Spirituality and secular radicalism in “Memory and the Call of Waters”




There are various affront messages this poet passes across. The fabric of words do distills the message in a way a reader seems to decipher it to their satisfaction.

A poet as a being entails the power-message of creativeness to glue hope in the lost hope as a pivotal ladder of coming to the father. According to John 14:6: “No one comes to the father except by me”. This is a message of hope and the avarice of climbing the eternal ladder to reach and commune with the father. ‘Hope’ is the words in the message. Therefore, to surmise spirituality and secular radicalism, an entwineness of an imbroglio mind fielded by Su’eddie’s book, it is worthy of ovation, yet the messages do not dissuade us from his longing and encountering.

I would assert to the fact that the genre – poetry, which the author chooses to pass across his message suits the work.

I would diverge from the traditional way of writing review and yet arrive in similar junction, for I operate with the spirit of liberty.

Firstly, there are cresses of fondant icing on each poem that sums up “Memory and the Call of Waters”. I would touch just a few of them in an elaborated form using the first spiritual law of poetry: conciseness and aptness of words to a phenomenon or experience. The opening retains the fact of being the birth of the calling. The poet opens his call into call of waters as he records his memory as a learned lessons as an adept. Water holds the hidden treasure of a soul. It is first element of creation, according to Isaiah 45:3. The esoteric initiate opens his mind to learning and thereafter spreads his wings using the messages as the memory he learned. In Invocation I, ‘before learning a new normal’ you see Su’eddie crying about jeremiad of fraudulent beings in religion, political, economic and social life. In his own words: “bastards frauds”. These bastards are found everywhere as Holy books foretell:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers
Transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ
And no marvel, for Satan himself transformed
Into an angel of Christ.”

This invocation grows the poet from the flesh into the realm of spirit. The importance of being realistic is to realise the freedom of leaving an indelible mark as monumental edifice that sears the heart, breaking it into pieces, building it up to stand the resiliency of time and for time. A soul transformed by words festooned by the speaker. In the same ‘ Invocation I’ line 14, the use of I, is the power of a prophet. Su’eddie sees the results of treachery in the baptism of imperialism, where a set of mortals sees man as an ape – a deceit by puppetry. I quote: “This is my beloved ape in whom I am well pleased”

Secondly, it is a coinage for dominant specie where their mustered love is to circumvent the economic power of a man or a group of men in the geoid to oil their own pocket. These bastards frauds became the dominant specie – bourgeois. Their dominance is poised on the level of tools they use in exploiting the other species for growth and survival. In the poem, the poet sees the need to dissuade selves from the deceitfulness of the colonial master using fraudulent way to garner their coffers for self upliftment and corollary measures of for a developed being. In the long run, while, they called their parasitic host as a fellow ‘ape’ awaiting evolution. These can be seen fully as a primitive stage of man, yet to improved on the essential tool for self advancement; which is contrary to Christ teaching but uphold by the justification of the means. The phrase bastards frauds is applicable everywhere. The nouned ‘ape’ depicts the unbaptismal nature of Africans and unchristenized mind of their colonial masters. The duo became apes.

Africans have not understand the fact of advancing their tool to compete with comparative advantage with other tool (s). While the latter are doom spiritually. Truly, these can be seen as tools for advancing globally where technology plays 95% and means of livelihood is seen on the face of citizenry, the mode of learning(IOT) among others are changing geometrically. While the ape is still at the crude method of things. It serves as an open eye to technocrats, bureaucrats, politicians, scholars among others. Spiritually, an ape is use to depict immaturity in the realm of the spirit. Which means you have to have self revelation, self understanding and the self message from God as he promise see Ephesian 1: 17 – 18. In the radical chains or carnal world it is economic power, political power and self reliance to build a sustainable economic for survival. This is a realistic statement, that we are yet to understand the very essence of spirituality of our very independence. If we understand this, we will operate in spirit of liberty in manufacturing, in technological advancement, in industrialization among others by harnessing the human capital that will utilized the material resources putting us into a balance sheet globally.

