Poetry has served as a reliable vehicle of feelings over the ages, of love, anger, and much more, bearing in it at once, the ability to evoke thoughts and portray vivid mental imagery that may be preserved for hundreds of years. Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” written in 1681 and the author long dead for over three centuries, remains till date highly relevant in summing up a man’s admiration of his woman, the object (subject) of his undying affection and ecstasy. Even the best prose are often those written with poetic rhythm reverberating in their lines. Poetry is man’s soul reaching to his core – an elevated realm of weighty expressions, to give the world a lasting summary as best as his inspired mind can translate what he has perceived.
Love undoubtedly is a central theme to majority of the world’s poetry, be it love for the opposing sex (or even the same sex in the light of emerging sexual preferences), love for country or just love for one self. Even a verse that wishes death to a person is often written out of an overreaching love for oneself or for the interests of a people the poet persona represents. So, in Kayode Taiwo Olla’s Softlie, we have a collection of love poems arranged into a narrative, telling the story of a young man and his Arewa, the nubile focus of his desire. Softlie tells their intriguing story in well-connected verses, joining the dots of their varied experiences and challenges through a teasing dialogic exchange between the two that affirms the desire to consummate their feelings.
The first edition of #PoetryPartyOAU put together by the Writers Discourse Group (managed by Tobi Adebowale and Tomiwa Ilori) has been set aside to celebrate the love exchange through poetry that is in Olla’s Softlie. Kayode Olla, an alumnus of the Department of English, OAU will be reading from his book while a couple of groups will be performing poetry culled from Softlie as well as their original works. Also expected are Da Supreme, Poetomania and Creative Writers Niche.
In addition, there will be a general discussion on the art of poetry, its rules and influences in the society. The discourse will feature one of Nigeria’s most heralded poets in contemporary times and medical doctor, Dami Ajayi whose recent collection of love poems, “Daybreak and Other Poems” was widely received, getting countless mentions and reviews within and beyond the shores of Nigeria. Dami is also an alumnus of the College of Medicine, OAU, and co-publisher of Saraba literary magazine.
#PoetryPartyOAU is organized in partnership with the National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies (NASELS), OAU Chapter, and will hold on Friday, February 7, 2014. The event starts by 3pm at AUD 2 of the Humanities Block. It promises to be fun and refreshing (indeed, there will be refreshment) as well as mentally stimulating. It’s free, and is open to the general public, all lovers of poetry and indeed all lovers, as it is the first pre-Valentine Poetry Party on campus. So, come one, come all.
– Tobi Adebowale
Writers Discourse Group.
07061003969; @tobisammyjay on Twitter.