Tag Archives: Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

A modest review

The following short text comes with great enthusiasm that shook me after reading one of the early poems of Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom:

Is creative writing a learning objective or an innate quality, constitutes an age-old question. With Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the answer is multi-faceted, as his poetry eases the reader to a phenomenon of rare talent and impeccable ability in self-teaching. No ordinary evaluation criteria will do.

– hülya yılmaz, Ph.D., college professor in Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University

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Via cell phones: State College, PA – Lagos, Nigeria

When Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the author of The Light Bearer (also available in the U.S.) asked me, if I could attend an event of high significance for him, namely his debut introduction to his readers in Nigeria, I was eager to do so. While I couldn’t be there physically, our cellphones managed to enable us a bridge between the continents. My words of endorsement of his poetry appear below, in the form and content I compiled them within a short amount of time that I had (not due to Kolade’s negligence but rather our time zone difference but also my heavy work schedule). I hope my enthusiasm will be well-served so that you may be interested in informing yourselves with this poet of rare talent who happens to be very young but his life  view and lyrical analysis of life issues exceed many heavily aged individual’s capacity. Please read my text picturing my actual presence there in the gathering room for his event, addressing his audience before he begins his book reading.

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A rare talent in composing poetry but also in raising awareness for world issues that matter against the backlash of pitifully mundane ados – perhaps the youngest peace ambassador.

This is hülya yılmaz from State College, Pennsylvania-USA. A warm hello to Lagos State, Nigeria. I feel privileged to be one of the guests at your unique event today in honor of Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom. Knowing Mr. Olanrewaju has been a privilege all by itself. There must be many who are eager to talk about his poetry, so I shall keep my comments on his rarely found poetic work brief. I allow myself to judge as such based on my extensive university career in teaching literature in all its various genres. There is a quote on poetry I am particularly fond of, and it is by the American poet and writer Charles Bukowski: “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.” Kolade’s lyrical work demonstrates the materialization of the Bukowski conviction. Mr. Olanrewaju’s poetic voice demands attention.   For its clarity, genuine spirit, innovative and creative symbolic imagery, engaging diction and for its musical composition at the same time. There are many, just too many poems in his first book, The Light Bearer, that I could refer to and comment on and on. But, as I noted before, I am not the only one at this literary gathering who wants to shout out to all attending as loudly as I can what the significance of this unbelievably young but incredibly matured poetic genius. I will mention the titles of a few, almost all from about the middle section of The Light Bearer. While I do so, I want to hope that there will be time enough for someone to read these poems aloud for everyone to hear – hopefully again and again. One of them treasures his book on its earlier pages, “My Tongue My Culture”; the others, more toward the mid-section: “Doves in the Sky”, “The Pillars of Peace”, “Let Me Speak My Scars” and later in this notable book, “Beautiful Petals”. Obviously, I can’t and won’t manipulate the time allotted for your event, and will, therefore, only give you a poem by Kolade through which I got to meet him. I will always cherish that time.WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUY PEACE?


I sit on a mammoth mountain


Holding the map of a nation


Stare at map with fondness


While I savour the smell of peace


But mood wouldn’t be retained for long;


Map suddenly bleeds


Blood flows like the Red Sea


Children’s tears deafen my ears


Adults wail in agony


Brutality and cruelty kill without ceasing.



Peace is sick in Syria


Should we call violence to treat?


Love is jailed in Syria


Should we employ hatred to defend?


Humanity is assaulted in Syria


Should we call inhumanity to Judge?


Death is thief in Syria


Should we call Deaths to arrest?



War is a whore


It seduces death to be its lover


While being engaged to catastrophe.



Confusion parties within me


Violence must halt


But certainty of identity

of the STOPPER

eludes me


How can peace be so costly


When all we need to purchase is love?


An example of what he offers in the face of the prominent tribal mentality among the world leaders at large, isn’t it?

I promise, these will be my last words (for this event) – words that Kolade Olanerwaju’s poetic power practically gave me the insight to write about his book: Is creative writing a learning objective or an innate quality, constitutes an age-old question. With Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the answer is multi-faceted, as his poetry eases the reader to a phenomenon of rare talent and impeccable ability in self-teaching. No ordinary evaluation criteria will do. [My own words from The Light Bearer] Thank you all for listening, Thank you, dearest Kolade, for mediating my words through what I am sure to be an utmost lovely reading voice. Continued success to you, dear young friend!


