Published in The Herald, Friday 21-23 April 2006
Scattered Thoughts and Emotions is a collection of poems published and launched recently. Kuchah Henry Kuchah, the author of the work, sheds light on it and on other aspects of his writing, in this chat with Ndien Eric. Amongst other things, he says two Cameroonian writers who inspire him are Bole Butake and Bate Besong. Kuchah begins by presenting the book to the reader.
The book is a collection of 40 poems entitled Scattered Thoughts and Emotions spread over 67 pages. The poems touch on different issues of public and private life such as love, corruption, human relationships and the socio-economic and political situations that we live. So as the title indicates Scattered Thoughts and Emotions are different poems written at different times influenced by different people and different events but all brought together in this little book.
What are the key running themes in your book?
The poems address life and death, socio-economic relations and the futility of some of the things we think to be very important in life. But above all they are talking about the political reality within which we live.
What is your inspiration?
I have read through poetry and I do love some poets who in a way have influenced me tremendously. I will begin by citing Bole Butake who strangely is not a poet but whose language in his plays has been very vital to me. That is the style I want to use in poetry. I think there are a few other poems written by Bate Besong that have been very instrumental. And of course the influence of Tennyson, the British poet, and my mentor John Lindley, the 2004 Cheshire poet laureate in Great Britain have been great on me. These people have all been very important in my writing career.
It is your first publication?
Yes, this is my first publication of poetry, but a few years ago I published a short story in Kenya entitled Boma Versus Flying Shirt. It was selected for a Longman readers series in East Africa. I am also working on school books as well as a novel and a series of poems again that will come out in another collection.