Aug 21, 2017 News
Have you ever wanted an avenue through which you could immerse yourself even when faced with situations that are daunting?
Well, 15-year- old Abike Barker has been able to master the art of doing just that.
It might have started a long time ago, but she recalled vividly that it all came together about two years ago. It was an unsuspecting talent but a talent nonetheless. She found that whenever she put pen to paper she was able to effortlessly create strings of rhyming lines that were good enough to be classified as poetry.
“I never sat down and decided that I wanted to be a poet or anything like that…I just started writing poems and the words always seem to come together. There are some scratches here and there sometimes but it always comes together,” she related during a recent interview.
At first it was just a way for escape for this Brickdam Secondary School student but then it became a routine part of her day. She was a bit private about it at first, but then began to share with some of her classmates, who immediately took a liking to her work.
Family members were also aware and wanted to help nurture the talent by encouraging her to write more. According to Barker, one of her cousins even bought her a ledger specifically for that purpose so that she could do away with using exercise books. An aunt who visited from overseas was also instrumental in helping Barker to upgrade how she produced her work.
Within the past few years, she has written and compiled scores of poems. In fact, a few days ago, Barker was able to release a book of 29 poems which she titled ‘Rouge’ which is the French word for red. Red, according to Barker, is her favourite colour.
The poems contained in the book are just a fraction of what she has written but, according to Barker, those pieces were selected “because I thought they were up to scratch.”
The young lady who is currently engaged in a stint of work study at the Department of Public Information [DPI] said that she was able to get some support from individuals attached to that organisation to help create a cover and release her book. Her family members were also very instrumental as well.
The marketing trial saw a total of 24 copies of the book being released during the past week. As at Friday, she had a mere four copies in her possession, as they pretty much sold out, Barker related. Given the evident marketability of her book of poetry, Barker said that she has been promised further assistance to help produce a new and improved version.
Speaking of its content on Friday, Barker said that “my poems are based on personal experiences, feelings I get, and some are from information I get from interacting with people.” The Fourth Form student explained further, “sometimes I can have a conversation with somebody and the feeling I get off of that person, sometimes I can write a whole poem about it.”
When asked which of her poems she values the most, she reflected just for a moment and then disclosed it is in fact one based on a less than desirable encounter she had with a classmate about two years ago. “There was a girl in my class and she was constantly on my case. I was in Form Two at the time…and I didn’t really like getting into trouble at all; I used to think if anyone wanted to pick a fight with me I would run away,” recounted Barker of her past. But on this occasion the constant interference from her classmate brought out the worst in her, “I think I almost strangled this girl in the classroom because of what she was doing to me.”
But it was in fact this very upsetting incident that caused her to produce what is perhaps one of her best pieces. “After it happened, I just started writing and writing, and my friends just kept asking me to show it to them and when they saw it, they were like ‘this is steep’,” recalled Barker.
She disclosed that although she wanted to embrace a thought to stop writing altogether at one point, she has since overcome that feeling and intends to continue indefinitely.
To get a glimpse of Barker’s poem persons can contact her on 602-1000.
Although she doesn’t yet know whether writing will be her career path, she is hopeful that the proceeds from her book will furnish her with enough finances to purchase a camera so that she can nurture yet another passion – photography.
“I love photography, I have a passion for it too…every time I see somebody with a camera I freak out,” said a blushing Barker who for now his getting some up close encounters with a lot of cameras at DPI.
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