Where can I find her works? Listen to Sarah Parry again in Your Un-Paid Prostitute:
Sentinel Poetry (Online) #41
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POETRY & GRAPHICS...Since 2002 ISSN 1479-425X April 2006
Editor: Amatoristero Ede