Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life of a Poet ~ Kodjo Deynoo

Kids, week after week, this poet has faithfully posted his poems at the Think Thank and Poetry Pantry, for our enjoyment. It seems long past time to interview him, but I am flying blind as, when I poked around his site, with my yellow plaid cape and magnifying glass, I couldn't find any clues as a starting-off point. Here is our man of mystery now, ready for The Big Reveal. You'll find him on any given day at ....Kodjo Deynoo Poetry (K.D.) 

Poets United: Kodjo, you are a man of mystery. How intriguing! Would you like to tell us a little bit about  your life?

Kodjo: To start off with, I like my readers to personally relate to what they read and not to interpret it in terms of what they have read about me, on my blog.

 I do live in a flat with a few neighbours around. I am 32, so I wouldn’t say I am that young , though like everyone else I would like if the time could be turned back a few years, just to relive the joy again. Mind you at present I am enjoying life, so it is all the same to me.

Poets United: Trust me, Kodjo, thirty-two is young! Where did you spend your childhood? Was childhood a good time for you?

Kodjo: I grew up in Ghana, and it was a very joyful childhood. I have four siblings and a few cousins in a very big house, so there was always something to get up to. Usually in my case it was being mischievous, as the fourth born, and having my elder siblings picking up after me. Ghana is a beautiful country and a very socially opened society.

I spent my 20s in the UK, where I still live.

Poets United: It sounds like a wonderful journey, that you are making. Do you live in a rural or urban setting now?

Kodjo: I cannot live in a rural environment. I tried in a little village in Cambridge called Long Stanton, but really hated it.  After 8 p.m. the whole place goes dead. I am more of a city guy, and I live in Bristol.  I like the cultural mixture one is opened to, it reflects in the very varied background of the friends I have, most of them from different countries, which enriches my cultural knowledge and understanding .

Poets United: That sounds wonderful, Kodjo. What is your day job? Do you enjoy it? What would your dream job be?

Kodjo: I just completed an MSc in construction project management, and I work as an assistant project manager for a small construction company, here in Bristol,  but for poetry, we all know what career I would really like to be involved in.

Poets United: Dream big! There are no limits! Can you tell us the story of when you began writing and what got you started?

Kodjo: Well, I had always explained myself in metaphors and proverbs. It gets a bit annoying, it is partly to do with  my Ghanaian background, where it is common to have people quote proverbs and metaphors in conversations.

Poets United: That's interesting. What led you to choosing poetry as your means of creative expression?

Kodjo: I felt drawn to poetry, well before I even started writing. My poems are mainly based on social observations, and since I always had an opinion on almost every subject, I felt what better way than to combine my love for poetry and for opinion.

Poets United: Well said! When did you start blogging? Is it the experience you anticipated? What do you love about it?

Kodjo: I started blogging in 2009, first from myspace, but I found the audience base on myspace was very limited, I opened another blog page before finally settling with the one I currently have.  It has been great blogging. I have had the opportunity to read a lot more from similar minded people. I didn’t think poetry was still popular until I started blogging, and I have readers from all across the world.

Poets United: Isn’t that just the best thing ever? How did you find Poets United? You have been such a faithful participant........

Kodjo: I found Poets United through blog surfing and that was it, this was the platform I had been looking for all along, and I knew it was always going to be an important source.  Poets United has afforded me the opportunity to meet like-minded people, and I am very much looking forward to the new year.

Poets United: Yes! A new year of writing, for all of us. Yippee! How would you describe your personal approach to the creative writing process, Kodjo?

Kodjo: I find it difficult to follow a method, it is part of my shortfalls. At the same time, it frees me to make my writing about the message it carries, and not about just writing poetry.

Poets United: I love that: the poem is about the message it carries. Who would you say has been the single biggest influence on your writing?

Kodjo: I would have to say my elder sister, because she encouraged me to open up a blog and to link it to twitter as well, she has always been my number one fan, and for that I appreciate her greatly.

Poets United:  That is very cool, Kodjo. I’ll bet she’s proud of you. Where do you go for inspiration?

Kodjo: I read a lot, and have a lot of discussions with friends. Social commentary is what I write about, so my surroundings is my biggest inspiration. There is so much going on now in the global society that just naturally feeds into my writing . I found Pablo Neruda  very inspirational  as well.

Poets United: Is there a connection between music and poetry for you?

