Let me begin this brief foreword by thanking the
author of Broken Pieces for giving me the privilege
and honour to write it.
I suspect – and rightly I think - the primary reason
why Mr. Edjeren considered me a fit and proper
person to write this prefatory remark to his collection
of poems has to do with what he perceives to be my
especial love for poetry, as a practitioner, teacher and
critic. However, his request that I should give an
expert assessment of this first collection, I must
remark, was something I initially received with some
misgivings, some feeling of trepidation, to be exact.
Some feeling of trepidation because as an assessor
with no known passion or talent for flattery, and who
does not know how to bow in awe or reverence before
some god of flattery, I did not quite know what to say
or how to react if I found the collection as one
deserving of a P- mark. Or is it not bad manners, pure
and simple, for an assessor who has been specifically
approached or ‘commandeered to say one or twice
nice words about a given work, to use the very
occasion, such as this, to tear the work to shreds?
However, as I gradually lifted the pages right from the
very beginning to the very end, I felt relieved. The
apprehension and trepidation I initially experienced
were replaced by positive feelings. Indeed, I felt elated
and really honoured in being asked to write the
foreword to such an exciting and fitting collection!
And I find this an exciting and fitting collection not
because it is the handiwork of a lover – which I know
Mr. Edjeren to be – who harbours romantic feelings
which are intensively expressed here, but because it
is the work, the craft of a voice whose voice is our
voice, as any remarkable work of literature certainly is
or should be. This collection is the handiwork of a
pain-staking man, of someone who appreciates
deeply the mysteries of love, death and pain. When
Edjeren sighs or cries he does so on behalf of all of
us. In his songs and cries we hear ourselves. This,
coupled with his sheer poetic simplicity, which he
makes a virtue here in the real sense of the word,
makes Broken Pieces a collection to read indeed.
Broken Pieces is simply remarkable, to say the least.
Dr. Tony Afejuku
Dept. of English & Literature
University of Benin