Everybody's Reading

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Review by Jonathan Taylor of "The Gospel According to Bobba" by Ambrose Musiyiwa



There is a wonderful twentieth-century composer called Webern, who managed to encompass whole Mahlerian symphonies, whole concertos, musical drama, tragedy, comedy, in the space of a couple of minutes. Something similar might be said of a new miniature e-book by Ambrose Musiyiwa, called The Gospel According to Bobba. Here, encapsulated in twenty-four micro-poems, is a microcosmic universe of knowledge, encompassing everything from politics:

Bobba says
in a country
that's afraid of its own shadow
schools
should be places
where light is cast on shadows

... to philosophy:

Bobba says
there's something about tea and biscuits
which makes the world
a beautiful place

... to the significance of an elephant and the number three in a shoe box:

Bobba says
imagine a shoe box
with an elephant and the number 3
in it

In miniature form, there is surrealism here, psychology, playfulness, sadness, even mini-narratives sustained between the individual micro-poems. The collection might take five minutes to read, but its nano-wisdom reaches out far beyond its twenty-or-so pages. Like Webern's epigrammatic music, it's all rather wonderful.


About the reviewer
Jonathan Taylor's books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), and the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.


No comments:

Post a Comment