Never has there been a more enthralling poetry collection than that of Amatoritsero Ede’s Teardrops on the Weser is an enthralling poetry collection. Ede’s book masterfully uses imagery to paint a vivid picture for the reader while lulling them into a peaceful present through the lilt of his lyric poetry.
On October 6, Dr. Ede celebrated the launch of his new book Teardrops on the Weser. The book references both the geographical river that runs through northwestern Germany and an autobiographical river sourced in the Niger River Delta of Ede’s native Nigeria. The event was hosted online via Zoom with participants from all over the world in attendance.
Dr. Amatoritsero Ede is a professor at Mt. A. who teaches African Diasporic Literatures in the English department. He has not only travelled the globe but has accumulated various accolades over the course of his career, publishing articles and books alike. Dr. Ede’s most recent book can be found through Canadian publishers and on Amazon.
Ede began by reading an excerpt from his collection which was then followed by a discussion between Ede and the attendees.
Many had read Ede’s book prior to the gathering and found it to be a compelling journey because of Ede’s imaginative poetry. “I found I couldn’t stop reading. The rhythm was so addicting,” said Dr. Robert Lapp, a professor of English at Mt. A. Many participants agreed, calling it enthralling, compulsory, musical, and like skipping rocks on water. Keegan Hawthorne, a staff member at Mt. A., even compared it to “being carried along a wave of sound.” The reading was lush and evocative, inviting the listener into the scene.
“I believe poetry has to communicate,” said Dr. Ede regarding his work. Every detail is accounted for in his book. From the lively personification of Germany where Ede spent so much time, to the serious tone preceding his description of Nigeria, one can feel the sorrow, the tension, and the heartbeat of the living places described in his tale. Even the structure of his poems plays a large role in telling the story. “I imagine the page like it is sheet music,” he said about the way he came up with the unique structure of his poems. He also mentioned he does not like strict punctuation and instead prefers to let the words of the poetry carry the rhythm.
When asked about how the ecology of the two rivers referred to in his novel impacted his story, he explained that their different historical contexts played a significant role. The river in Germany, he said, seemed untroubled and unpolluted, signifying peace. The African river that was heavily polluted as a result of resource colonialism had faced a greater amount of hardship. These two historical circumstances provided the main message that ran through his work.
Many of the participants at the launch responded to Ede’s answer with their own interpretation of the imagery in the poem. “It is like the two rivers merge in the imagery of the seeing eye above the tower,” said Lapp. In the poem, Ede refers to a clock tower, however, instead of having the face of a clock, it was instead a large eye that was watching the speaker’s movements and the scene around them.“The eye that was originally purely documentary develops a deeper emotional connection as tears drop from it.”