we Naija Poets
Post Mortem was written by the Nigerian world class poet, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

Denotation
The poem began with the poem speaker, preferring dead plants to dead human beings because human beings become stiff and cold "in the cold hand of death..."(line 4) and everything in them become opposite: their talking become "cotton filled", their manhood or man-pike become small like larva of an insect.

The poem speaker in the third and forth stanza revealed the futility of post mortem where the dead man's head was hollowed and his brain was scaled when death had already done a damage no medical practitioners could recover.

The poem ended with the encourag


Lonely Days is authored by Bayo Adebowale, an educator and a writer. Bayo Adebowale is an Associate Professor at the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun state. Lonely Days has a storyline about a widow who against all odds became celebrated in her community due to hardwork and independence.

Below are 3 irrefutable themes in the story:
(i) Disadvantages of widowhood
(ii) Gender inequality among Africans
(iii) Hardwork and self-esteem

DISADVANTAGES OF WIDOWHOOD
The story placed its protagonist (who is a widow) through the disadvantages of widowhood. Yaremi (the protagonist) in her black mourner's attires, has not fully got over the sorrow of losing her husband (Ajumobi) when other negative effects of widowhood began to pile. She became lonely fending for herself alone yet the envies and criticism from the people of Kufi village made matters worse; like other widows, Yaremi was expected to be down in self-esteem but she was not, she was expected to depend her living on another man in Kufi but she didn't.

According to the storyline, Fayoyin, who was also a widow, was made to lick libation and sing dirge at her husband's death; and her beautifully woven hair was shaved to bard skull. Other disadvantages the widow characters face in the story are castigation, maltreatment, forceful second marriage, etc.

GENDER INEQUALITY AMONG AFRICANS
Gender inequality has been a very big issue in Africa, both in urban and in rural parts. In Lonely Days, the issue surfaced among dwellers of Kufi village. The men are highly placed above women and women are meant to have cold feet whenever issue between man and women arise. Even a Yoruba proverb says "let a man pee while walking and a woman pee while walking and we shall see which one will wet her legs with urine".

One of the ways with which men prove their superiority over women in Kufi village is the forceful cap-picking which is organized for the widows; in such event, men interested in such a widow will submit their cap for the widow to pick one.

HARDWORK AND SELF-ESTEEM
Hardwork and self-esteem are made to be the treasures of women in Lonely Days by Bayo Adebowale. Those who possess both are gloried as in the case of Yaremi, the novel's protagonist and widow. She is a dedicated mother who not only believe in herself but also in female emancipation and empowerment due to her vast experience and exposure. Yaremi was so hardworking to the level that her trade was known across surrounding villages.

MUST READ:- Summary of Native Son by Richard Wright
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image is from urbansamurai website

Listen more often to things rather than beings.
Hear the fire's voice,
Hear the voice of the water.
In the wind hear the sobbing of the trees,
It is our forefathers breathing.

The dead are not gone for ever.
They are in the paling shadows,
And in the darkening shadows.
The dead are not beneath the ground,
They are in the rustling tree,
In the murmuring wood,
In the flowing water,
In the still water,
In the lonely place, in the crowd;
The dead are not dead

Listen more often to things rather than beings.
Hear the fire's voice.
Hear the voice of the water.
In the wind hear the sobbing of the trees.
It is the breathing of our forefathers
Who are not gone, not beneath the ground,
Not dead.

The dead are not gone forever.
They are in a woman's breast,
A child's crying, a glowing ember.
The dead are not beneath the earth,
They are in the flickering fire,
In the weeping plant, the groaning rock,
The wooded place, the home.
The dead are not dead.

copyright © Birago Diop (1906-1989)

Kwame Ataapim was born in famine:
He lost his parents before his birth;
He lost his sight before he could see;
He lost his teeth before he could bite;
He lost his feet before he could walk.

Kwame Ataapim was born in war:
He stood on the rock and split it apart;
He tugged at the rope and tore it in two;
He breathed on the sea and burnt it up;
He gazed at the fire and froze it up.

Kwame Ataapim was born in need:
When they were eating they never called him;
When they were planning he wasn't around;
When they were leaving they didn't see him;
When they were killing they didn't spare him.

Written by D. E. K. Krampah (all right reserved)

The poem was post because of few lessons to be learnt from it.
The poem is a tragic one, it reveals how less concerned African countries are with their masses and the poem didn't fail to reveal the negative effects of war and elements of war. When there is war, there will be needs. When there is war, there will be famine. When there is war, there will be lost of lives, confusion, diseases, etc.

