Thursday, 6 August 2015



Pius Oleghe, the author of this poem is a Nigerian. He once worked as a teacher. A graduate of the University of Ibadan that is why this poem (The Blind Man) first appeared in Nigerian Student Verse.


Was that a sound piercing his darkness?

The blind man shuddered:

"Who's there?"

He gasped; jerked forward, strained ears, ruffled poise

To catch a repetition of the noise_

Which never came again.

He rectified, again he bent:

The broken silence was doubly silent

Now. "Who's there?" he called

Again, nor waited for reply:

His hands stretched out, fingers felt about

To something, anything, and pu
sh fear out.

None answered him,

But none harmed him;

So, his solitary peace resettled o'er him.

Yet apprehensions daily still assail

Nor hand, mouth, nose and ear

Replace one eye.

But worse,

He hears the voice, receives the gifts

Of men_ but never feels their touch.

Nor seems it odd:

For alms aren't handed to him, but dropped

(Like manna from the skies). No wonder then,

He gets his needs from men,

But gives his thanks to God.


Pius wrote about a blind man who seek response with his question and reactions. In his hopeless state of blindness, he made the readers to see how the man's needs were supplied and how he battled with fear.

The blind man even tried to substitute his eyes with hand, mouth, nose, ear which even worsened his condition because such attempt made him restless:

"Yet apprehensions daily still assail

Nor hand, mouth, nose and ear

Replace one eye.

But worse,"

The poem has the following themes:

(1) The effect of impairment and deficiency

(2) The loneliness caused by rejection

(3) Anticipation caused by fear

(4) The gratitude as a result of needs in a state of hopelessness

The blind man's impairment has brought him hopelessness to the extent that he rejected and left with fear. His loneliness was also as a result of rejection that's why people around him refuse to associate with him even when he asked "Who's there?" and they want to give him gift they drop it instead of hand it to him.

The blindness coupled with rejection made the blind man feel he was alone in this gangerous world that every sound made demand response and fear. He knew people around him repel him but it was God that touched their hearts to give him alms that's why he gives his thanks to God whenever people give him gifts.

There are alliterations in the poem "silence was doubly silent" in line 8 "finger felt about" in line 11. Assonance in line 16 "daily still assail". Repetition of "Who's there?" Rhetorical question in line "Was that a sound piercing his darkness?" Inner rhymes like "jerked, strained, ruffled" in line 4, "silence, silent" in line 8, "something, anything" in line 12. There are the use of imageries that added beauty to the poem and enjambments where few lines of the poem proceed to another line. And the statement "he gets his needs from men,/But gives his thanks to God" is an irony and a contrast.



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