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Commemorating World Poetry Day with Oswald Okaitei’s ‘Dear Wind’
Oswald's 'Wind' is in honour of renowned African poets

Commemorating World Poetry Day with Oswald Okaitei’s ‘Dear Wind’

Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

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Held every year on March 21, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity.

UNESCO first adopted the day as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.

World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media. As poetry continues to bring people together across continents, Graphic Showbiz brings you one of the popular poems by poet and spoken word artiste, Oswald Okaitei to mark the day.

DEAR WIND

Dear wind,

If you are chanced

To see the spirits that gather to rage against me

Tell them I died before my birth

And, was born soon after my death

 

Tell them

I am the Great *Soyinka*—the Returnee Surrounded by

The spirits of great sorcerers...

 

And if they ask

Why your sibling spirits died of bee stings Tell them you met me,

*Anyidoho*—the cluster of bees

 

Tell them

Never to dare a thought of my loss

To the eroding winds,

Tell them I am *Okigbo*—the soul of the reincarnated priest of Idoto

 

Save their tears

Of fears if they ever thought I died during

The invasion of yesteryears;

Tell them I am *Awoonor*—born still in the placenta & yet full of life

 

Tell them,

I am *Atukwei*—idealistic, sensitive, inspirational...

And I am *Lade’*—

The gate between the arts & the sciences!

 

Tell them,

Me, Ama Ata, the Saturday goddess twin,

I am *Achebe*—

Under the protection of the earth goddess...

 

And, I am the Brew

Who has since time past,

Harvested thoughts

And woven them into fine verses pleasant to the eyes & ears

 

Tell them I am *Clarke*—

Ever learning, ever knowing, ever writing

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And I am *Mitsali*—

The messenger with accurate expression of situation...

 

Dear wind,

When you’re chanced to cross path

With those who remain

Awake & sing my dirges from sunshine to moonshine,

Tell them I am alive!

 

Tell them I am

The Laureate from the Eastern corridor of Africa; *Ngugi Wathiogo*—

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Intuitive, enlightening & the golden body of dreams...

And if still

They are lost to the words of your tongue,

Tell them I am Senghor!

The descendants of the gods!

The consolidated spirit

Of many parts made for eternal existence—

Tell them

I am African Poetry (Literature)!

 

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