Purple butterflies 
Purple butterflies 

Author: Adigwe Angela Chidinma 

Publisher: Redletter Crib signature 

Reviewer : Sonny Kaku

Year of Publication: 2021

Genre: Poetry 

We all love to read  words with kinesis and let the cadence ferment like grapes in our sensibilities - and we also love to dig into poems that do not only take us down memory lanes but are poignant and laden with meanings that bind us to seasons, moments and history.Words that plunge us into unknown straits of emotions. The blocks of life are made of different dimensions of specificity and layers of unfolding crusts of words. Angela’s enunciations in the poem, Meadow of womanhood, exposes what it means to be a woman in this present world and the avalanche of responsibilities a woman has to bear. This was emphasised in the poem , meadow of womanhood.

Meadow of womanhood

Oil on hips,

under a silvery moon,

this life is dimpled with chores 

drowning in the angst of time 

dip your body as a griddle for the  contentions of desires 

endowed with sonorous calves 

a swing like ducks to the whoosh 

whoosh of ebullient frames 

shallows after deep strokes beside all forbidden and blatant  places

your hands on the balustrade of duties 

body against the stairs 

it is your duty to soak him in 

feel the fragrance of those simmering breath 

the callous hands that clips your thighs to sounds in hyperventilation 

here we have come to the pyre of reason 

Your hands backwards to take thrust like the rubbing coins for heat as a chain

come rain, come shine 

the showers keep running and running 

yet nothing keeps your own life out of the fray of wanting to care for others 

pots on the heads of young lads slicing  their ways through the alleyways of men 

their licentious gaze and creasing lips 

mouth sodden with words but drained of the impetus to proffer meanings, 

here is your lot in the room of life 

to tend all guests and still find a corner to tend your soul,and like a confluence of clear running waters you keep your charm flowing to the forelimbs of Nations.

In the poem, Bleeding, Adigwe touched on the critical discourse that is seldom touched and always withdrawn from - which is the experiences of most women in during their periods. She calls for scientific  research to find possible solutions or relief for women during this often discomforting periods where women have to take a particular diet or change plans to salve the demands of the critical period. 

Time differential,

a sprawl on the inflatable bed amidst chores 

Not knowing how the thief breaks through those ports, 

a fearsome knots of gelatinous substance 

Marking X on calendars 

an inconvenience to all preconceived 


you slip back to the first day of visitation

there was no knocks 

just a cold slither of liquid 

and the blood that trailed your toes,

a shawl towed your scampering 

you sat like a kitten in contact with a fox 

then the school bell rings,

this curdled wool of red solution 

intercepting your gait

a reign of entropy in your soul

till you flung the sweater at home 

and your mother welcomes you to the 

hub of womanhood and spelt the perils of being caught off guards or a boy crossing in between leg;

she patted your back and served you something hot with chillies and soursop 

the night wore and your father still barked orders at you unaware of your pain

you curled on your bed and wish the pain will grind to still and after so many days,

you bore the pain with anticipations,

a prepared bowl for tears and a seared heart to welcome the rauocus pangs. 

The poet described the period as a gelatinous substance, a sincere description of the uncomfortable substance made of unferitilzed eggs and the irony of her father still barking orders at her, means a lot of men, rather than wear a stiffened face, should learn to tend to the inconveniences of their daughters and always be supportive during those excruciating times. Mothers should be cautioned not to trivialise the processes of these children and their encounters during this period and should also shun unnecessary threats and spurious facts about men around them. All they need is education about their biology and not a narrative twisting their minds against men. 

In the last poem in this eclectic collection, happy feet, the persona in the poem asked her audience to have a positive response to the happenings around them. She reminds us of the quote that it is not the water around the ship that sinks it but the water that found a way of trickling into the ship. Even the Titanic was sunk by ounces of water aboard.

We outside

You wipe your brows 

your mind runs amok like a warehouse 

rife with bills and mails and work stations,

your head is a shipping centre,

sailing minds and containers of worry about tomorrow,

a sad sticker stuck to the information centre,

a call chimed through your phone 

a text flashed again 

your valves cringe at the litany of omissions 

In your works and expectations,

Bob Marley's song came blaring off a co worker's phone held together with multiple  rubber bands,

His feet stomping to the melody of the song 

like a rock artiste 

you remembered the 95 theses of Martin Luther,

you know you should not lose your head

conjure your happy feet at the behest of a hopeful mien,

hit those studs against the floor and let the happy hour begin.

Purring through all the pages of the poems of Adigwe will make you sit at the edge of your seat and be enthralled by the flip and esoteric use of language; and this jewel of a piece from the smithy of a  fine poet should be read across borders. Angela reminds me of the writings of Rumi and Bernadine Evaristo.

 The sapience and sentience of their evocations will drown anyone in the sobriety of their works. This work is propulsive,  generous and redemptive.

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