Rhythm and Blues in T.S. Baki’s Euphoria of Sophistry: A Review by Andrew Aondosoo Labe

Absorbing and saturated with different pictures of the Nigerian reality, Terseer Sam Baki’s first offering Euphoria of Sophistry is an impressive step in the right direction, embroidered with loud soothing sounds, and with an incredible attention to the dynamic contrasts between imagination and reality.

Published in Nigeria by Sevhage Publishers, the book opens with an induction into the sacred sanctuary of the author’s craft and successfully mirrors the vintage hues of the Nigerian situation, before ending with incredible final notes.

There are 51 poems in the 62-page anthology presented with an individual struggle for wholeness in a moribund society, and magnified by a rare excellence in tone and tempo. As Baki echoes in the poem Unarmed You Take Warriors into Captivity:

To die in sleep is to sleep in death

That’s why as I drift each day into sleep

I pray you won’t take my breath

Whatever you will, I will obey like a sheep! (12)

The poet’s memorable lines invite the reader to a glorious zenith of literary appreciation. And this is represented in all the poems as all page by page, the reader swims in an ocean of words that deconstructs the Nigerian reality, and animates simple diction with layered compositions of flavoured tropes.

As an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the poet has demonstrated an amazing dedication to service with this interesting book.

The themes covered in this anthology follow a rapid course of super-intense emotions, music, and a sublime balance that introduces the poet as an emerging voice in contemporary Nigerian Literature.

Robert Lynd in his classic essay, On Poetry and the Modern Man stated that “There is in the nature of things a law of dancing which, at a crisis of great happiness or exaltation, sets the thoughts and the emotions leaping rhythmically to time. All men, even those who would be most surprised to be reckoned among the poets or the followers of the poets, are subject to this law.” This admission is the main feature of all the poems in Euphoria of Sophistry. Written in simple language and complex contexts, the poems in this anthology resonate with unwavering intensity that creates indelible music in the hearts of readers with compelling warmth.

There are more than a thousand reasons to buy a copy of Euphoria of Sophistry, and indulge in a self-awareness that connects and weaves into an ingenuous magnanimity with words. Shortlisted for the 2015 ANA Poetry Prize, the poetry of T.S. Baki will remain with us forever.

 

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Andrew Aondosoo Labe, poet and fiction writer, won the 2010 Beautiful Lines Poetry Contest (1st Position, Unrhymed Lines Category), and in 2012, his poem SOLILOQUIES was nominated the 6th Best New Poem in the world by www.bestnewpoems.com. Follow him @andylabe2586 @gabadayanews on Twitter.Andrew Aondosoo Labe

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