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Poem of the Week: ‘The Garden’ by Gboyega Odubanjo

1 July 2024

Our Poem of the Week is ‘The Garden’ from Gboyega Odubanjo’s debut collection of poetry, Adam.
The Garden it’s us eyebrow slitted in the archives standing on the corner of here and there living dead as we could ever. living like free of air and full of ways to breathe. dead like literally under thames vibing pretty darkly our shades still on because this the night beneath the night. the life beneath the living. this the land where streets are paved with cousins. we so inherent in this matter. every man eating in every kitchen across the city so cross orbital. this the last day of summer so we gather our uneaten yams and feed ourselves a liberty. we dress up as each other we bear each other’s names. someone says i knew your missus asks if bob’s your uncle—no. your uncle’s adam. your mother—adam floating. your cousin—adam bleeding in the masquerade. and still there’s more arrivals—they’re greeted with cups of river and given a week to change their names to adam. we phone our loved ones. we tell the pregnant we’ve been reading the book and might have found the perfect name. so what of tradition. this is not our country this is not a country it’s a burned CD and a tracklist we’ve written ourselves. Copyright © Gboyega Odubanjo, 2024. Used by permission of Faber & Faber Ltd. All rights reserved. ‘The Garden’ by Gboyega Odubanjo is from Adam.

 

Copyright © Gboyega Odubanjo, 2024. Used by permission of Faber & Faber Ltd. All rights reserved.

‘The Garden’ by Gboyega Odubanjo is from Adam.

About the Author

Gboyega Odubanjo (1996–2023) was born and raised in East London. He was the author of three poetry pamphlets: While I Yet Live (Bad Betty Press), Two stops short of Barking (The Alternative School of Economics) and Aunty Uncle Poems (The Poetry Business/New Poets List), winner of the Michael Marks Poetry Award and an Eric Gregory Award. A Barbican Young Poet…

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About the Author
Poet Gboyega Odubanjo