First published in Ghana in 1999.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
eyes of a boy, lips of a man is Nii Ayikwei Parkes' first poetry publication – a chapbook that contains now-renowned poems like Ghana By Air, The Bite and Tin Roof, which was chosen for London's Poems on the Underground in 2007, making him one of the youngest living writers to be featured. Since the release of eyes of a boy, lips of a man in Ghana in 1999, Nii has gone on to be awarded the ACRAG Award for Poetry and Literary Advocacy and his debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
With twenty poems in this collection I think my only complaint about eyes of a boy, lips of a man is that the book is too short. I was comfortably into the poetry's atmosphere and reached the end far too soon. This was easily remedied though - by reading through again!
I was impressed by Parkes' deceptively simple presentation of rich Ghanaian imagery and I love the sensuality of poems such as The Bite. I will never just casually eat a mango again! Rendezvous With Death I think we can all identify with and Father resonated clearly with my own life experience, albeit for my mother. There are several lines that deserve to be widely quoted, but I will content myself with just one here. My favourite first line of these poems (and perhaps any poem I have yet read) is from Going Going Going.
"The battered lice were being shallow fried
with heat from above
in the remnants of oil in her hair"
What an amazing picture!
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Books by Nii Ayikwei Parkes / Poetry / Books from Ghana