Signatures Upon Cantata: Pragmatic Poems

by Smithson Buchi Ahiabuike
Trafford Publishing

"That we may lay the foundation stone
Of many things to come, to renew our tomorrow."

Rarely does poetry appeal to both emotion and reason as strongly as it does in Signatures upon Cantata. The introduction to the compilation discusses the author's purpose and intent and, simply put, is potent. The African continent lives, metaphorically, and sometimes literally, in darkness because of the incessant corruption. At one point, Ahiabuike emphatically clamors for more Nelson Mandelas in a heart-felt plea for African Americans, from the top, to give their country basic necessities like clean water.

Ahiabuike has a strong command of repetition, rhythm, sentence structure, and, undoubtedly, metaphors and personification. "The agony of pride/ In exhibition weeps," and "Foolishness veiled her folly," is a representation of personification at its finest. From the first poem, "Wasted Generation," readers will relate to the author's sincerity and unrelenting desire to show African Americans that beneath the corruption and evils is a promising world.

This compilation isn't simply a stream-of-conscious emotional release, but a direct message, a call-to-arms to African Americans to stand up for their motherland and themselves. This is not a compilation to rush through, but one that needs to be allowed to simmer in the deepest crevices of the mind. Both of the "If Tomorrow Comes," poems are exemplary of the author's riveting verse and send a simple message: no matter what happens, the next day brings hope.

Poems like "Songs from Diaspora," and "Colonial Autopsy," convey the agonizing plight of African Americans during slavery; however, allusions to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King give rise to an awakening. "The Wine Hills to Freedom," is a must read with a thought-provoking message: if God was made in man's image, then he is black too. "Signatures," "Sublime Fears," and the closing poem, "My Best Color," will resonate with audiences, but are only a few among many poems that are surefire must-reads.

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