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Social media and human connections

In March, several facebook friends and myself have created an event – in a Turkish tradition (I was the only representative of Turkey, so to speak): Aşıklar Bayramı, a.k.a. Aşıklar Atışması.


asik_veysel_by_metalfaust copy


Aşıklar is the plural of “aşık” to which the Turkish language lends two meanings: lover and the one who is in love with a married person. In the context of the tradition I mention here, however, the word identifies a “minstrel.” It is all about composing poetry (in any format) on cue but to accompany it with a musical creation, also on cue, and by the contestant poets, at that (in Turkey, they have to know how to play “saz” – one of the most popular Turkish folk music instruments).

Hmm. Trouble, right? How on earth can a group of non-Turkish innocent bystanders (!) collaborate – online of all the places – to recreate the Minstrels’ Festival or Minstrels’ Cross-Talk of Turkey, not knowing how to play “saz” (myself included)? Well, we have improvised, of course, and thanks to the most delightful participants’ generosity as far as giving their time and attention, the event was quite an accomplishment. All participants and hosts enjoyed the outcome so much that I want to share with you what we have done. Amid the hustle and bustle we all have to do day in and day out, maybe this unusually pleasant memory of ours will also give you a reason to take a fresh breath of air for a change. Especially, if you picture yourselves in a land of sunshine, in a large hall filled with much laughter from all ages because of much good-willed teasing that goes on before each competition. Imagine then poets taking you into their imagined realities wrapping them up in colorful musical compositions – all unrehearsed. Perhaps, the way we all should be living life at least on one occasion or two…

At the time of our facebook event, we provided our guests with some background information on this tradition that for centuries has enriched life in Anatolia, taking place in different regions of today’s Turkey. I will give you the same insights here, including the legendary folk song by Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu (1894-1973) – the icon of the Turkish Aşık Minstrel Poetry tradition:



When we come forward several decades to a contemporary Turkish society, we mostly observe, as in the video below, the traditional “only men” gathering. The first “Aşık” – with the respectful selection (a required step) of his co-poets – begins composing his couplets on the spot. He happens to select a rather sore topic in cheerful and loving words and mannerism (also required): balding. Please help yourselves with the video for a few seconds to participate in the uplifting mood of the minstrels but also of the audience members. Smiles all around! (Who needs to understand the language of the program?)



The following live coverage presents a new tradition in Turkey, an initiative by women who either self-taught to play the “Saz” – a necessity, or learned it from the masters to now voice their views on life matters.  A few seconds (or more) of a fun experience on an untraveled path, where one woman sings and plays the required instrument in competition with her male counterparts! (Once again: no need to understand the language of focus. The feel is real and there to breathe in, isn’t it?)



Mixed with interviews, the video program below, then, gives a deeper insight into the transformation of the same ancient folk poetry tradition in the hands of Turkey’s female minstrels. (To a peaceful union between the genders – poets and non-poets alike!)



What did we do on facebook at the time of our event to unite several people from various parts of the world? We asked them to spontaneously compose poetry after listening to a melodic prompt of our impromptu posting – for which we used ethnic traditional music. Whoever posted his/her couplet first, had the lead, which meant for the next poet to harmonize with the poetic mood, symbolism, diction, etc. of the preceding poetic lines – just like in the Aşık tradition. Then, the next poet would honor the same established poetic composition, add to it his/her couplet, and so on. Some comments about this experience included “fun, yummy,  delicious, lovely, inspiring.”

The final product comes to you as it was created on cue, in its unedited, unrevised version. The music prompt came from an African Music Compilation and the couplets were created in the following order (only the font style and size were modified and capitalization was added for the uniform external appearance):


Raindrops falling on drum tops.

When I dance to it my sadness stops.

The heartbeat of each creature is

The music of nature…

As if let loose from shackles my spirit filled with joy

When the beating of the drum reach my eardrum

I- wind rushing

Breathe- soul brushing

With- consuming fires

Desire- fingerless lyres

Like a waterfall?

Body turns into fountain sweat drops

Quenching the heat of passion

Moving for all time

Marking out rhythms and rhymes

Unconscious of ebbs and flows

Here doing only what it knows.

A canvas of fire I see

A sky burning for me

A singe atop of my skin

A grace thermal within

The sun shines brightly through the rain.

