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Traces of a Life: A Collection of Elegies and Praise Poems

by Abena P.A. Busia - £8.99  Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd (2008)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780955507977 | ISBN 10: 0955507979

"Sorrows of exile, so powerfully engraved in Testimonies of Exile, linger still in some of these poems, but it is the joys of homecoming, joys contstantly interrupted by long shadows of death, that define this new collection. It is a treasury of precious memories, especially those of the poet, making her richer, wiser, forever grateful. Frustrations of history and politics jostle with nobler passions that define our fundamental humanity, so that in some of these poems, there is a swift transition from elation and hope to anxiety and despair, leaving the reader longing for a resolution that may never come."
(Kofi Anyidoho, English Department, University of Ghana, Legon)
"In this time of working and hoping for a better world, these songs of mourning, commemoration, and celebration are gestures towards our future and sobering reminders of all our losses, our dead who are all always with us. I have heard a number of these poems over the years and could not be happier to see Traces of a Life in print. The collection is a rich repository of diverse forms: elegies, epitaphs, sonnets, plain songs, praise songs, prose poems, letters, ending with her composite 2005 lecture, 'What is Africa to Me'. Yes, 'Lets Light Another Candle' for women poet warriors. Abena P.A. Busia is certainly among them."
(Cheryl Clarke, author of The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry, 1980-2005)
"To read the poems of Traces of a Life is to receive a heroic and tender gift - the language for times that render us wordless. A startling cleft opens up in us during grief. For solace, we turn to the language of ritual to staunch the loss. We find 'refuge' int these poems - they transform what is most personal in loss, its direct and steep meaning, to a sense of empathy with others and even to larger questions of history and politics. And once they have given us shelter, the poems also mark other moments - of trust, of pleasure, of love."
(Gabeba Baderoon, author of The Dream in the Next Body and A Hundred Silences)

(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)

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In booklists: Women Poets, Black and Asian Poets,
In categories: Feminism & Women, Poetry & Writing,

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