Say Something
about Child’s Play

by Chris Abani
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I can see why Chris Abani has won so many awards. Before I got my wings and was allowed to see the full poem, I could see only the first stanza, and that was powerful and perfect. I can now see (I have my flying feathers) the 2nd stanza and it is equally beautiful. I would have been happy with just the first as I think it says everything that needs to be said. Indescribably sad and tragic and poetic and formed in an exquisitely beautiful set of words. What a thing to read. I am in awe.

The restraint and lovely language in this poem about the tragedy of war makes its point even more potent. This is one of the most beautiful and wrenching poems I have read about combat and loss. If I were still teaching I would bring it to my students as a gift.


Exquisitely painful and beautiful to the last line. This poem makes me want to do something about the war in Africa. Of course this could be any war, but Africa is what comes to mind. Thank you for this experience and the beautiful work. I would love to take a class from you.

Wow. Powerful stuff.

Having witnessed and survived the gruesome Liberian civil war, a war in which my cousin was gunned down by psychopaths hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47's, I can only agree with the unfortunate boy in the poem who would prefer for his right eye to be taken because "it had seen much." This poem brings memories of a nightmarish past.

Thanks, Abani, for capturing the gritty experience of what it is like to be a victim in modern war!

Thank you. I appreciate you letting me into your subscribers' fold; I look forward to good reading. This is a powerful poem. I loved it.