we September 2015 ~ Naija Poets
The Differences Between The Both Poems

(1)Piano And Drums by Gabriel Okara is a 4-stanza poemThe Anvil And The Hammer by Kofi Awoonor is a 2-stanza poem
(2)Piano And Drums by Gabriel Okara has a rural setting with cultural reflection and childhood reminiscenceThe Anvil And The Hammer by Kofi Awoonor has a rural setting with socio-political tale of freedom
(3)Piano And Drums by Gabriel Okara revealed uncertainty and confusion (Then I hear a wailing piano/solo speaking of complex ways)The Anvil And The Hammer by Kofi Awoonor revealed triumphant (flimsy glories) after pain and struggle of the past

The Similarit

NOTE:- This is to aid poetry under Literature-In-English for WASSCE/WAEC, GCE, NECO, MAY/JUNE, NOV/DEC, etc.

QUESTION:- Explain the signifance of the subject matter in Piano And Drum by Gabriel Okara.

Piano And Drum by Gabriel Okara is one among many that brought out the beauty of music in poetry and the subject matters of the poem were made to blend with the use of musical effects.
The subject matters are the remembrance of the youthful days and the complex nature of the future to come.

The poet recollected his youthful days (the primal youth and the beginning) through the quietness of the early morning river and the echoing forest while "at the riverside" (his land of youth). He further mentioned in stanza 2,
the effect such remembrance gave
his mem

Poet's Background, Style And Language:
He was an English poet born in London in 1795. He first went into Medicine but later on turned a poet at age 21, he died in 1891.
It is a poem of five stanzas of equal length of ten lines each with a partial rhyming scheme. It is both objective and descriptive. The language is a bit complex especially with the use of words like Sylvan, Tempe, Arcady which denote places and Old English words like canst, loth, thou, thy, ye, hast, doth, sayst which situate the time of the poem for us.

Summary of the poem:
The poet here praises what he calls a Grecian Urn which, according to him, can tell the history of humans, and deities through the pictures on it. He, therefore, praises all the pictures on the Urn as more beautiful and enduring than anything mortal.
In this wise, he tells the Bold Lover on the Urn in respect of his woman who he can never kiss
"do not grieve
she can not fade, though thou hast not thy bliss
For ever will thou love and she be fair"

With the above in mind, the poet also addresses and sees advantages in these inanimate pictures: boughs, melodist etc. To him, these are better than human life, struggles and love that are ephemeral and end leaving.
"A burning forehead, and a parching tongue"
Finally, he sees the Urn as everlasting in its beauty and longevity while human beauty and life are short and filled with woes.

Themes Of Ode To A Grecian Urn:
(1) Transiency of human life and actions compared to permanency of art and art-related objects.
(2) Beauty lasts longer than love as represented in the Urn.

Keats' major pre-occupation in this poem is the everlasting beauty that is inherent in a Grecian Urn which is a Greek vase with painted pictures as compared to human beauty which fades within a short time.
According to Keats, this urn can tell human history as it
"canst thus express
A flowery tales more sweetly than our rhyme"
It does not matter whether the story is of mortals or the gods,
The Urn has seen it all and has the pictures on it for verification.
To the poet, though the pictures on the Urn are inanimate, they enjoy everlasting beauty and longevity as never
"can those trees be bare
happy melodist unwearied
For ever piping songs for ever new"
For him, human struggles are temporary as all breathing human passion leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed. A burning forehead and a parching tongue and even town where humans once lived
"will silent be and not a soul to tell
why thou art desolate."
If hu

If you wonder what poetic devices occured in the poem? Personification has to be reckoned with. John Donne is known to be poet of personification and in this poem_ like several others, the sun personified a lot; it was written like a proper noun in the poem "Sun". It was also made a workaholic and a prying person "busy old fool, unruly sun/...through window, and through curtains, call on us" (in line 1 and 3) there are other poetic devices as hyperbole "if her eyes have not blinded thine", simile "Thou Sun art half as happy as we", there was also rhetorical questions in the poem "Must to thy motions lovers' seasons' run"(in line 5) "Thy beams, so reverend, and strong/ Why shouldst thou think"(in line 11 and 12) alliteration in line 8 "Call country ants to harvest offices" in line 23 "Princes do but play us" in line 28 "To warm the world", etc.

If you wonder what themes of the poem are then Pride of love and beauty will come to mind. After that comes The supremacy and consistency of life's events. The third theme is duty and it positive and negative effects.

(i) the pride of love and beauty was made evident when the poet downcast the sun by giving it derogatory names like "Busy old fool, unruly Sun" "Saucy pedantic wretch" but placed much importance on his love and the beauty of his lover. John Donne believed so much in lo

According to wikipedia, "A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two."
Following an online dictionary, it can also be called a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”

How Does Ambush Reveal Societal Evils?
We know that an AMBUSH is a poet written by Gbemisola Adeoti; it speaks of the common problems of the society. It has the following four themes: (1) the theme of hopelessness (2) the theme of helplessness (3) the theme of danger (4) the theme of deceit.

It became evident in the poem that the poem held a rural setting with the usage of “saber toothed tiger that cries deep in the glade/ while infants shudder home” and “lies patiently ahead/awaiting in ambush”; is worthy of creating likeness in a reader.

