We have come to the cross-roads
And I must either leave or come with you.
I lingered over the choice
But in the darkness of my doubts
You lifted the lamp of love
And I saw in your face
The road that I should take.

Kwesi Brew (1928-2007) was and still is one of Ghana’s foremost poets. He is known for his simplicity in writing and that, perhaps, is what made me fall in love with The Mesh.

I am not a big fan of academic commentary on poems, with all the technical details and huge words that sometimes overshadow the poem itself. There are times when I have seen some of my poems butchered by those who consider themselves analysts of poetry.

Poetry offers a kaleidoscope of perspectives to any given subject, acting as a prism that separates the light of human thoughts and emotions into a stream of resplendent words. Each reader will approach a poem from a different perspective, gaining a unique insight that even the accredited poet may not be aware of.

That said, I would like to present my views on Brew’s The Mesh.

As a poet, I always face the challenge of summarizing my message in a single stanza. There is always the possibility of digressing or overdoing it. Brew, however, is able to present his message about love in seven lines. In its brevity, it speaks of dilemma, contemplation and then guidance.

We all lose our bearings concerning one issue or another in our journey through life, especially when it comes to love. To stay or not to stay? To love again after being betrayed and heartbroken?  And isn’t it such a blessing when we meet that person who is willing to stay by our side and help us through those difficult moments.

Many love poems focus on imagery and metaphors about romance, feelings, the looks of the beloved and so on and so forth. There a scores of lines that talk about moments shared and moments lost. The pain one suffered when they lost their true love to some unforeseen catastrophe or how another stole said loved one. Brew on the other hand, focuses on the most important moment of all. The moment of commitment, without which one cannot truly love.

Love is not a game we play when we are bored. Neither is it the kissing and fondling often seen in movies and soap operas. It is a serious commitment we each have to make at some point in our lives to family, friends and most importantly, to that special person we want to spend the rest of our life with.

The Mesh tells me that loving someone may come with moments of doubt, but the right person will always accept your love and give all of theirs in return, no matter what the circumstances. This, perhaps, is what makes the title such a paradox.