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HAIKU RHAPSODIES (Verses from Ghana) Paperback – 23 Apr 2016
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About the Author
Celestine Nudanu is a product of the University of Ghana, Legon. She graduated with a BA in English and Theatre Arts, and MA degree in International Affairs. As well as being a passionate reader and book reviewer, Celestine is also a poet, with a talent for haiku, the short Japanese poetry form. Although she says she is a work-in-progress, her works have been included in two anthologies: Western Haiku: A Collection, and Ballads, both produced by Dagda Publishing UK. Her haiku have also been featured in renowned online haiku journals including Cattails, (Collected Works of UHTS), The Mamba, Journal of African Haiku Network, (of which she is a Supporting Editor) Akita International Haiku Network, Japan, and Flamingo Clouds, Netherlands. She is a member of the Ghana Association of Writers, (GAW) and the United Haiku and Tanka Society (UHTS), USA. Haiku Rhapsodies is her first publication. Celestine blogs at http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/.
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With clear imagery, each bite sized piece is simply written but layered with visual beauty and thoughts personal to the author, this intimate showcasing allows the reader to see a place through Celestine’s eyes. The concepts of the world around her is brought to us in a series delightful vignettes which read like a moment captured in time.
Perusing these, I find myself transported to an Africa I found tangible, Celestine’s eye for observing the things around her and combining them into something so evocative is a pure joy to read. There is a feeling of peace and clarity through the book that encouraged me to take each poem and then spend time to build up one’s image and the accompanying thoughts around it.
The beauty of such poems is that I allowed myself to get lost in this new place, imagination took over and each piece felt like part of a jigsaw building up a picture of an Africa that was in part real and in part my own romantic take upon it. Naturally Ghana and a distinctly African feel came up a lot in my thoughts as I read through but there is also a good amount of content which is distinct from the African connection and appeals at a universal level.
This is a good book to dip into, exploring various themes – Afriku, Nature, Haiku My Heart, The Divine, and Death – and I found myself taking my time to soak up the atmosphere and then build up an image of this personal take on what surrounds us. For me this book is like one of those coffee table books, that one picks up and chooses a page at random but in this case, each morsel is best digested singularly, with concentration and with much reflection.
Thanks to their active and inspiring organisations (in particular the Africa Haiku Network) many previously unheard African poets are now appearing in journals and e-zines worldwide...ah the power of internet...and how refreshing!
This wonderful debut collection 'Haiku Rhapsodies (Verses from Ghana)' is no exception.
Celestine captures her part of the world beautifully, transporting it via the brevity of haiku to us, allowing us to participate in each African moment.
From the very first haiku we are swept into her world and carried musically across its terrain...
rushing stream calms
One can almost feel the savannah's music!
a mother's sweat
soaks into her child's
What an image! Can you feel the heat of this market day? The closeness of mother and child oozes from this haiku, a scene that could be related to anywhere in the world...a truly universal picture that paints its story without the need to explain with too many words....the essence of haiku.
the priest's words
drip on his cassock
I am absolutely thrilled to add this collection of Celestine's poetry to my haiku library and would thoroughly recommend Haiku Rhapsodies to everyone!
-Brendon Kent (a member of the British Haiku Society)
Celestine Nudanu has been a blogging friend for several years. We met through our shared love of Haiku, the Japanese short form poetry. She hails from Ghana, a country I fell in love with ins 2007, unfortunately before Celestine and I ‘met’.
Haiku Rhapsodies, Celestine’s first publication, is a real feast for Haiku lovers, the book is divided into five sections, Afriku, Nature, Haiku my heart, The Divine and Death.
Afriku is my favourite. Our poet’s words are so very evocative, bringing back memories of my brief visits to West Africa, here are just a few examples to tempt you.
child’s thumping feet
and fufu pestle
hawkers trail the cars
bumper to bumper
the cocoyam leaf
From ‘Death’, Celestine brings us the moving,
dreaming of the stars
you forgot to say goodbye
that final journey
and has a firm belief that poetry has a place in our final moments.
Haiku Rhapsodies deserves a place on the book shelves of those who enjoy the form, not just in Africa, but wherever we find ourselves in this vast world of poetry.
Well done Celestine!