He unveils the memory from the annals of history where these bastards frauds and are still pillaging on our resources.
Furthermore, in memories caught in open doors. He enters into the realm of the spirit gaining full admission, see this line:
‘I jump at the sight of an open door’
What terrifies him was the power of the vision and the uniformity of souls in the spirit world. As he explains using the power of i. He could see martyrs of truth, dethrone from their seats because they speak the truth. It is not the use of much words that makes spirituality rather it is the “I saw this… that makes it” and the simplicity of the message to the receiver that elicits and expresses understanding. The poet has gone into the realm of esoteric initiates and master poets like Rumi, Soyinka, Hafiz and others. The use of symbols by ancients, points to gaining power to defeat forces in the battle of life was used as a license in this book. “I hear the voice above the waters and see a dove descending” pure symbolism. In spirituality, dove is a symbol of power and authority and attestation to the fact of glory bestow by God as chosen one. Su’eddie does not hide the memory in his encountering, he unveils the memory for appreciation. There are allusion to pictures of experience like that of Cain killing Abel. Experiences on experiences garnered through the Call. It is a revolutionary voice to protest about the killings experience globally and in Nigeria per se, neighbours killing neighbours, brother killing brothers. Some have gain employment in this ritualistic space.

Thirdly, in babel, a prose-poetry that expresses reality of our very differences, differences we experiences today, a rivulet call that shocks the waves that is traversing in different time zone and a longing for liberation. The poet realises he is a spirit in “I am a spirit” and wishes that all should realised that they’re spirited being or spirited man. Christ has broken the jinx of division as he give us the sole entrance of liberty as Paul tells, see Galatians 3:28 as I paraphrased his saying there is neither Jews nor Greek, Tiv nor Idoma, Hausa nor Ibo in Christ Jesus rather a being (spirit) which will account their doing, for humanity are a being and our beingness is hang upon God – the sole creator. At the end of the verse, he awakes from his vision. Take a look, ‘Ah. Heaven’s light twinkle. It is time’.

Fourthly, in muezzin call and angelus bell the use of the symbol bell, signifies calling or summoning a being, the symbols talks of summoning faithful and demon: he talks about bigotry as men dressed in wolves clothing claiming to be faithful. Firstly, he pinpoints about men bringing out swords to massacre their victim and secondly, the angelus bell makes him to remember those martyrdom in similar hour when the angelus and muezzin call was made demon take over the call. He make use of a powerful word inhale/exhale interchangeably. Inhale means death and exhale means living in both world they mean different thing. The martyrs blood is being exchange to a lasting spirited being waiting judgement. In the vanity of scholar’s dream you encountered with a powerful spiritual line which ran aviz; ‘Aondo moulds her words into favour and peace’. This attest to the fact that only God gives us destiny but unfortunately the victim’s end untimely. The word upon her life from birth is what conveyed her home, she was favoured to die timely, leaving behind the turbulence of life, having lasting peace at the end, rather having wealth and abundance of time in the ether. The word on your life is what gives you the wealth and abundance of nature in your lifetime.

Su’eddie’s collection has no sentimental fallacy moving him to the class of a celebrated poet. He has won various awards and was long listed for various prizes: Bring our casket home: Tales one shouldn’t tell was Longlisted for the ANA Prize for Poetry 2012 and Saraba/PEN Nigeria Poetry Prize 2013 and Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile, wins ANA Prize for Poetry 2014 and was shortlisted for Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature 2018. And Memory and the Call of Waters is shortlisted for NLNG Prize for Literature.

Finally, the stylistic display of entwineness of ideas in a satirical but subjective way is unimpeachable, balancing imagery and symbols employed by Su’eddie proved mastery of the pen, it balances the imbalance of our present world. There are some points to discuss about but will be reserved for future, I implore you to get the book and feed your soul. Thank you for putting a great words together. I will leave you with these:


I am a leaf in this ness
tied down to the earth
shortly, I will be lay
but my words are tree
when the scent of waters
passes through me
I will bough to leaf
(c) Martin Ijir 2022

Indeed, Su’eddie has immortalized himself becoming a total man, gaining freedom and earning the laurels of being a spirit man. The totalness of a man is the ability to subject his flesh to the spirit, in this discourse Su’eddie has done that.

Martin Ijir is a social entrepreneur, teacher, mystic, poet and activist. He is the author of Eeries of Silence. Winner of 2020 Arc Prose-Poetry Prize, Iraq and finalist of Sentiere diVersi Poetry Prize twice, Italy. His work can be found at ANA Review, Afrocritik, Rock Pebble, Ahazar, LangLit Peer Review Journal and elsewhere. He lives at Karu, Nigeria.

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