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I do not know if it is ok for me to publish on my blog a review of my haiku collection, Haiku Rhapsodies, by a fellow blogger in Ghana, Paapa Kwesi Amerado. Mind you, Paapa and I have never met face to face though we visit each other’s blog and live just four hours apart. We do communicate also on FB. And I must add that his copy of HR is a verified purchase. 🙂 As I was saying Paapa wrote this review and sent it to my mail and after reading it, I fell in love with it. Oh yes and I said ‘ah, Cestone, why don’t you post this on your blog?’ Does it sound right? Well, I must market my book, must I not? 🙂

Title: Haiku Rhapsodies
Author: Celestine Nudanu
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Poetry (Haiku)
Publisher: Celestine Nudanu (Self Publishing) Ghana
Pages: 84
Publication Date:  April 2016

A Review of Celestine Nudanu’s Haiku Rhapsodies by Paapa Kwesi Amerado

What’s Haiku? A very lucid definition appears in the mind’s eye after one has read Haiku  Rhapsodies by Celestine Nudanu. The book is her first published work and I must confess that I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. Her poems center on Africa, Nature, Love, the Divine and Death. She makes that categorization in the book for the reader’s ease I think but you’ll notice that some of the poems belong in two or more categories.

With her observant eyes, Nudanu captures moments of nature and daily life, like an expect photographer; you can’t help but fall in love with the images she captures and forces into your mind. For most people the cockcrow is the alarm that wakes us up. It heralds the beginning of the day and she captures this moment aptly here:

new day

a cockcrow stirs

the leaves.

The leaf is life itself being stirred awake by the cockcrow. Celestine also captures the image of the moon in a barrel:

windless night

the full moon

in my barrel.

his image is close to home. It’s more than just three lines of a poem; it’s a memory of growing up as a kid, fetching water with buckets and placing them under the sky to claim the moon as one’s own or even to try to touch the reflection of the moon. She captures this moment so beautifully with her words.

On Nature, the images she captures are more than delightful. Nudanu opens the eyes and mind to beautiful moments in nature that they’ve for so long ignored. I found these lines quite revealing:


my mother stares

back at me.

Not only does she capture how a mirror can reproduce our reflection, she also captures in those three lines the wonder in resembling someone. For a moment your reflection staring back at you is not important rather the idea of being the exact copy of another person or having a doppelgänger becomes something wondrous all over again. In those three lines we come to appreciate again that wonderful thing in nature.

Fireflies have always been insects with lights at their “bottom” for me but for Nudanu it’s more than that. She writes:

the night in flames fireflies.

Here these fireflies are flames in the dark of the night. She does it again in:

moonless night

suddenly the forest is ablaze

with fireflies.

She has moved the fireflies from a sort of obscurity and given them prominence in these two poems and one cannot help but fall in love with the image she has created.

Nudanu also captures images of love/the heart in the haiku form and again she does so wonderfully. The first poem in this category especially got to me; it’s the pride a mother feels in adorning herself with an ornament her son made for her. The poem:

mother’s pride

his bead earrings

adorn me.

She not only captures the moment but she captures the pride and love too and leaves the reader in absolute awe. In another poem she captures the feeling of a lover longing for his/her partner but you can trust Nudanu to put it in a more beautiful way. She puts it this way:

sleepless night

I cradle

your cologne.

This is more than the ordinary hanging on to the pillow or sheets: this is hanging on to an intangible part of the missing partner and only Nudanu can capture it like this. She goes on to capture very aptly the downside of love that many people in relationships eventually have to deal with. She writes:

balancing act

the precarious road

of a crooked love.

She’ s right in calling love a balancing act whether it’s crooked or not, after all it’s not always a straight line in matters of love. It’s a balancing act that must be learnt well and she captures it beautifully.

I must say that poem after poem, Haiku Rhapsodies has been for me, a confetti of delightful pleasures and beautiful moments and I entreat everyone to dig in.

Note: Haiku Rhapsodies will soon be on Amazon!!!