The poem makes us to know how war affected the life of the character (Kwame Ataapim). He suffered multiple disabilities, yet, we could see elements of ability in his disability (stanza 2 of the poem from line 7-10: he stood on the rock and split it apart; he tugged at the rope and tore it in two; he gazed at the fire and froze it up.)

Part of the flavor of the poem is that it will make the reader wonder: how could Kwame Ataapim stand on the rock, when he had "lost his feet before he could walk"? How did he see the fire, when he had "lost his sight before he could see"?
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The theme of love

Horace Walpole didn’t fail to employ the thing called love among his characters (both paternal and romantic). The strong bond between Lady Hippolita and her children were due to love undiluted while the romantic love between the likes of Theodore and Maltilda leave readers with goosebumps. They loved each other so much that they blindly took risks for love_ though they couldn’t marry each other following the untimely death of Matilda.

The theme of masculinity

The author indirectly questioned the supremacy of the male gender over the female gender. In the novel Castle of Otranto, men took rash decisions concerning women as if women were mere puppets to toil with for fun. Without seeking the opinion of Isabella, she was betrothed to Conrad. Matilda was also denied chance of becoming heiress or inheriting the political estate of her father. Manfred was more bullish to the feminine than masculine; undermining, divorcing, remarrying, just to mention a few. Walpole used Isabella as a character to challenge such masculine supremacy. She refused to marry Prince Manfred.


The theme of supernatural

Horace Walpole proved in the novel that some inhuman forces were capable of controlling the existence of humans. Those forces played on both objects and human emotions. Besides other actions such the ghosts, giant, the fulfilled prophecy that the rightful heir of Otranto will possess their possession is a big evidence.

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The Poet

Dennis Vincent Brutus (1924 - 2009) was a South African poet and journalist and one among his popular poem is Letter To Martha 17 which shares the inner thoaghts of a prisoner. In this article, discussion will revolve around the use symbolism, style and setting by the poet.

The Style

In terms of style, Letter To Martha 17 by Dennis Brutus is a 6 stanza poem totaling 29 lines. Brutus structured this poem in free verse with the use of run-on-lines maybe to please the urgency for freedom as felt by the poem speaker. Besides the line arrangement, soberness and simplicity in diction are things of note because it doesn’t require much literary expertise for anyone to comprehend the message of the poem.

The Symbolism

Lets look at the use of symbolism amongst other poetic devices embodied in the poem. The “mind” in the poem symbolized the prisoner and his thoughts as seen in line 8 of the poem “the mind turns upwards/ when it can”; it represented the man unhappy state of confinement. In line 12, “the arc and fluorescent” were also symbols of


Title: Raider of the Treasure Trove
Poet: Lade Wosornu
Other poem: The Master Brewer.
Gene: Poetry
Category: Life and living
Denotation: A poem preaching goodness of attitudes above the embrace of violence.
Point of view: 3rd person
Flow: Climactic
Theme: Rage, peace, happiness, etc.
Structure: Three stanza poem
Poetic device: Enjambment, imagery, personification, metaphor, etc.
Diction: Simple
Tone & mood: Sincere and Re-examination
Similar poem: The Soul's Errand by Sir Walter Raleigh
--------------

Introduction

Raider of the Treasure Trove is a poem written by a Ghanaian poet Lade Wosornu.

The poem prefers goodness of attitude to the destructive attitude of rage and violence.

The title of the poem portrayed humans beings as "raider" while their earthly ambitions are compared to "treasure trove".

With the adoption of words such as "sail", "streams", "breeze", "destination", etc. The context of the poem further compared humans existence to a kind of sea voyage.

The voice of the poem encouraged humans to channel their thoughts positively. They  should journey through life with a joyful heart and a positive vibe of attitudes in order to arrive at the perfect destination of "heaven-on-earth".

But avoid rage which is the greatest destroyer of everything good_ it steals laughter, kindness, sweetness; prevent love and cause calamity.

As the poem is winding to a close, the voice of the poem promises he/she will always


The poet

Lade Wosornu is an African from Ghana precisely. A Fellow of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The poet is passionate about human life which reflects in his poetic works; The Master Brewer is an example of poem giving the feel of his poetic ideologies .

