Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Textures, poems by John Eppel and Togara Muzanenhamo published

The collaboration between two of Zimbabwe's foremost poets, John Eppel and Togara Muzanenhamo, has been published.

Textures weaves together poems from the two poets, "weaving words, making some sort of music.” Drew Shaw in his introduction to the collection notes that 'To read Textures is to see how Eppel and Muzanenhamo are in many ways similar yet also interestingly different. What connects them is meticulous attention to the craft of poetry, particularly to its musical elements. As Eppel explained, “there’s this kind of paradox with lyric poets where they actually want to get rid of words, but the only way they can get rid of words is by using words. So there’s this movement away from sense dominating to sound dominating.”'
Muzanenhamo's 'Engine Philosophers' begins:

The smell of steel and oil is the incense of our labour.
In fields shot green with growth, brittle with grain,
or bare as anvils – we extend our hands over the iron altar.
Sometimes visions are lost through the slip of a spanner,
a misplaced nut collapses a thought like a faulty jack.
But no real workman worth his salt jumps in straight off the bat
to rotate a shaft or turn a bolt. Down to changing a wheel,

a moment’s silence honours an established principle.

Aptly one of Eppel's poems is titled, 'Christmas in Bulawayo':

A hallelujah of Heughlin's robins

wakes me from a troubled sleep, troubled not

by regrets or misgivings but by hymns,

hymns of mosquitoes, high-pitched; prick

of crickets, strident cicadas, squirrels

bickering; and the blessing of soft rain

on a tin roof.

Textures is available at outlets in Harare and Bulawayo, as well as online through www.african bookscollective.com, and, soon, through megabooks.co.za in South Africa.

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