Often times poets write of things that affect the community they live in. They are observers who take note of the many things that the ordinary eye may misses out. They are society’s self-appointed mouth piece without whom some things might never come to light.
Ronald Ssekajja takes a U-turn in this collection. He takes an outside-in point of view into the jungle that is his thoughts. Conversations about sadness, death and anything as dark rarely escape the prison of our minds. They clog in there only to manifest as depression later on in life. In his writing, the poet journeys us through the darkness that troubles his mind all clearly set in his head, told in his own voice. The reader cannot fail but identify with the after effects which one never gets schooled on in the process of LOSING TOUCH WITH HUMANITY. Dealing with loss is one of the hardest circumstances in that many find hard to deal with.
In his attempt to threaten and scare off death, the poet brings out the fears that many of us walk around with carrying in ourselves that we never get to disclose. He is quick to own up to all the upheavals that are raised, he is quick to make reference to himself in the writing. The poems in the collection are not implied, they are the lived testimonies of his life. It is this kind of roller coaster of life that makes men tired.
Tired men still get called home
Only to die, tired!
Poems like STORM point out the sad reality of writers having to shed their own pain on paper. In the collection, the poet repetitively alludes to ink and its relevancy in soothing and calming the burdens that weigh down his heart. Whereas writing is in itself a remedy of relieving self, it leaves the writer with a lot of uncertainty in regards to the posterity of their work. There is no assurance that one’s work will be read or not.
I wish people would listen to me, or read my poetry
And perhaps in their comments give me their sympathies…
With the resignation in the tone of voice, you are reminded of the renewed purpose of living and the gratitude that comes with it. After all LIFE REVOLVES.
In the writing of his grievances and pain, his cries and yearnings, he finds himself. He finds a relief and a healing. He finds ACCEPTANCE if not anywhere else, at least within himself.
The ECHOES OF TIRED MEN are on sale at Turn The Page Africa and the African Studies BookStore. Order your copy now.
Photo by Jonathan Nsereko