The Resurrecting Writers Series: Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol (Repost)

December 18, 2014

Today being #tbt, I thought I’d reblog a previous book review. I started reading this because I love poetry, yes but also as part researching verse novels and/or epics.

Tichaona Chinyelu

image Taking the book solely at face value, Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol are verses concerned with the disintegration of the marriage of Lawino, a rural African (Acoli) woman and Ocol, her western-educated husband. However, peeling back the cover of the words even a tiny bit reveals a woman committed to her indigenous culture versus a man who thinks that her culture needs to be removed from the face of the earth. How could two such people co-exist in the same household? How could two such differing ideologies co-exist on the same planet? According to Ocol, not at all. His song is full of imagery that calls death upon the culture Lawino praises in her song.

We will smash

The taboos

One by one,

Explode the basis

Of every superstition,

We will uproot

Every sacred tree

And demolish every ancestral

shrine.

In Ocol’s song, the thing that is so…

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