The name Olu Oguibe, PhD., is legend in intellectual circles in Nigeria, most notably at the University of Nigeria where he set all sorts of academic records that continue to confound. The author of A Gathering Fear, A Song from Exile and Songs for Catalina, all collections of poetry, Olu has won all shades of grants, scholarships, academic and literary awards, including the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Literature. Perhaps his most haunting poem, I Am Bound to This Land by Blood, is an anthem to the muses of pain and protest at literary gatherings. Oguibe is also a poet of the canvass, a visual artist who has had solo exhibitions the world over since 1988.
Song of Sorrow
Song of Sorrow
for rosa diez
si només, però, aquesta
llum parada poguès durar
I shall sing you a song of
Sorrow when the moment comes.
It is the way of poets.
He will come bearing along his voice
Like the lament of an old guitar.
Only night shall fall; another day dawn.
I shall sing you a tearful song.
In the desert the rain fell on me.
Bushfires danced their way through
The undergrowth of my verse.
Your footfall soft as felt, you
Stepped into the light and
Asked the poet for a song.
I shall sing you a lyric of pain.
The blue moon peers through the foliage
Of your eyelashes. The minstrel hawks
His tears through the streets of night.
A household god is asking for water;
An old god is pleading at your door.
There's a white rose on your breast.
It is the fortune of poets;
I shall sing you a song.
Untie the fresh leaves of dawn,
I want to make my journey short.
I will go upon the hill and cast my little net,
Decorate the river of your morning with petals;
I shall speak the words of songs.
It is the destiny of poets.
I shall sing you
A song of sorrow
When the moment comes.