Before our very eyes, the poetry of Boluwatife Afolabi has emerged, as butterfly from cocoon, and taken dainty flight. It is a privilege to witness these protean moments
and to relish the ineffable joy they yield.
This chapbook has seen prior incarnations. In the way that the wind happens to the place with most of the tall grass, Afolabi's inspiration has settled on those boughs that most exercise our sentience and our humanity. He, the poet, has come a long way from where he started. If the trajectories mapped in these poems are any indication, this poet is one to watch.
I'm chuffed, to be asked to write this introduction to a poet of enormous promise and potential. I am amazed at the quality of mind and poetics deployed in this chapbook. I've watched the unfurling of the banner. Seeing it flying the crest of Afolabi's imagination with the first rays of this new day bolsters my faith in the future of African poetry.
The poems here are shaped by a vigilant intelligence and an astute understanding of what matters. They have an emotional depth to them that belie the age or experience of the poet. In these poems, one inexorably comes to agree with the sage who observed that good poems know more than the poet does.
In a time when hunger for fame and undisguised greed for money has come to describe some self-styled poets, it is truly refreshing to encounter a true poet. True poets are moved by what they can give, what they can describe, what they can create - not merely what they can get.
Afolabi's poems are pollinators, they are butterflies to be admired for their damask, yes, but they are way more than what appears. They keep the cycle of energy and life going. This, ultimately, is what we are wired for. This is why poems such as are here contained will always matter.