Star Okpeh is a Nigerian writer and poet, Miombo’s Princess Of African Poetry 2019 and the author of The Dance of Dawn. She has a great interest in music, drama and community service. A member of Writers Space Africa, a volunteer at the African Writer’s Development Trust and Head of Writers at Portal Network International. Aside from writing and the beauty it paints to her, Star presently works as a volunteer at The Christian Faith Homes, Abuja, where she finds peace, warmth, and fulfillment in working with children. JB Burrage, an American writer and publisher, has said of her—” Star is a communicator. A true storyteller. A new vibe in a world that needs to be shaken and reminded of who we are. She’s the Future and The Bridge.”
When Umar Abubakar Sidi writes,
"A Poet is he who walks naked. . . stark naked through the Nakedness of time. . ."
one begins to wonder at what point a poet becomes a mad man strolling the streets in nothing but skin. One thing about Poetry is its ability to open and undress the most hidden parts of our souls. It is the genre that stands fragile and yet strong. Simple, but with many depths. In understanding its structure, we must first understand what it exists.
Poetry is a man standing between the Niger and his tongue. It is writing madness into words. Sometimes, Poetry can be unreal and at other times it is indeed the reality of all real things. A poet shares a deep connection to every poem that he writes because they were first his feelings or his thoughts or his constant piercing experiences with life that are not tales or fiction. It so often reminds of a woman and the mood swings of her cycle. Poetry could be menstruation. In becoming or being a poet, one must begin to see oneself outside normality. One must consider its ways as a solitary journey of unseen emotions and abstract imaginations that shares the sacredness of incantations.
Poetry is a story from the lips of mortal gods. The way it weaves its figures around lines redesign its definition repeatedly. Therefore, when we talk of the mystical essence of poetry, we are talking the reason it is and where it stands in the literary world. Poetry helps the mind regenerate. It bears a chameleon significance that leaves its trail between drama and prose. In writing poetry, concentration must focus on what it must. First, on its environment, consciousness or the mental, emotional and spiritual state of the poet. It is this that births a theme. A true poet is a poet whose themes are unfamiliar to himself. The tool of a poet, which remain and must remain stable as an identity, is his language and mental behavior whenever he sits to set words to art. For a poet, the act of writing portrays itself to be a sort of worship or ritual and that’s why, over time, in all backgrounds of language, poetry has been found in proverbs or idioms or lyrics that were sang. It was creeds and children’s words to nature. Whenever we talk Literature or Language, underlaying is Poetry in one form or another. When we talk Culture and Traditions, Poetry is not hidden because one thing about this branch of literature is the fact that it carries along the figures of our lips raw and crude.
We poets are gradually even now seeing a new light to what we’ve known and always will know to be poetry. We’re beginning to feel something beyond the pages we write upon. It’s becoming admonitions and prayers that have nothing to do with religions. Poetry is ordaining us preachers, teachers and counselors of mind connections. When a poet sits to write, he relaxes those buttocks with the world watching. Everything that defines his world. Everything that makes him or life or nothing. You see? A poet will always be he who walks naked. . . stark naked through the Nakedness of time. . . and maybe not just time, but through the nakedness of love, faith and the continual ticking of pleasure and pain.
If there ever comes a time in English or African Literature where perhaps it all grows into more, when plot becomes laughter and diction song, Poetry will be Poetry because Poets are Poets and we are not limited to proper tenses or punctuation marks. The heart of a poet is wild and free and even if he lives in Africa or Europe or in the desert and savannah belt, the compass grows fingers to point at every angle at the same time because what we know to be time is only a flirting naked woman or raised muscles of a man through ink and dreams.