Besides literature, science is another field of his choice. According to WritersProjectGhana, "He has had a distinguished professional and academic career in surgery, practicing in Ghana, Zambia and Saudi Arabia".


Summary of the poem

Let's write out the poem in a prose layman form.

Precious gems and your earthly aspirations can never worth your life as a living. Therefore, always go through everyday of your life in a joyous manner.

Driven by love and compassion_ "fling roses wherever you pause/ Heavens-on-earth your destination."

Rage is the greatest among the things that cut-short human lives.

Rage is a thief, it's an enemy of equanimity. It destroys your kindness, sweetness, love and laughter.

Rage causes bad impression, calamity its main purpose. Begin to consider your thoughts, rage is a hindrance. I will always act joyfully because heaven-on-earth is my priority.




POETIC DEVICES:

There are some glaring poetic devices embedded in the poem (a) rhetorical question (b) metaphor (c) repetition (d) imagery (e) enjambment (f) alliteration (g) assonance (h) personification

Rhetorical Question; a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer. "But what can be worthy of your life?" in line 1.

Metaphor; is an indirect comparison in a work of art. The poem The Leader and the Led was built on a metaphorical ground. 
Examples are "Rage is Chief" in line 11. "Rage is thief" in line 13. "Enemy of equanimity" in line 14.

Repetition; is a poetic device where certain words, phrases, lines, or verses are repeated twice or more to create a sing-song rhythm or emphasis in a poem. Examples are 
"Heavens-on-earth" in line 8 and 24. "fling roses" in line 7 and 23. "Sails" in line 4 and 10. "Rage" in line 11, 12 and 13.

 Imagery; using words or expressions to created mental picture in a poem so the readers can see, smell, feel the event clearer. Few in the poem are "flags of joy" in line 4. "Heavens-on-earth your destination" in line 8. "…toxic fumes on every scene" in line 15.

Enjambmentflow of idea from more than a line in poetry (run-on-line). 
" The reason you are here? Always strive/ To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams" in line 3 - 4. "…breeze of love, your course/ Chattered in the ink of compassion" in line 5-6.

Alliteration; successive use of consonant sounds within a line or two in a poem.  "dearer than the gems or your dreams" in line 2. "To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams" in line 4 "Rage drags rags" in line 12

A
ssonancerepeating vowel sounds within lines. "drags rags" in line 12. "Enemy of equanimity" in line 14. "Heavens-on-earth" in line 8.

Personification; the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. Examples are "Rage is Chief" in line 11. "Rage drags rags after you" in line 12. "Rage is thief" in line 13. "Rage spells calamity" in line 16.



The Poem

But what can be worthy of your life?
What dearer than the gems or your dreams;
The reason you are here? Always strive
To fly flags of joy, and, sail up streams
Powered by the breeze of love, your course
Chattered in the ink of compassion
And, fling roses wherever you pause
Heavens-on-earth your destination.
Of things which would blot out that brief
Or, breach your sails with arrows unseen
No, Rob you of your life, Rage is Chief
Rage drags rags after you, of Charity
Laughter, sweetness and light, Rage is thief
Enemy of equanimity
Rage spreads toxic fumes on every scene.
In essence, Rage spells calamity
It's sole cause? Your perception of storms
Breaking around, not upon, your head
There are either snakes, deviants nor norms;
As you think, so you feel. Watch your mind
Rage sets sail. Can ruin lag far behind?
I'll fling roses wherever I berth
My destination is Heaven-on-earth.
(c) Lade Wosornu

Similar Poem

There are definitely many poems sharing similarity with Raider of the Treasure Trove but picking one is enough.

The Soul's Errand is a poem written by Sir Walter Raleigh (1554 - 1618), a renowned English poet.


The poem, The Soul's Errand is written to advocate positive change in activities of humans.


The poem is similar to Raider of the Treasure Trove because both poems address the issue concerning human behavior.




"Why should Noah be the man to build the ark?
Over our dead body,
We'll rather build our own beautiful ark", they say.

Before the flood came
Inferior million arks had been on ground
But only one is ordained

Only one is ordained to survive the flood_
The only ark of Noah,
The ark of unity, the ark of racial immunity.

