Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020: Chromosomes

these poems aren’t mine per se

they are my mother’s, my mother’s mother’s.

they are the battles of the woman who’s been told again and again, that her body is an empire of

pain & silence. they are the battles of the woman

who suffered at the hands of my father, (whom she adored & who somehow loses his temper &

moral sense).

they are the battles of the woman walking barefooted over cassava fields, with yam stems in her hand.

i wish i wasn’t tired of her sadness. a door flung open with weak tea in

the steam—synapses of pretty chimera. the truth is i live too close to the surface of my mother’s body: a ghost in a collared shirt. to see all the names a body can carry—my mother appears

in my dreams in a satin jacket.

she becomes a flood, swallows my father & calls it freedom.

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Oje Taiye

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian poet who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. He also makes use of collage & sampling techniques.


A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2020 playlist