GBENGA & BAYO: THE GENESIS OF TWO POETS

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind which are delivered down from generation to generation of those who are yet unborn

—Joseph Addison

Words cannot diagram fully how it all began. Imaginations, dreams, memories – the reservoir of our deepest yearnings, the vault in which we keep and from which we take naturally our recollections of happiness or sadness, of delight or fright – do fail us at times.

However, Bruce Lockerbie expounded that a complex vision lies dormant in the artist’s unconscious, neither indexed nor catalogued in the verbal manner – nebulous, random, and unnamed. This vision, called forth inexplicably, permeates the artist’s memory, or dreams with such persistence as cannot be denied, until with an exhalation of joy, like a mother in her final pangs of delivery, the artist releases his vision in an objective form. Objective form? What the artist has created in actuality is not truly original: he has reshaped, reconstituted, redefined.

The making of these two poets: Gbenga Ogundare [a.k.a. Ab] and Bayo Akinloye [a.k.a. Junior] – is not out of the ordinary; it all started as an idea, the fusion of thoughts from two like minds. These two creative minds from the department of Mass Communication, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, stay together, walk together and study together…they play together. Some even call them the “dangerous pair”. But, how did their creativity all begin?

“Like play, like play, it all began,” Gbenga and Bayo disclosed. “We were scribbling words from the ridiculous to the sublime. From lines recitations on to writing on chalkboards to papers. Every action, every word, every thought was poetry to us. It was like we were on the edge of sanity –as many of our colleagues observed. As the poet Standley Burnshaw puts it: a creative artist inhales the surrounding world and exhales it, whatever the creative mind has taken in is given back in altered condition; our words will soon occupy the atmosphere!” they seem to boast.

As the duo disclosed, humility and simplicity have really helped them in getting this far. They showed virtually all their poems to friends, colleagues and anyone who cares to read, before they thought of going to press. “We must confess words are not enough to express our profound gratitude to persons like Funke Daramola, Tinuke Akande, Dimeji Sanusi, Margaret Ibakpa, Uche Nduka, Abdul Babajide, Constance, Sola, Sakirat Abiade and others, who were part of our struggle somehow,” the poets acknowledged.

But Gbenga and Bayo did not stop at their colleagues and friends’ opinions – they went further. They sought the creative assistance of a mature artist: the author of The Virgin, Out of His Mind and Lonely Days.

About their book, Dr. Bayo Adebowale, the Deputy Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, could not hide his delight. He called them “talented young writers. He wrote in the preface of their book, GENESIS –AN ANTHOLOGY OF POEMS, “I must confess that I have not come across a more committed group of writers at a Polytechnic setting than Akinloye Adebayo Apollos and Ogundare Adeleke Gbenga. They possess superlative creative ebullience which they have both demonstrated in this poetry anthology (GENESIS)…and I am very sure that the sky is the limit for these highly talented young writers…and feel highly honoured to be identified with these up-and-coming Poly, Ibadan writers.”

Gbenga and Bayo have not only succeeded in having their words/ideas in cold print, their book has become a study material in their department. It is hoped other departments will show similar appreciation and encouragement to the creative ebullience demonstrated by these highly talented young writers. This creative effort has not only put these young men on a lofty pedestal, it has also, by extension given The Polytechnic, Ibadan –the citadel of technological innovation –a place in the hall of creativity when compared with other academic institutions.

GENESIS is a collection of poems bordering on issues that matter must in life – relationship, love, spirituality, nature, moral decadence. Albeit this work of art may not be considered great for the fact that the poet are emerging voices, the poems it contains are not the products of shallow minds – they are the products of two young minds activating the bard in them. Young minds whose pens are impelled as much their hearts as by their heads.

A most distinctive feature of their poems in this anthology is the rhythm and rhyme embellishments. In the final analysis, the two poets said they have just begun: Bayo has perfected another poetry collection titled LILY IN THE VALLEY, and Gbenga is putting finishing touches to his prose work FATAL INHERITANCE. You have seen the genesis of these young talented writers, the exodus of their works will be in earnest; the revelation of their literary prowess is yet future. We can only wish them the best: more inks to their pens and more thoughts to their craniums.

“When two people are of the same mind, their sharpness cuts through a steel.” This Chinese maxim is dead right!

 

culled: Students Insight (a publication of The Polytechnic, Ibadan)

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