History is still repeating
The old sun is still shining here above
Racism is still living

Yes racial discrimination
The number one mayhem of my nation
The indelible volcano

Come to our land of milk and honey streams,
You'll see the seeds
Of inequality like paradise of pastures everywhere

Indigenous racism,
I-better-pass-my-neighbour racial mannerism,
Political differences

Is also an evidence of racial seedlings.
Religious diversity_
Is also an evidence of racial seedlings

Favoring catchment area
In times of school admission process is
Racism in disguise

When are we going to say no to racism?
A weaponless terrorism
When are we going to shun this dirtiness?

Everyone wants to win
Where two wrongs don't make a right
Handwritings on the walls

Racism has given birth to countless vices:
Cyber criminal actions,
The embezzlement of public purses,

The acts of ritual rape,
Killing neighbors for religious superiority,
Crystal Injustice.

In unity we stand, in division we fall.
Let's unite against racism.
In unity we grow, in division we crumble.
READ ALSO: A Poem About Fulani Woman 

 

When all that should be hidden isn't,
Reminds that rape is fashion designed.
When acts on TV channels arouse,
Is a prove that rape is media promoted.

Now that rape becomes an addiction
What alternative is it to rape urge?
Now that rape is alcoholic in nature
Yet nowhere to find a rape rehab?

Rape here rape there and everywhere
Allegations are polluting the living air.
The word rape seems manipulated,
Molestation is sure the better word.

Exploitation is an evil breed;
An aged digging holes of kids
Is verily truly a rape crime_
Life imprisonment jail time

If the evil  actor is a stranger,
It is worthy of the word rape.
If there's multiple versus singular,
It is worthy of the word rape.

If the prey was preyed unconscious,
It is worthy of the word rape.
If it involved weapon or choking of voice,
It is worthy of the word rape.

Rape can sometimes be hard to define
Since culture and norms are not equal.
Rape can sometimes be misspelled
In a game of do-me-i-do-you stuff.

Most girls from green-white-green
Will say, "if I easily let you pull it off
It'll seem I'm cheaper than a pin."
Most girls from peace-and-unity

Will say, "Guy, you'll have to rip it off_
If truly you want to eat my sardines."
Oh, Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Can we categorize that as raping?
READ ALSO: A Poem About Police

Enunwa Chukwudi aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with Wings Flying)



When pandemic doesn't hit human beings
Human beings hardly care about pandemic
Before Corona pandemic, pandemic had been
Seriously ravaging elsewhere_ hurting the aquatic.

If you don't come to the ocean sleeping bed
You won't know the gnashing pain of the ocean
The ocean is pretty, robust but looks can pretend
The ocean is pretty, aqua-blue but sufferin'_

An equivalent of a truck full of plastic is dumped
Into the oceans every minute of the year.
A load of waste weighing almost 18 billion pounds
When flood disaster knock our doors we begin to fear.

We lick our lips whenever we eat ocean fish
Fish, crayfish, and lobster are parts of seafood
We harvest from the fruitful oceans_ of which,
Those plastic eating fish are what we now cook

We then end up eating virus, we call it vitamin
We then end up eating crude oil, we call it fat and oil
We then end up eating pollution infested sardine
We then end up eating our lackadaisical death with will

When you think of oxygen: think of the oceans
As proven by long history of experimental research
Mammoth amount of world's oxygen is from the oceans
The doubting Thomas can commence their own research

Until we start curbing the oceanic abuse,
Cosmetic waste will forever keep the oceans unhealthy
Unless we begin to pay the needful dues,
Ocean plastics will outnumber fish before 2050

The fight for oceans is the fight of all and sundry
Why leave the fight alone to an NGO called OceanHero?
Now is the time to restore the oceans to a state of tidy;
Now is the time to fight for the oceans everywhere we go.
READ ALSO: A Poem About Police

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo With Wings Flying) 


Setbacks can be a price of business
Two brothers decided to be their own boss
They have the vision, they have the cash:
Ben Cathy suddenly died to a plane crash
Truett Cathy was tied to a healing bed
After Mr. Death spared his lucky head
A setback stared at their business path
Who will then run their restaurant?
On the sick bed, Truett was ruminating
About the business, an idea came to his thinking
"What if I take the boneless chicken breast
And fill it with right seasoning and condiment"
And that was the birth of Chick-Fil-A Sandwich
An idea that made him wealthy and rich.
READ: A Poem About Starting A Business

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo With Wings Flying)



TITLE: A Government Driver On His Retirement

POET: Onu Kingsley Chibuike

OTHER POEMS: Without Thee

GENRE: Poetry

CATEGORY: Life and Death

DENOTATION: A retiring civil servant chauffeur took his freedom for granted and his foolishness led to his death.

