Review of the call of river nun

Download 25.42 Kb.
Size25.42 Kb.
  1   2   3   4
qt9m27r0d5, negritude movement in africa, enl 312 african child


Daniel Appiah-Adjei


The Call of the River Nun is an unsettling Poem. When I first read it in the secondary school in the 1990’s I did it piece by piece without any concrete meaning. Most often, I would pick it and read stanza by stanza and put it away. It was 2010 when I decided to revisit it as it would not let me off the hook with its captivating symbolisms. I finally decided to find the poem and finish reading it with more mature and insight understanding. It made me dizzy, intoxicated; it made me change. I am still living with the poem, teaching with it, absorbing it. This review is must be a personal response to one of the most personal poems of the century. It is also one of the important poems for what it does, and for what it signals; I must try to find words to say why?

The Nun River is a river in Rivers State, Nigeria. The Nun is formed when the Niger River splits in two, forming the Nun and Forcados rivers. Upon emerging from its parent river, Niger, the Nun River flows for almost 160 kilometres (100 mi) south to the Gulf of Guinea at Akassa. Its course runs mainly through thinly settled areas and swamps. It reminds me of the River Pamunu in the Ashanti Region but close to Bibiani in the Western Region of Ghana, where I had my formative years.

In the 19th century, the Nun was a hub for trade between the Igbo Kingdom, which was based at Aboh, and Europe. The river's trading history began with the trade of slaves but was later replaced by palm oil export. At the turn of the century, however, the river mouth silted heavily, blocking the passage. Subsequently, traders began using the more accessible waters of the Forcados River.

The Nun River is immortalized in the poetry of Gabriel Okara. His poem "The Call of the River Nun" is a nostalgic ode to the river that passes through his home. It is analogous to the nostalgic moments I recall of the River Pamunu which joins the Tano River, which flows from the northern part of Ghana and Joins the sea at Half Assini.

Download 25.42 Kb.

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4

The database is protected by copyright © 2024
send message

    Main page