Is poetry fiction or non-fiction?

Poetry is defined as literature in metrical or verse form. But what genre is poetry? Fiction or nonfiction? Do poets write from real life experiences or from imagination?

Poetry is as broad as literature itself. It stands at the same shoulder as literature. It can be categorized into all the sub genres of literature. The only difference between the two is in how they are written (style, structure and form). A poem can present the entire history of a society in only five pages in verse. The message in a poem is highly compressed. This makes poetry difficult to understand and therefore making poets the most misunderstood. 

So, there is really no straightforward answer to the question because poetry can be fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, prose, free verse, mythical, metaphysical, sci-fi etc. There is no limit to the poet’s imagination.

The interesting thing, however, is that poetry is the oldest of all forms of philological or linguistic arts (including music). It precedes religion and philosophy. Cro-magnon man and Turkana boy possibly performed poetic rituals. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Algerian cave paintings were nothing but visual poetry. Human beings are creatures in search of meaning and I think when they find one they express it.

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She is the sunrise in my heart

Everyday I see her

And I see the sun rise.

The darkness in my heart

Gives way to light 

Whenever I’m with her.

Her smile is like a rainbow.

She is no doubt the sunrise

In my heart.

Morality as the herd feeling within the individual 

If morality is the herd feeling within the individual, it implies that anybody with a strong sense of individualism, or having individual feeling (seeking to promote his parochial interests at all times) cannot or does not or perhaps has but little capacity for morals. Since business is all about ultimately serving one’s own interests, is it possible to always be moral/ethical in business and make huge profits? 

By “herd feeling,” I mean having consideration for the interests and wellfare of others. I suspect that the mental struggle which exists in mankind is a struggle between herd feeling and individual feeling.

New Year Love Poetry

Happy new year to everyone! Wishing you wealth, health and happiness in this year. Today, I have a special piece of poetic work to refresh your mind and also to heal those whose hearts are broken. It’s my latest book which is titled “Our Souls Caught Fire.”  It’s about love. I started writing this book about two years ago. Please don’t ask me if I believe in love at first sight, second sight or last sight. I simply believe in love. If you have been following this blog for quite some time, you know a bit of what to expect from me. Unlike other poets, my work has been described as profound and unequivocal (in expression).

If you are interested kindly buy it here. Thank you. You will never be bored reading my books.

OUR SOULS_lulu

 

A Life of Purpose

The tragedy of life is that people live; They do all the regular things that are done in this world. And in the end they hope some sense might be made of their life. Some decide their purpose from start and live accordingly even if it makes no sense to others. Others let others decide their purpose. Yet still others realise their own purpose only when it’s time to enter the grave. The purpose of life is not something to be pondered. It is something to be lived.

Precolonial Africa Had Food Security

I get the impression that many people didn’t know about Africa prior to colonialism. They knew almost nothing of the people, of the land and of the vegetation and of the mineral resources. So they accept whatever was told them by western explorers who skewed the history of Africa to justify the exploitation of the continent. The colonialists claim that they brought “civilization” to Africa. That, they did Africans a favour by transporting some to the Americas etc. How is putting people in chains and whipping them a favour? The indigenous African was free and happy in his little hut before slave trade and slavery.

Today the world speaks of food security in Africa but none seem to know precolonial Africa had food security. Our ancestors had huge barns full of yams and maize and they had livestock as well. Each man, woman and sometimes child had their own farm, so nutritious food was available year round. They never asked for foreign aid or grants or loans. 

Today the world speaks of technology and inventiveness but Africa had indigenous inventions such as the kente weaving loom, gold weighs, farming implements or the marimba etc. These were invented more than 1000 years before colonialism. The inventors did not see any prototype from Europe. I’m not even sure Europe had those inventions at the time. 

The world speaks of eco houses as a symbol of civility and refinement but our ancestors lived in eco houses (made of clay, bamboo and straw) long before the word “eco” was invented. How then can European colonizers say they brought civilization to Africa? They brought slavery. Today when I see international government organisations and charities claiming to teach Africans how to build houses, farm, trade or make fabric, I say to my own heart what happened to us? I think the real colonialisation of Africa began after “independence.”

Finally, some may ask: “So what’s the way forward?” There is no way forward except the European way. The only other way is to go backward and select a traditional African development model, compatible with what indigenous Africans already know and practice.

Definition of Black

Concerning my second poetry book (“Blackman’s Sorrow and Other Poetry”), which is available on Amazon and other online book stores, someone asked me what I meant by “Blackman.” He was of the view that Africans in the Diaspora consider it offensive to be refered to as “Black.” In America, it’s African American, in Britain it’s Black British. In France, French African (I think). In China or Korea, I will assume it’s African Chinese or African Korean. All this is hogwash. If you’re Black (irrespective of nationality or mother tongue etc.) you’re African. period. You carry a powerful genetic design unique to Africa.

Now concerning the book, by “Black” I do not mean literal or absolute black. I haven’t seen anyone as black as charcoal as yet. All humans with darker skin pigmentation – from light to dark brown are collectively called “Black”. It’s not derogatory. It’s descriptive. “Negro” is different. Negro carries with it the memories of the brutality of slavery. I do understand that it can hurt the feelings but that’s all it is – feelings. The word “Ghetto” originated with the Jews but do you hear any Jew complaining about it?

The point is, I don’t think if people stopped calling African Americans “Black” or “negro,” they will have equal rights and justice and progress. Black People should rise above trifles (name calling etc) and focus on the pertinent realities of their existence. Also, let’s learn from experience. Black professors and teachers should get out there and help educate black communities. Only then can the dream of equality, justice and black progress begin to take shape. It begins with education.