The Ten Lights of God
Afaa Michael Weaver
The Ten Lights of God is a series of eighty-one poems in which Afaa Michael Weaver explores the metaphysics of human consciousness. Influenced by the Language poetry of writers such as Keith Waldrop, Anne Marie Waldrop, and Peter Gale Nelson, the poet weaves the energy of his concern for the lives of African/black men into a tapestry of the Jewish kabbalah with its notion of the body and the life of God being comprised of ten sefirot or lights. The vatic reach of these poems is contexualized in notions of the human interior as its own universe, seeking life and death themselves as the bridges to the unknowable. Weaver seeks to travel the interior of lyricism itself, the nakedness of human consciousness and its own nervous arrangement, which we know as language.
About the author:
Afaa Michael Weaver (b. Michael S. Weaver) was a veteran blue collar worker in his native Baltimore. The name "Afaa" (pronounced AH faa) was given to him by Tess Onwueme, the Nigerian playwright. It is Ibo for "oracle." While at the factory, Weaver published Water Song (1984) and received an NEA fellowship in poetry (1985). His other books of poetry include Talisman, Timber and Prayer, and Stations in a Dream. In 1994, Weaver received a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts fellowship, and, in 1998, he was named a Pew fellow in poetry. Mr. Weaver is now the Alumnae Professor of English at Simmons College.