The Poetry of Emman Usman Shehu
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The last poem of Open Sesame is a definitive inquiry: What Is Pure Poetry? Shehu's illustrations will enthrall many and it is difficult to fault any of these: "What is pure poetry / but dexterous duet / of sorrow and joy, / seductive sandwich / of rage and calm, / alluring admixture / of hate and love, / dangerous dalliance / of war and peace. / What is pure poetry / but survival therapy, / packaged palliative, / totem of resilience." The irony though is that "pure poetry" by any definition must have its opposite! It seems hardly the place of a poet to set the boundaries… All the more reason, I think, why Emman Usman Shehu casts such spell.
Open Sesame is published by Topaz Books. It is due for launch in the last quarter of 2004.
Okute is a writer, journalist and newspaper columnist. He lives and works in Owerri, Nigeria.
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