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Precious Chidera's Winning Poem, 'I Attempt A Portrait On The Simple Art Of Drowning'

"The poem masterfully utilizes vivid imagery to create a poignant and unsettling portrait of drowning. It transcends the themes of vulnerability, fear

"The poem masterfully utilizes vivid imagery to create a poignant and unsettling portrait of drowning. It transcends the themes of vulnerability, fear, and the complex relationship between life and death."Pawners Paper

In water


I ATTEMPT A PORTRAIT ON THE SIMPLE ART OF DROWNING


I / Suspension

I am like all the things that float on water:
leaf— by which I mean, breath;
feather— I float fly;
paper boat— I am always dissolving into tiny bits.

When I float on a river it means two things:
First, that it is denser than I am.
Secondly, that, like paper, I am dissolving into it.


II / Immersion

Do you know that when something
is less dense than water it floats,
but when it is denser it sinks in water?

A boy jumped into a river and, like a pebble,
the water swallowed him with a greedy slurp.
He didn't drown because the water was deep
but because he was denser than the water.

You see, it is mostly the minor adversaries
that swallows us?

A drowning body is like a heaving bloat,
waterlogged in a pool of breathlessness—
gargled in a river's mouth.


III / Asphyxia

I know water is a glutton
because it will keep on taking until it disappears.
And this, too, is how a person drowns.

A fish once told me that
the loveliest way for a man to die is drowning:
how it seems so much the reverse of parturition.

The body is made of sixty percent water.

This is how I conceptualize the image of a drowning boy:
foetus backstroking into its mother's womb—
a body sliding into the night headfirst.
A posture as natural as childbirthing.






About The Poet


Precious Chidera Harrison is a Nigerian poet of Igbo descent, born and raised in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He was an honorable mention in the inaugural Rhonda Gail Williford Prize, 2023. His debut manuscript was longlisted for the Arting Arena Poetry Chapbook Manuscript Prize in 2023. 

His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Arts Lounge, Hot Pot Magazine, NWF Journal, Brittle Paper, FERAL Journal, and World Voices Magazine.


Photo Credit: Pexel 

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Pawners Paper: Precious Chidera's Winning Poem, 'I Attempt A Portrait On The Simple Art Of Drowning'
Precious Chidera's Winning Poem, 'I Attempt A Portrait On The Simple Art Of Drowning'
"The poem masterfully utilizes vivid imagery to create a poignant and unsettling portrait of drowning. It transcends the themes of vulnerability, fear
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https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj70FcqA2NS6xEkZu_OlxumEcA1z6W6DaOF89vbIPsyrVe-RUYjzQlKlbvBZiS3j5CNuF3XP-fZKHWHbnT-_6rj9a0UEBrEjizSRNvONH2EXD2aSRcKAqNFikDPBamJcR82cqZGRZf_EC5VITiCPn_CAOIPDF18jUukDAGGCpDn77qIbBZWcAB58Vl93U4/s72-c/pexels-photo-7457629.jpeg
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