Jun 7, 2011

Leonard Koloko – Cry from the Heart


June 2010, Poetry 
64 pages, Item# IP4306

After I did my Q&A with Theresa Lungu last year, she recommended that I pick up a copy of Leonard Koloko’s book Cry from the Heart – a collection of poetry. I did but for one reason or the other it sat there collecting the proverbial dust in my TBR (to be read) pile. And let me tell ya, that was MY loss!
I typically don’t read poetry, and this can probably be traced to the fact that I bombed that section in my Form 5 literature exam – a story for different day. Once I started reading Cry from the Heart, I couldn’t stop.

Koloko deals with various themes such as hope and homelessness, the effects of HIV/AIDS, love and loss. It sounds like heavy content, which it is to an extent but I find it all relevant given the current realities of this world. Many of us delve into literature as an escape from the day-to-day monotony of life and don’t often want to be confronted by topics that make you squirm or a little uncomfortable under the collar. But every now and again a very gifted writer comes along and makes you take notice. And this is what Koloko did for me.
His writing entertained me, it saddened, and ultimately it gave voice to many poignant issues that would otherwise remain as dreary news stories we gloss over. I got the sense that Koloko is concerned about the state of our nation as well as the human condition, and this is reflected in his writing. Here’s a sampling of one of his shorter poems “This Life”.  
It is not all the time
That all words come out in rhyme
There are times we stumble and fall
And cry when we lose it all.
It’s all like this in life
Where we face much pain and strife
Nevertheless, enjoy your life!

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