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‘Full-length story can also be told in poetic form’

Emmanuel Ayibaemi Frank-Opigo has said that his new book ‘The Song of Our Father’, is meant to show that a full-length story can also be told in poetry form.

Opigo said that ‘The Song of Our Father’, which was published in 2018 “is my father’s memoirs retold in poetic form by me.”

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He explained that “It was an experiment, and as with all experiments, it was embarked on with some uncertainty, which soon snowballed into excitement as the product emerged. It is not a ‘collection’, but a single epic poem.”

A reviewer for Word Rhymes & Rhythm publishers, Eugene Yakubu described ‘Song of our Father’ as “an experimental prosaic poetry that has history, culture and tradition as its primary backdrop”.

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“Opigo’s verses might defy classification because they don’t fall neatly into any particular genre, style or trend in poetry,” Yakubu explains. “This is totally new, and it is written in the tradition of long-versed and epic poetry like Milton’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’, Okot B’Itek’s ‘Songs of Lawino’ and even Tade Ipadeola’s ‘Sahara Testament’. He covers an ambitious canvas, but he upholds his historical journey efficiently and delivers on his themes and stories adequately.”

Yakubu adds “And this isn’t just history; it is a historical memoir that spans three generations of the poet’s ancestry. As such, the reader should prepare for culture shock as time evolves. The poems span across pre-colonial to colonial and post-colonial Nigeria and revolves around the spatial settings of southern Nigeria and the south-south states of Bayelsa, Cross River, and eastern states too.”

Opigo’s works include ‘Masks and Facades’, a poetry collection and ‘Clean Your English’ a text on common errors.

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