Kodjo: Music is poetry,  if ever any could be described in the genre. I always find it interesting when one listens to music and at that very moment the song sung is reciting word for word what the listener is feeling.  It works well when one finds him/her self in an argument with the partner and all the right words just get said by the third party. Music summarizes feelings and emotions and that is just what poetry does too, so I would say yes, music is poetry. 

music is poetry 

Poets United: What is your favorite poem, written by you?

Kodjo: Oh what a question, the hardest for me to answer, so hard it plays into why I hardly enter  into poetry competitions.  I just can’t pick, because they all have an individual message within them, so that I feel each is  just as important as the other.  I would have to let the reader decide on this.

Poets United: When you are not writing, what other interests do you pursue?

Kodjo: Dancing is my thing,  when I do find the time to go out. I have always loved dancing, it frees all caged sprits. I would encourage everyone to dance. I even dance in my car when I am driving. It feeds into my happy-minded spirit, and I am able to deal with life, knowing just a quick dance will encourage me to carry on.

Poets United: I so love  your joyful spirit.  What causes are you most passionate about?

Kodjo:  I worry about deforestation and of course global warming, about politicians’ lack of honesty and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. I am passionate about Africa.

Poets United: Me too, Kodjo, on all counts. Have you ever lived a great adventure? Or, conversely, is there a great adventure you would  like to live?

Kodjo: I always worried my parents when I was young, because I kept sneaking out of the house and roaming around.  I would be gone for hours all on my own, seeing things for myself.  I paid the price when I got back, but I always ended up doing it again soon as the opportunity arose. Guess I have to apologise to my parents and siblings for stressing them with my vanishing acts.

I would like to drive across all continents and experience the environment. I would definitely have a lot more poetry to write from that. This will be my pilgrimage before I die, starting from America, specifically New Orleans.

Poets United: Lots of great music there to dance to, Kodjo! Are there other writers in your family? Where do you think your talent comes from? Did your parents and teachers encourage your writing?

Kodjo: Well as it stands yes, my uncle, I am told, has written a lot of songs but he never made it  as a musician.  I think  deep down he might have wanted to. I have not seen him for a while, he is one person I would like to sit down and talk with, about our common passion. He also happened to be a rebellious guy in his youth, just as I was.

Poets United: You must have that talk with him, while you still can, kiddo. Would you like to give a shout-out to some of the poets you follow most closely?

Kodjo: A few come to mind:  Brian Miller , Claudia , Mary, Tarringo  T Vaughan,  truthfully a whole lot more than I can make mention of.  It has been a few years now, and I know some regulars on the poetry blogsphere scene.

Poets United: It is a wonderful community, isn't it Kodjo? Is there anything else you would like to share with Poets United?

Kodjo: I hope and wish in the near future we would have all been graced with success in these dreams we indulge in, with Poets United recognised for its contribution to modern poetry.

Poets United: Thank you, Kodjo. For letting us get to know you better, and for being such a long-time supporter of Poets United. It is always wonderful to meet the person behind the pen.

Isn't it true, kids, that poets are some of the most interesting folks around? Don’t forget to come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

AND..........Happy New Year, to one and all!


  1. What a lively and fun interview! Thanks for letting us see the person behind the poetry!

  2. Sherry, I really enjoyed this interview with such a fine poet; and Kojo, so nice to get to know the poet behind the poetry. I do enjoy visiting your blog, and from now on when I read your words I will probably picture you DANCING!

  3. A dancing poet ~ so wonderful. Kodjo, thanks for the visit and for being part of Poets United.

  4. Thanks a lot you guys it has been a pleasure to be a part of this community

  5. What an interesting interview! It makes me want to read Kodjo's poetry.

  6. a fine interview..great to get to know you a bit better kodjo - and i whole-heartedly is poetry!! thanks also for the mention...and hey..would love to see you dance one day..smiles

  7. I really enjoyed reading this interview - Kodjo, you are a true free spirit! I look forward to reading your poems. ~ Julie Catherine

  8. very nice kodjo...great to get to know you all the better through this...everywhere i go i see you...smiles...and that is comforting...

  9. I enjoyed getting to know Kodjo better! I dance in my car, too~ Don't all poets?! :D
    You have a great spirit! Happy New Year~

    Great interview both of you!

  10. Kodjo's blog is always a delight to is wonderful to learn more about his fascinating life...great interview Sherry!


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