The first time I saw the title of the book, it evoked in my mind an image of graceful movement. Poetry In Motion is an eclectic collection of 49 poems grouped in five parts, each devoted to a particular theme. This arrangement creates a flow. It also means a variety of readers are remembered. A lover of sights and sounds will appreciate the poetic techniques used, for instance, in the first part, Rhythm and Rhymes with its vibrantly descriptive nature.
The second section, Cakes and Candles, gives you a clue about the kind of poems you find here; poems inspired by birthdays and other celebratory days.
Riddles of Fortune, the third section, captures everyday struggles in our society, for example what people go through while looking for money and the ramifications that come with reckless spending. This is explicitly depicted in the poem, Lamentations, which begins thus;
“When I got money
I drank wine and gin
dished out to everyone
that hailed my name!
Now I’m penniless
now I’m hopeless
whoever I fed
is laughing at me!”
In Thorns and Roses, the poet, in seven poems, captures the contrasting emotions that come with falling in love; the joys and pains, hence the image “thorns and roses”.
The last section, Gospel Truth, has five poems, all inspired by religious beliefs and Christian living.
Poetry In Motion is Ivan Matthias Mulumba’s first publication as a poet and author, and it is a commendable effort. It is devoid of those structural and grammatical errors that stain most self-published Ugandan works because of the 10-year incubation period it enjoyed before hitting the bookstores. Being a member of the Femrite Readers Club, Mulumba used the opportunity to have his poems critiqued by club members, and used their feedback to improve them.
A graduate of Land Economics from Makerere University, Mulumba started writing poetry in primary school, but his interest peaked in high school when he was introduced to the poetry of T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). This is his Number One inspiration, followed by Uganda’s Henry Muwanga Barlow of the Building the Nation fame.
What Mulumba shares with his mentors is a keen observation of society and its dynamics. Some of his poems are written to capture a moment and provoke the reader to look into the life of various narrators and what drives them.
Poetry in Motion can basically be summed up as an anthology that chronicles the first steps of a poet, and captures the beliefs, experiences and some ideologies in society.