Traditionally, a hyena is born in Spain

The scorching sun blowing the breeze of comfort

Was told a lion just take to bed just in Spain without pain


One of our dear hosts, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, an accomplished poet and the author of The Light Bearer also composed verses (his impeccable talent should not be overlooked here – although, as he said during our event, “I did write something, being a host forbids…”). With his couplet, dearest Kolade embraced everyone’s work with his own right at the end, when parting started feeling rather cold:


The sun buries its head

As sleep lures me to bed

Hearing the sounds of a gong

A rhythmic melodious song….


My inspiration to conceive such an event was my utterly close familiarization with the humanist teachings of Rumi through my academic studies that now span over multiple decades.




The call this Anatolian Sufi poet makes to humanity in his following stanza seems timeless to me, especially in our century when the storms of divisiveness keep causing complete destructions. Rumi invites all to unite instead:

Come, come again, whoever you are, come!

Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!

Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,

Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.

(As quoted in Turkey: A Primary Source Cultural Guide, 2004 by Martha Kneib)


Rumi’s philosophy of peace and love in the front of my mind, as always, the words by the Russian-American linguist and literary theorist, Roman Jakobson (1896-1982), then, had appealed to me as a most befitting framework:

“In poetic language, in which the sign as such takes an autonomous value, this sound symbolism becomes an actual factor and creates a sort of accompaniment to the signified.”

My guided interest had been taking me over and over to the key words present in the Jakobson statement: “the sign, sound symbolism” and “accompaniment to the signified” – of course, with me interpreting them in the way I needed and wanted to shape them. And then, another dear facebook friend presented us right before our event had begun – without knowing – the most critical sign I had been looking for. If a poeto-musical event could bring together people who don’t know each other outside a social media platform we all tend to assess as being fully impersonal, imagine what human interaction can take place, were such efforts to be multiplying all over the world…


for my March 16 2014 FB event.Les Bush Poet


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Whether through music, poetry or any other joyous aspect of life’s gifts, may you always connect to and harmonize with an unknown soul despite our learned or too often forced disparate realms. May you on this Sunday and on many more days to come ‘cuddle’ with any and all differences that only on the surface separate us from one another.


Filed under Reflections


My dear visitors,

I hope you won’t find me overly self-centered for sharing with you this time a high moment in my life when my creative writing is concerned: My Trance, a collection of poems in English, German and Turkish has found its voice! Both highly accomplished poets, William S. Peters Sr. and Janet P. Caldwell of Inner Child Press – the remarkable publishing enterprise I have written to you about a while ago – have given a life to my tri-lingual poetry.  You know you had them, at least a few, right?  Those mind-boggling moments of euphoria?  I have been in such state since early afternoon yesterday, when I found out my book of poems is really in print now.  What I have fantasized often since middle school has become a reality.  Simply because the two professionals of Inner Child Press, ltd. listened to my poetic stories of three different cultural conceptualizations and corresponding life experiences with much care and love, giving me the life-time opportunity of a three-fold literary voice.  The picture below shows you the cover, “Le’nfant” – an original artwork by the artist and poet Siddartha Beth Pierce . An excerpt from my prose, then,  follows on the right – a small segment of the framework within which I provide my readers the transnational context behind my poems:

TRANCE Cover Front Final


My poems tell you about a life passed by me, at the same time – with their mere appearance in this book, they announce to you and me a life I decided to live.  Whether their construct is in English, German or Turkish, I strongly hope you will recognize your own stories in them.  However, I wish you will mostly relate to the poems of rejoice and not need to seek solace in those where I mirror countless moments of deep sadness.



I hope you will find it in your heart to join me in a celebration of not only my high moment but those I wish for all of us to come our ways in one form or another.  Then, as always, I wish you the best in everything and look forward to your visit next Sunday.

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After posting for this morning, I have discovered the following remarkable words by a fellow-poet – whom I fondly call a son (whom I never met).  Since this is my day of self-promotion (smiles…), I will go ahead and share with you his insight in to my Trance:


Hülya N. Yılmaz, in this soulful poetry collection of hers displays high level of intellectualism that will keep a reader digging incessantly in order to fully explore the richness of her eloquent expression.

As a reader, I had to connect my soul to her writings in order to extract the undiluted message Hulya has for the world.

Written in three dominant languages; Tukish, German and English…Hulya achieves what many will term impossible as she unites and creates a unique blend with these three languages without a depreciation in the appreciation of her profound expressions.

I cannot help but further continue to address Hulya N. Yilmaz as a literary mother whom I need to associate myself with so as to graduate to the level of excellence where mediocrity is shamed.

My heart is endeared to this awesome collection (Trance), and my love for the writer is strengthened beyond breakage…I have no choice but to address her as “mein Schatz” ( You care to know the meaning of these strange words? Go get the book)
Book available via link: http://www.innerchildpress.com/hülya-n-yilmaz.php

~Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

Related Links:

Siddartha Beth Pierce

Hülya N. Yılmaz

Facebook Site for Trance

Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom on Facebook

The Light Bearer – Poetry Book by Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

The Light Bearer by Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom – Book Review by Celestial Wisdom


Filed under Reflections

A bright light


a loved one’s long lost scent

the surprise of an aromatic flow

a place i may never get to better know

houses my original self

having waited for me understood it somehow

though years of travel days of distances away

unchains with softest touch its trapping turmoils

spreads before it the most welcoming skies

breathes for it soothing breezes of air

oceanic waters of ebbs and tides

unpredictable yet donned in magnetizing beauty

traces the devotion of forgiving patient friends and family

i live


and live again

from readers writers thinkers alike

for long on a throne of their own right

i cite


and cite again

for all constitute a rope from a well about to expire

the wish to die thus does not easily stay alive

the light’s name has always been Sinopem for me

my ashes await to be spread there to the sea

its incomparable warmth was all i could wish for or plea

in approach of the cold darkness of dark moments yet to see

i finally can take it to my heart as well my head

the many a things i must still do that lie ahead

for my love of family and friends, in no doubt

however also for others i care deeply about

a very young man from the fresh recent past

opened my eyes to a distinct value at last

has shaken my self to an unselfish role

lending it sense to his potentials galore

born with no privilege living that way, too

i, however, made and today make better due

yet most i sorrow over has been my own woe

this tale though is none about me or my ado

he lives too far away, i may never see him be

i would like to see his sweet smile right before me

what’s more vital, however, is for me here to tell

the life impeccable poetry shapes onto his cell

with each of his words’ ever growing legacy

how his wisdom pours out of his essence

after a mere twenty years of existence

lacking the luxury of a computer unlike you and i

his poetic charm stuns his own words of innate music

assembles them on broad canvas of a rare refined gift

destined to soar in peace over peaks ever so high

he has just birthed The Lightbearer, a collection of verses

dedicated ardent loving are this special soul’s admirers

my dire hope is you, too, will pause a moment to heed

to see for yourself what he offers to forever breed

Kolade is his name, Olanrewaju to add

Freedom is the epithet he was meant to have had

Sinopem remains a light to me still

it will continue to be to delightfully thrill

the radiance from Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

emanates a glow though beyond unfamiliars afar

settles it gently in to this fast aged heart

determined a little while longer to trill

hülya n. yılmaz, 10.12.2013

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Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom  has been invited by the National Library of the Philippines Historical Forum 2013 to receive an award for his positive contribution to humanity through poetry.  Unfortunately, due to lack of funds he won’t be able to attend the ceremony where he would have been recognized in person as one of the honored poets worldwide.

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With permission from this young poet, please find below his life story in his own words:

“I was born on the 23rd of December, 1993 in Osun State, Nigeria.  I attended my primary school at Merry Kiddies Nursery and Primary School Lagos State, Nigeria where I graduated with an excellent result.  I moved on to secondary school otherwise known as high school at Federal Government College, Ikirun.  I was in the Science department, and I had my O’level result there.  After leaving high school, I realized Science was not my passion, I studied science due to my fascination for it and also to impress others.

In my quest to satisfy passion and refine my talent, I started tutoring myself as an art student.  I taught myself literature, government, c.r.s etc.  After this, I sat for another O’level exam conducted by W.A.EC G.C.E and to my amazement, I passed all my Art subjects exams.  It was during my personal study as an art student that I encountered the gift of writing poetry, and so far, I have contributed in International anthologies like United We Stand (U.S.A) April Rains (U.S.A) Twist of Fate (U.S.A) and Heavens above Poetry Below (Canada) etc.

My two poetry books will also be published before the year ends with Nevermore Press and Inner child press (Chap book) both in the U.S.A.

I intend to study either literature or creative writing in college if offered a scholarship.”

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The electronic platforms to meet Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom and his newly published book, The Light Bearer:

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Personal Page

Twitter Account

blog site

The Light Bearer – Kindle

The Light Bearer – Paperback-related Facebook Event



Filed under Reflections