POINT OF VIEW: Third person

FLOW: Climactic

THEMES: Disobedience, Freedom, Endurance, Servitude, Death,  Imperfection, etc

STRUCTURE: Eight (8) Stanzas

POETIC DEVICES: Repetition, Synecdoche, Alliteration, Anastrophe, etc.

DICTION: Simple

TONE AND MOOD: Sarcastic tone and Sympathetic mood

SIMILAR POEM: A Taxi Driver On His Death by Timothy Wangusa


INTRODUCTION:

Onu Chibuike wrote the poem "A Government Driver On His Retirement" to address the matters relating to road traffic regulations.

From the context of the poem, non-adherence to the road traffic regulation is disastrous.
Few of the rules are to observe speed limit, to avoid drunk-driving, and so on.

Onu Chibuike employed the medium of poetry to hammer the fact that experience doesn't guarantee perfection.

"An appreciative symbol
For undented thirty-five years of service to fatherland"

As noted in line 19 - 20 of the poem, the government driver has been in the job for 35 years yet a single neglect of traffic regulations cost him his life.


THE POET:

The poet is a vibrant Nigerian writer, a member of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and a civil servant.

It is no surprise how he could paint the picture of a retiring government driver in the poem A Government Driver On His Retirement.




Once upon a time
In a kingdom far away
When men were still men
Women were still women
Horses were still reigning
A certain king was enthroned
Suddenly birds refuse to fly
Fishes refuse to swim
Yams refuse to reproduce
It will be a waste of words
To tell you the kingdom was famine
The best of dinner was hunger
Occurrences began to pile
From militancy to kidnapping
From kidnapping to bombing
From bombing to pandemic
Democracy became autocracy
Constitution became confusion
Public address was bundle of excuses
The kingdom trudged on
Until solution came suddenly
And the solution, you shall know
When I’m back from the commercial break
Please, don’t go away…

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with Wings Flying)




Here are the professions of a Fulani woman
Number one is to sell fura da nono
Number two is to sell fura da nono
Number three is to sell fura da nono
Number four is to sell fura da nono
Number five is to sell fura da nono
So motivationally like a divine calling.

When you see her coming down the street
Carrying skillfully above her mini-head
A 16th century artifact in 21st millennia
Looking so slim like Bukky Adua
With skin so fair like a day just break
Catwalk towards me like a backyard bitter-leaf
Her footsteps dangling like a wall calendar.

It seems her only ornament is earing
She pierces her nose and put earring
She pierces her tongue and put earring
She pierces her lips and put earing
She pierces her ears and put earring
She pierces her navel and put earring
If possible to pierce her own heart too_
Probably, she will do to complement her tattoos.

READ ALSO: Anaysis of Fulani Creation Story


Cheney-Coker picked his pen and paper to write about how Africans are trying, in every form, to change their African color and race to something else. 

As a wise African poet, he began his poetry by showering praises on Africa while accepting the fact that he had been far away from home like the biblical prodigal son by comparing himself to a wandering Fulani cow:
"Africa I have long away from you
wandering like a Fulani cow
but every night
amidst the horrors of highway deaths
and the menace of neon-eyed gods
I feel the warmth of your arms
centrifugal mother reaching out to
your sons
but all calling you mother womb of
the earth" (from line 1-8).

From line 9, Sly Cheney-Coker generalized that Africans were living with differences_ not excluding himself. Though he didn't condemn civilisation but he felt it was part of the sins, Africans had committed. 

Part of the things he complained about were that he had been fond of travelling out of Africa, African ladies and women were bleaching their black skins to white, black African men were not living the African way; he put it like this "and I think of my brothers with ”black skin and white masks” ( I myself am one heh heh heh)". 

The poet's heart was so heavy because he could not describe Africa, the African way:
" my heart becomes a citadel of disgust
and I am unable to write the poem of your life
my creation haunts me behind the mythical dream
my river dammed by the poisonous weeds in its bed".

If you do not understand the structure of this poem "Freetown" by Sly Cheney-Coker, then let me try and table it based on my own understanding. 

The poem is not broken into stanzas, it has simple dictions with more of enjambments, the setting is Freetown, as suggested by the title of the poem and the context. 

