cover of book

How the End First Showed
by D. M. Aderibigbe
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-299-31984-7
Library of Congress Classification PR9387.9.A338H69 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 821.92

Crafting raw memories into restrained and compact verse, D. M. Aderibigbe traces the history of domestic and emotional abuse against women in his family. A witnessing son, grandson, nephew, and brother, he rejects the tradition of praise songs for the honored father, refusing to offer tribute to men who dishonor their wives.

Widening his gaze to capture the moral rhythms of life in Lagos, he embraces themes of love, spirituality, poverty, compassion, sickness, and death. Aderibigbe offers both an extended elegy for his mother and poems addressed to children of the African continent, poems that speak to the past that has made them.

We salivated; slices of yam softened.

We chewed our teeth; slices of yam perished.

Mother smiled. Father arrived,

filled the room with curses;

his voice beat in our hearts,

as thunder on the walls of a building.

His empty stomach was a bowl of anger.

In a room built with our silence,

father was hitting mother.

—excerpt from "Hungry Man" D. M. Aderibigbe. All rights reserved.

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