Collected Poems by Chinua Achebe

By Chinua Achebe

A suite of poetry spanning the entire variety of the African-born author's acclaimed profession has been up to date to incorporate seven never-before-published works, in addition to a lot of his early poetry that explores such issues because the African attention, the tragedy of Biafra, and the mysteries of human relationships.

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In 1948 I won a Trinidad government scholarship. These scholarships were meant to give a man a profession and they could last for seven years. I decided to use mine to do English at Oxford. I didn't want the degree; I wanted only to get away; and I thought that in my three or four scholarship years at Oxford my talent would somehow be revealed, and the books would start writing themselves. My father had written little. I was aware now of the trouble he had finding things to write about. He had read little, was only a dipper-1 never knew him to read a book through.

There my father had panicked, had decided that he didn't want to go back to India. He hid in one of the latrines overhanging the sea, and he stayed there until his mother changed her mind about the trip back to India. This was what my father passed on to me about his fam­ ily and his childhood. The events were as dateless as the home events of my own confused childhood. His early life seemed an extension back in time of my own; and I did not think to ask until much later for a more connected narrative.

My father had written about village feuds, family ven­ dettas, murders, bitter election battles. ) My father had written about strange characters. Like the negro "hermit": once rich and pleasure-seeking, now penniless and living alone with a dog in a hut in the swamp­ lands. The Guardian called my father's hermit Robinson Crusoe. Then, true to his new name, this Crusoe decided to go to Tobago, Crusoe's island; he intended to walk there; and, fittingly, there was no more about him. " My father had his own adventures.

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