Figuratives in the poem; the phrase "Black Englishman" is a sarcastic oxymoron, African is personification and metaphor in the poem: "I feel the warmth of your arms/ centrifugal mother reaching out to your sons/ but all calling you mother womb of the earth", "this third anniversary of my flight" symbolized travelling in airplane, "citadel of disgust" is a metaphor used by the poet to compare the feeling in his heart, "shadow of Freetown" is a metaphor as well, ( I myself am one heh heh heh) "heh heh heh" is an onomatopoeia which means laughter.

Looking at the poem, the following themes are evident:
(1) Africans and civilisation
(2) Devaluation of the African black skin

In many African poetry, the issue of Africanism and Civilisation is very common and it is no surprise that such exist in this poem. 

Sly Coker was so concerned with the way Africans are embracing civilisation far more than their own culture. 

He also stated in the poem that they were not satisfied with having a black skin.

Syl Cheney-Coker is a poet, novelist, and journalist from Freetown, Sierra Leone; he was born on 28 June 1945. 

He spent much of his life in exile from his native country, and wrote extensively (in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction) about the condition of exile and the view of Africa from an African abroad.

READ MORE POETIC ANALYSIS>>>

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


I'm a cop and you can call me Dave.
To protect, to arrest, to investigate and to save_
Are what we do even since the era of cave.

This police job is synonymous to Hell.
Too many night duties turn the wife to infidel
No quality time with self and children as well.

Black colour attracts heat in the sun
Yet ask us to wear black uniform with gun;
So tell me how our brains won't malfunction.

Thinking of police problem while having fun,
Surely one will mistakenly over drink beer with rum
And a sad drunk will shoot sporadically his gun.

Hopeless promotion, slashed salary, filthy cells,
Ranking male police below police who are females,
Plus delay in pension_ do make our hearts yell.

You keep treating police like a slave:
You hire me but pay my boss as if I'm a slave_
Yet you wonder why we police misbehave.

READ ALSO: Analysis of The Leader and The Led by Niyi Osundare


Two Look At Two by Robert Frost is a love-family-relationship poem. 

The poem begins with first three lines suggesting that if the couples in question, still cherished love, sacrifices and the heart to forget spouse wrong actions, they might have been able to press a little further in their matrimonial journey:
"Love and forgetting might have carried them
A little further up the mountain side
With night so near, but not much further up"(line 1-3)

“They must have halted soon in any case
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
When they were halted by a tumbled wall
With barbed-wire binding.”

The quoted lines above suggest that at a point in most love relationship, couples take a break when faced with a very difficult situation even thinking of letting go of such relationship but few other lines in the poem explain that the journey of a love relationship is like treading a very dark path at night; where the journey has been very rough and going back is very dangerous alone.

Later in the poem, the human couples were faced with two animals (maybe couples_ not so sure of it). 

The animals were met on the mountainous hill the human couples were travelling. The animals seemed more comfortable on mountain than the human. 

The poet created the scenario to serve as a motivation to human couples in a love-family-relationship.

As said before, the poem is about love but considering the use of nature in the poem; it can also be called a poem of nature like many other poem of Robert Frost (Birches, The Road Not Taken, etc). 

Apart from the pair of lovers all other references concern nature_ the woods with its animals, its trees and stones. These provide the setting or the engagement of the lovers with the animal world represented by the doe and the buck.

In the poem, nature is represented as a great reconciler. By bringing down the artificial wall, it allows the lovers to confront their animal counterparts and learn from them the lesson of tolerance. 

Nature is also presented as a soother of passions. The lovers find the woods beginning in their romantic adventure. Finally, nature is presented as opposed to any form of restriction which impairs understanding. 

The poem demonstrates that man-made restrictions cannot endure where nature intervenes. Thus the lovers discover their true selves in the woods where the doe and the duck gave them the opportunity for self-assessment.

READ MORE POETIC ANALYSIS

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


Denotation
Ours To Plough, Not To Plunder by Niyi Osundare is an agricultural poem using the rewards found in planting and harvesting as the reasons to encourage people to embrace farming. Based on natural phenomenon and the words of the poet, farming is a very useful investment. The poet or the poem speaker is of the faith that people's engagement in agriculture and farming will divert their attentions from wrong implementations of the huge material rewards the Lord God have kept in the soil for humans benefit.

Connotation
The poem has the following theme: (1) the God's treasure in the soil (2) the benefits of farming to humans (3) humans' choice to use or waste

The stanzaic structure of the poem is a free verse of unequal stanzas. The poet was preoccupied with the need for people to embrace farming, so he used the third person point of view in expressing his feelings.

