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An African Elegy

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Dreams are the currency of Okri's writing, particularly in this first book of poems, An African Elegy, but also in his books of short stories and prize-winning novel The Famished Road. Okri's dreams are made on the stuff of Africa's colossal economic and political problems, and reading the poems is to experience a constant succession of metaphors of resolution in both sens ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 24th 1997 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  58 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Arielle Walker
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. Really will need to write a full review of this - especially in light of Ben Okri's mesmerising talk at the Auckland Writer's Festival (where yes, I got to meet him and he is - not incredible, or unbelievable, or any such word because that somehow implies unapproachable or beyond-human when he is the very opposite of this... I'll have to think of a word that works, I guess I'll need a little more time...)

Anyway.

"The darkness is gentler than you think" is now in my Top 10 Fav
...more
Prince M
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful collection of poetry!
Claire
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I am a fan of Okri. There were a fair few poems that didn't really speak to me in this collection however, the entire collection was worth it simply for the first and last: Lament of the Images and To An English Friend in Africa. The first appeals to a specific interest of mine (cultural looting) and the last one is just so beautiful to read.
Corvinus Maximilus
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
The thing about Okri is that you've got to have your head in the right state to hear him. This series of poems is a short easy read though, but some of the poems held nothing for me. My favourites are "They Say" "And if you should leave me" "To an English friend in Africa". They are beautiful words, enough for everyone. I will definitely be reading this over and over again until I hear everything he is saying to me. Brilliant and odd, just like Okri.
Leanne Bell
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Found this on a second hand stall in the students union many years ago. Just brilliant. Contains my favourite poem in the world, "To an English friend in Africa".
Manika
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am always speechless at such pure beauty.
Anne-marie
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of the quite simple style and the themes that Okri draws out as running through time. War, jealousy, love, enchantment.
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Goodreads Librari...: Add cover photo and one correction 3 13 Dec 14, 2018 11:07AM  
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Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father. He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968. Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria. He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative ...more