Book Review: The Headline That Morning


I love poetry. Heaven knows, I do but I was not ready for this book. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. The Headline That Morning is Peter Kagayi’s first poetry collection. Any Ugandan literature enthusiast knows Kagayi has been at his craft for as long as I can remember. [Personal story coming through. Because don’t we like association 😅].

Anyway, Kagayi, with The Lantern Meet of Poets, used to drop by school for poetry recitals and the like. Of course, I attended all of them, never actively though. Actively to mean I did not take part in the reciting nor did I share any poems. Once after Coffee House(yes, it was called Coffee House), I held my purple notebook and started to walk out. Kagayi stopped me at the door and said he knew I was a good writer even though I had not shared. Of course, I doubt he remembers but…*wipes tear* Let’s talk about his book, shall we?

I wanted to classify the poetry as sociopolitical commentary but even I would not believe that. Sure, it is. It forces you to think long and hard. It forces your eyes open. It makes you angry, but it gives you hope. It is so intricately, so carefully written with very vivid descriptions that it makes it so easy to understand, relate with and of course, love. You have to prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster before you read this book. Okay, that is if, like me, words strike a chord with your inner person. Ah-ah, don’t roll your eyes, it is deep I tell you.

I heard the boy playing Daddy say:
“I’ll beat you,
Because I am Daddy.”
The girl playing Mummy was kneeling before the boy,
Her head slightly bowed as though coy
I heard the boy playing Daddy say:
“Also like my daddy,
I’ll divorce you.”

-A Family Portrait

I want to tell you that I have a favorite poem. I really do. But I am afraid Kagayi made it next to impossible to choose. I could say ‘A Family Portrait‘ is my favorite. Damn, that poem broke my heart in 9 lines.  If I choose ‘Last Night I Told A Stranger About You‘, it will be because I like listening to it. Oh, did I mention the book comes along with an audio CD of some poems? Yes, you buy it too 😅.

The poem “I Want To Write a Poem” intrigued me though. It is literally a description of the poems he writes. It makes me think of ‘The Audience Must Say Amen‘. Let me guess, am losing you, right? (Ah, just read the book already)

As poets we like to think of ourselves as few of those who like to think
But to think takes a lot of thoughts that the audience should resonate with
And thus the thought structures and psychoanalytical patterns to be drawn
Have to have the backing of the thought structures of the people around us.

-The Audience Must Say Amen, Peter Kagayi.

Yes, it is that kind of poetry. Good for your intellect. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as much as it worked my poor heart. I guess that is what we look for in a book. You are a different person after you read it, at least in your thinking. I wish our politicians could read some of these books though. Okay, I didn’t write the last line. Aliens 😆

And in case you did not get the memo, 19th July, you should want to say Amen.





11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Headline That Morning

  1. Such a long time you!! 🙂 Disappearing act when you’re not james bond or something that disappears( James bond disappears? Erh i have no idea 😉 ) . A family portrait makes one think…they watch, they see..they learn and then they act just like us.


  2. Welcome back Writer Chic turned Writer Crush..
    I have heard things about that headline book.
    I have heard things about Peter Kagayi.
    Wait he tapped you and gave you a compliment about your writing..burraofcos #goals
    Anywhos none of the things I have heard, were as good as your review..
    *claps hands * takes a bow * gets outta here*
    Welokamu back

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not know Peter Kagayi and I haven’t met him either but the reviews am getting for his book have pushed it up to the top on the list of books I must read.


What do you think of this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s