The poem very evident poetic devices in the poem are repetition, alliteration, ant

According to Pass Question And Answer by Johnson Publishers Limited, "At the strange meeting, the soldier who has had the upper hand in the battle tells 'strange friend' that 'here is no cause to mourn', to which the soldier agrees. However, the victim regrets 'the undone years', the curtailed joys, hopes and aspirations.

The victim soldier pours out his regrets of the lost opportunity of experiencing love. Priding himself on being affordable and a comfort to others by his cheerfulness, he regrets that he will not be able to make people laugh. But then, his sorrow lies buried with him as the truth about the gloomy side of war does not get told completely.
The slain soldier thinks it unfortunate that men will not learn from the bitter lessons that war teaches. Men, he laments will continue to antagonize and fight each other continually.

The best aspiration of the strange friends has been to change the world through sheer honest labour and humane actions or deeds. Knowing that there is pain enough without the inflictions of physical wounds, he would have aspired to assist in resolving matters without acrimony and 'not on the process... of war'. Man has the capacity to hurt his fellow man badly enough without fighting him in battle. Yet, regretably, man selects armed confrontation with his fellow man. He drives this point home by declaring his identity as 'the enemy you killed', and resigned himself to his fate.
This is a young man who has had his whole life ahead of him. So, as man die for nothing, there is nothing to it but to rest when once one fallen. 'Let us sleep now...'"

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

Poet:-
Professor Remi Raji is a teacher of Literature at the Department of English Language, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Themes:-
The themes of the poem are (i) victimization (ii) silence (iii) destruction (iv) killing and torturing (v) pain and panic

[Also Read: Toast by Remi Raji]


Setting, style, and diction:-
(i) chaotic setting (ii) free verse (iii) simple diction aided by enjambment

Poetic devices:-
(i) symbolism in line 1 "Beast" (ii) metaphor in line 2-3 (iii) alliteration in line 7 (iv) simile in line 12 (v) metonym in line 13 (vi) irony in line 14 (vii) rhetorical question in line 16 (viii) run-on-lines in the poem (ix) repetitions of "who sings".

Summary:-
The poem captures the total gagging of protests against arbitrary rule. The beast is a symbol of a tryrant ruler i.e Abacha.

Line 1-2: who protests when the tyrant prowls because those that tried to are dead. At night, we only dream of blood.

Line 3-5: Sorrow, fear and hardship have choked the remaining lean happiness.

Line 6-8: who will sing when the drums to be used have been split and used as podium for public protests.

Line 9-12: We now only grumble our disapproval like amputated tongue.

Line 13-15: people that tried to shout their protests against misrule and tyranny are treated like criminals by soldiers. "Boots barrels" and "gifts of grenades" kept people in silence.

The poem:-
"SILENCE 2
who sings when the Beast prowls
when Night thickens
with dreams of blood
when Sorrow's scent suffocates
the remains of lean laughter
who sings
when slit drums stand spent
and deaf in defiled groves
who sings
when rhyme's winds
run amok
like amputated tongues
when boots barrels
and the gift of grenades
chase the choir into silence.
WHO SINGS WHEN THE BEAST PROWLS?"

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

Lullaby is a soothing song intended to lull a child to sleep. In the poem "Lullaby" by W. H. Auden, two crucial subjects were placed side-by-side; love and lullaby.

With the notion of the poem, lullaby is the best way to love which surpassed outward appreciation, nighttime sensual moments and cohabitational responsibilities. Auden saw no certainty in other things than lullaby.

He believed that time and sickness destroy youthfulness and its accompanied hopefulness through aging and dying; that's why the night his lover lie on his arms was worth everything to him.

Auden accepted the strong emotionality within romantic ecstasy but failed to attach importance to such ecstasy because it was gravy. Such ecstasy leads to other things like parenting:

"Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's sensual ecstasy."

In stanza 3, Auden explained that although lovemaking as a means of quenching the cry of boredom, only last a very short period of time "like vibrations of a bell" but nothing will deny him such moment with his lover; not even the scary future.

In the last stanza of the poem, Auden re-ascertained that "Beauty, midnight, vision dies" but that night spent together with his lover will serve as substitution for other things:

"Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of sweetness show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find your mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness see you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love."

