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A must-read poetry collection: Francis delivers a powerful message


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.

Francis H&SFrancis emphasises that people must discipline themselves from getting involved in any of these sins and deceits and ensure that their countrymen and women, especially children, are not infected.

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.


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Michael Dom

Francis - literature is one of the most powerful ways to contribute to the development of a nation.

The material we deal with is the stuff our souls are made of, the threads of stories that weave the mortal fabric of our lives.

"Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend."

Kindness - Naomi Shihab Nye

Philip G Kaupa

Congratulations Francis on this marvellous achievement.

Francis Nii

Thank you Sil, Awagl, MK and Yalkuna Bomai. Time is my greatest enemy and I have to fight it hard while I can.

Bomai D Witne

Yalkuna Nii, salute you.

Mathias Kin

Congratulation Nebare. You continue to amaze me!

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Congratulations Francis. Wakai wo!

Jimmy Awagl

Congrats Francis, happy to read your poetry book.

Wai Woo!

Francis Nii

Thank you Daniel, Robin, Mero and Mike.

If I can't contribute meaningfully to the development and betterment of PNG like others are doing, literature is one way and I am doing just that.

Michael Dom

Last verse of Broken Song by Rabindranath Tagore:

Baraj says with hands clasped, 'Master, our days are gone.
New men have come now, new styles and customs in the world.
The court we kept is deserted - only the two of us are left.
Don't ask anyone to listen to me now, I beg you at your feet, my lord.
The singer alone does not make a song, there has to be someone who hears:
One man opens his throat to sing, the other sings in his mind.
Only when waves fall on the shore do they make a harmonious sound;
Only when breezes shake the woods do we hear a rustling in the leaves.
Only from a marriage of two forces does music arise in the world.
Where there is no love, where listeners are dumb, there never can be song.'

Michael Dom

Well done and congratulations on another publishing achievement.

Jimmy Drekore

Congratulations mero.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Great work, Francis.

Daniel Kumbon

Congratulations Francis Nii. Looking forward to reading it. I like poetry from Simbu authors - Michael Dom, Philip Kaupa, Jimmy Awagl, Francis Nii....

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