Through a poem titled “Graffiti too” in this collection, Dami Ajayi displayed an epic mockery of the Nigerian political system in very few words. In other poems, he portrayed a rare literary smartness with his mixture of medicine’s tools and poetry’s delicacy. He falls into the category of a few writers I have seen or read about that successfully mixed work with pleasure. His use of words molded by his knowledge, experience and symbolism to medicine is very well established in this collection. For the first time in history, I am finally glad that I took a biology class and was able to define “erythrocytes” in page 49 and other medical terms of the book. I love the section of Hospital Poems especially, a part where the title of this book truly comes to play its role. It is a sweeping description that identifies the value of health and the sorrows of illness. In another section of this chef-d’oeuvre, he wrote about Fela’s music. Without the interference of my feminist intuition for the original song by Fela, my best piece by Dami Ajayi is titled “Lady.” This section is a witty tribute to one of the world’s best musicians.
I can relate Dami’s idea and inspiration of writing to R.D Liang’s book titled “Knots.” Another masterpiece, in that he mixed human psychology with poetry. Although Dami and Liang have different styles of writing, their similarities dwell more in reality. They did not have choose between a talent and an aspiration of their lives unlike the way that many young people are demanded to do, today.
Besides the indisputable quality of this book, I admire that it speaks to the reality of many soon-to-be university applicants and students in Nigeria. Unlike Chimamanda Adichie who had the guts to drop out early of a pre-med major to solely pursue her desire in writing, some young Nigerians are often threatened and told that they can’t go to college to study an unserious major like writing or literature, they must study medicine, law or accounting which is serious. Many of them tend to abandon their talents and passion for the “serious pursuit.” The general concept of Clinical Blues sits as a king over “the study something serious and abandon passion” idea and mentality because Dami chose an unexpected route. He did not think inside the box or outside the box, instead, he thought without the box. He studied medicine in university and wrote brilliant pieces of poetry about medicine. I recommend this book to all audiences, and in a thousand percent to young and aspiring writers.
Kudos and well done Dami!!!
TITLE: Clinical Blues
AUTHOR: Dami Ajayi
NUMBER OF PAGES: 88
PUBLISHER: Write House
DATE OF PUBLICATION: October 20, 2014