"Lullaby" is a 40 line poem divided into 10 lines per stanza. The setting of poem is nighttime and the poem can be categorized under love and life. Love is the central theme of the poem but other themes such as death, growth, beauty, surfaced.

There are no planned end rhyme scheme though the title suggested  a song. The tone is sweet and wooing with the multiple use of images of sight. Other poetic devices in the poem are alliteration in line 15 and 16 respectively "vision Venus sends" and "supernatural sympathy" then simile in line 23 "Like vibrations of a bell" then metonymy in line "fevers" which was used to replace sicknesses then litotes in line "swoon" which was used by Auden to undermine love.

"All the dreaded cards foretell" even though Auden mentioned "faithless" in line 2, this show that the poet related with soothsayers to a certain extent.

Wystan Hugh Auden commonly called W. H. Auden was an English poet born 21th February, 1907. He later nationalized to an American citizen but departed earth on 29th September, 1973 at the age of 66.

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

Among other poetic devices in the poem The Anvil And The Hammer by Kofi Awoonor, metaphor is very paramount.

Based on the email requesting the metaphors embedded in the poem: The Anvil And The Hammer, naijapoets.com research has come up with few of the metaphors found in the poem. It must also be noted that the best way to fish for metaphors in the poem is by understanding the definition of metaphor itself.

Here are the metaphors in the poem:
(1) the anvil and the hammer are metaphorically compared to African and foreign culture.

(2) new flags and anthems are metaphorically compared to the birth of a new nation.

(3) the pangs is used to mean the struggle for freedom.

(4) outlaw is used in place of foreigner.

(5) new garment is a metaphor for western culture or civilization.

(6) jargon of a new dialect is metaphorically referring to the western policies and philosophies.

(7) whirlpool of many rivers' estuary refers to the complex culture from overseas.

(8) perpetual search is a metaphor for keen interest to acquire.

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


We are going to kick start this article by looking at the style and figurative. Based on naijapoets.com opinion, Nightfall in Soweto by Oswald Mtshali, is a very easy poem to comprehend. It is of 8 unequal stanzas with dictions revealing fear and rage (tremble in line 28, ravaging in line 5, victim in line 9, marauding beasts in line 21; are prove of fear).

Aside the personification in line 22-23, "let loose by cruel nightfall/ from his cage of death". The poem has an interesting figurative end:
"Nightfall! Nightfall!!
You are my mortal enemy.
But why were you ever created?
Why can't it be daytime?
Daytime forever more?"
(apostrophe in line 32 and rhetorical questions from line 34-36)

Other poetic devices in the poem are simile in line 1, alliteration in line 2, synedoche in line 6-7, anaphora from line 16-18, litotes in line 26, symbolism where "cruel nightfall" is the symbol of the white oppressing the black, imageries in the poem (deafening knock, rabid dog, mortal enemy)

Looking at the plot of the poem, the poem shows what the victims (the black) face whenever "the whites" appears at such time of discrimination and apartheid. The oppressors use such dark period to launch attack on targeted victims, they even knock at victims doors compelling the to open up.

The poem has the theme of brutality and injustice (the blacks are brutalized), theme of apartheid (lack of equality as a human right), theme of panic associated with nighttime attacks, theme of oppression and discrimination, theme of helplessness and lamentation.

Oswald M. Mtshali is a South African poet born 1940 in Vryheil, Natal. It was recorded that Mtshali resolved to manual labour when he was not admitted to University of Witwatersrand due to apartheid. The Soweto in the poem means South West Town, during that evil era in South Africa, the blacks lived to serve the whites and there was no freedom for them at all. The time for rest became scary time where they must not shut their eyes.

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

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1. The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

2. Brunel International African Poetry Prize

3. Writing Contests, Grants & Awards | Poets & Writers

4. Mississippi Review Poetry Contest

5. Bayou Magazine's Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry

6. Gemini Magazine Poetry Open

7. The Colorado Review Prize for Poetry

8. USA Gold Pencils Student Poetry Contest

9. The Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

10. The Backwaters Prize

11. Black River Chapbook Competition

12. Grist's Pro Forma Writing Contest

13. Tethered by Letters 2020 Spring Literary Contest

14. Juxtaprose 2020 Poetry Contest

15. The Cossack Review's October Poetry Prize

16. Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest

17. TIFERET Writing Contest

18. Boulevard Emerging Poets Contest

19. The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award

20. Annual Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award