The poem Picture frame is written by the Nigerian poet Banji Coker. This poet was nominated in the category Best Student Poet of the Swaap Awards. This is his poem about how not only people can change, but things can also change.
There is a moment that is recognisable for almost anyone: seeing a photograph. A moment when your memories of that moment when the photo was taken are intense and vivid. This is described by Banji. It is a one-stanza-poem that shows emotions that come up when viewing photographs can be quite emotional. It is all about that moment when you realize people changed, things changed… live changed.
The poet takes it a step further. Yes, there are changes and with the acknowledgement of these changes there comes a moment when you realize that you might not get what you hoped for. Heartbroken and disappointment are elements of this moment (or can be). Banji has one good advice in these situations:
“We should just move on.”
Banji describes this moment just as it is: finding the photo, finding those memories and the realisation that everything has changed. Simple, but very beautiful – even common in a way – is the sentence Well I guess what it is. Here we find the poet on the verge of an important discovery: things are what they are. Yes, they can be confronting, those memories. At the end of this poem, he realises that what he is now, is what he is or has become.
Yesterday I stumbled upon an old picture
Then a lot of memories came rushing in
Dreams that were forgotten
Love that ended not making it
Well I guess it is what it is
Cos at the end of the day all I have is me
and an old picture of a person that I used to be
As said, Banji was nominated for the SWAAP Awards 2017. The awards are rewarded every year for those who accelerate in spoken words, poetry, writing, photography, performing arts and digital and computer graphics. These awards are rewarded to Nigerian students.
Banji lives in Nigeria and has recently released his book Just Seventeen (2017). He also wrote the book October Feelings (2016). Both books are also available via Okada Books. You can find more of his work on his websites: