- February 2002
- | Paperback
- | 272pp
About Selected Poems
This volume contains poems written between 1966 and 1989. A Shuttle in the Crypt, written while Soyinka was in prison, looks at a mind under solitary confinement.
Idanre, Soyinka's first published collection of poetry, follows the creation myth of Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron.
It was written for the Commonwealth Arts Festival (1965); the shorter poems range from a meditation on the new of the October Massacres in Northern Nigeria (1966) to a wry lament To My First White Hairs and the love poem Psalm. Mandela's Earth presents a selection of poems that are of searing urgency.
Wole Soyinka - playwright, novelist, poet and polemical essayist - was born in Nigeria in 1934.
Educated there and at Leeds University, he worked in the British theatre before returning to West Africa in 1960.
Soyinka's career as a political activist in exile is inseparable from his writing which has earned him worldwide acclaim.
In 1986 he became the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is currently Woodruff Professor of the Arts, Emory University, Atlanta.
'The poems on Mandela comment on one another, deepening our response to the nature of political immolation. Mandela's Earth is an invaluable interlinkage of poems, words for a new age.'
Ben Okri, The Guardian
'His images run into each other like brilliantly coloured dyes...He has a commanding theme, the need to be 'earthed': electricity to land, industry to civilization, aggression to labour, man to woman...His sense of joy and freedom is irrepressible.'
Richard Holmes, The Times