Walk My Song by Francis Nii, Pukpuk Publications in association with the Simbu Writer’s Association, ISBN: 978-1533091604, 94 pages. Available here from Amazon
FRANCIS Nii has been associated with PNG Attitude for many years and the Crocodile Prize since its inception in 2011.
He is also one of the main driving forces behind the Simbu Writer’s Association, the only writers’ organisation to so far operate successfully in Papua New Guinea.
Francis has previously published a novel, a collection of essays and several educational texts, including anthologies of student writing in Simbu.
He is a prolific and wise contributor to PNG Attitude and he also edits and prepares for publication works by other Simbu writers. This is his first collection of poetry and he is working on a second novel. Although restricted to a wheelchair and his bed in the isolation ward of Kundiawa Hospital, he is a very busy man.
Francis doesn’t call himself a poet but says his interest in writing began with poetry when he was in high school and then at university.
He believes poetry may be the highest form of communication through which people can express thoughts, observations, feelings, emotions and views about the world around them, including their interactions with each other and the issues affecting them and their society.
He sees poetry as a useful antidote to people descending into venality, vice, fraud and other forms of dishonesty, which he compares to swimming in a pool of contaminated water.
This is central message in this collection. Maintaining an ethical and upright country where people are treated fairly and to which people are loyal.
This volume is aimed at educating both old and young Papua New Guineans to be patriotic about their motherland and conscious of the evils affecting their country so they can play their part in building a prosperous and progressive nation.
It is a timely and powerful message in these troubling times.