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    Fredrick Woodard's last comments on poems and poets

    • POEM: Amistad! Amistad! Amistad! by Moses Kainwo (9/23/2009 12:20:00 AM)

      Your fellow countryman, Amadu Maddy, wrote and directed a play, 'The Amistad' at the University of Iowa in the 1990s. For awhile he was also a consultant to Spielberg for the movie.

      Your poem suggests an interesting and, decidedly different perspective than Maddy's drama. I am impressed by the persona's projection of triumph over guilt and helpless. Also, the persona speaks for (himself) and for his country, its past and its future. Who would be free and have a future must throw the punches for himself and for the rest of mankind. Friendship, at first glance, seems to mean the same as peace; but friendship goes far beyond peace to embrace a range of contradiction: a ship named Amistad (meaning Friend(Ami) ship carried 'siblings' over the seas; ' not as a gesture of friendship but as a gesture of conquest, a taking over of the captives completely: 'no names...' Essentially, the captives free themselves by going to blows with superiors and 'got back {their souls(meaning names and identity) by purposive action against their captors(or any other oppressive forces) .