The poet drew the poem close reality with the use of nature and natural things. Things like animals (whale, tiger, hawk, etc) and natural things (dusk, space, dreams, etc) made the poem take the look of reality and could be easily related to what readers must have seen or may possibly see.

A land of evil dweller cannot go unnoticed and in that wise every evil has a negative effect on the people of such land. So many instances were seen in the poem like when the sabre-toothed tiger cried “deep in the glade”, the poem speaker m

Crispin George was a Sierra Leonean born in 1902. He published his own poetry anthology Precious Gems Unearthed by an African and nearly all his poems were non-political but strongly religious; the poem "Weigh Your Words" is quite no exception.

"Weigh Your Words" is a poem describing the goods and dangers words can cause then the poet warns that words can live forever so people must be mindful of their usage.

The poem contains alliteration "words may wound" (line 1) "furious air will scatter foliage" (line 7) "their passage-way be paved" (line 28). Similes are "like v

(a) Theme Of Poverty And Suffering
(b) Theme Of Selfishness
(c) Theme Of Deceitfulness
(d) Theme Of Political And White-collar Corruption
(e) Theme Of Negligence And Nonchalance

Theme of poverty and suffering must come to mind first in this poem. It is the outcome of mismanagement, embezzlement, and awkward supremacy within the country that led the poet to lament on the wide and deep abysm poverty has become in the country. The poet summarized it in the first stanza before spending the rest stanzas to buttress his summary of poverty, suffering and corruption:
"Ambassadors of poverty are
The corru

The Immigrants is a poem with expected poetic devices as follow: Repetitions found in the poem are land, unknown, further, year, poor, wood glass. Assonances are "to be told" "the old one, sow" "I wish I could". Alliterations are "gallstones in glass bottle" "carry their carpetbags" "flat the green fruit".

Margaret Atwood wrote this 9 stanza poem with no end rhyme scheme but beautified each stanza with the use of enjambment which made the poem flow so freely.

As part of my poetic analysis, I searched for themes in the poem and below are few found:
(a) Theme of Poverty, we are made to understand the immigrants level of poverty and suffering "only to be told they are too poor/ to keep it up" (line 7 and 8) and in any foreign country they find themselves, no possession hold assurance_ whatever they have today might the taken from them tomorrow "but always they are too poor, the sky" (line 24)

(b) Theme of Instability and M

I've knocked your door
I've knocked your heart
for a worm sleep
for warmth
why ignore me?
Open up, my brother!...

Why ask me
whether I'm an African
whether I'm an American
whether I'm an Asian
whether I'm European?
Open up, my brother!...

I'm not black
I'm not red
I'm not yellow
I'm not white
of course, I'm not that man;
Open up, my brother!...

Open up your door
Open up your heart
for I'm a human
like you!

(c) Rene Philombe (a french poet)

Emily Bronte was an English poet and novelist; the author of Wuthering Heights.
I never knew Emily among poets until Daniel Aribido gave me her novel: "Wuthering Heights" as a gift. Ever since, her poem has been a motivation to me.


"Riches I hold in light esteem
And Love I laught to scorn,
And Lust of Fame was but a dream
That vanished with the morn--

And if I pray-- the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is-- 'Leave the heart that now I bear
And give me liberty.'

Yes, as my swift days near their goal
'Tis all that I implore--
Through life and death, a chainless soul
With courage to endure!"

A Poem by Emily Bronte written 1st March 1841.

Expelled by Jared Angira is the matter at hand in naijapoets.com

All the way to Kenya, Jared Angira was born 21st November, 1947. is
a Kenyan poet. Studied commerce at the University of Nairobi from 1968 until 1971. He also founded the Kenya Writers' Association.

I took a very close look at the poem "Expelled" and I saw the following themes: Encroachment, Exploitation,Hopelessness and Colonialism.

"We had traded in this market competively perfect
till you come in the boat, and polished goodwill
approval from higher order
all pepper differentials, denied flag-bearers"

The quoted expressions above, is the first stanza of the poem. It revealed the degree of encroachment the poet felt when powerful foreigners withheld freedo

AS KINGFISHER CATCH FIRE is a great poem that is full of sounds, each line is with either alliteration, assonance or both. Not like the Shakespeare's, Hopkins' sonnet didn't follow a rigid end rhyme pattern and spoke of religion and its influence on human.

Gerard Manley Hopkins canned the poem with a flexible lid but the complex content was only to be enjoyed by those who can patiently digest it. The poem began with similes, describing how a situation leads to another (As kingfisher catch fire, dragonflies draw flame) making readers see how injustice led to Christianity. He said further that the sound of rung bells made a bold tongue gather people for spiritual orientation which has become a routine "Each mortal thing does one thing and the same" (in line 5)

According to line 13 and 14 of the poem "Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his/ To the Father through the features of men's faces"
Those parading theselves as teachers of Christ ways; portraying Christ in thousand places are only what they are in the faces of men but migh

Today again, I read one of your poems.

It began to beat a talking-drum with
my skull.

May angels in heaven continue to turn you on with
fluffy melodies
so you can remain happy everyday there above.

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry

Emily Dickinson Poem 919:
"If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one pain

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in vain."
Continue Reading>>>


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