Monday, 22 August 2016

Childhood reminiscence led Robert Frost into Birches, a poem about swinging the birch trees. 
The poet is nature oriented and the poem "Birches" is no difference as it delighted the poet in childhood and the memory in adulthood. The poet even used many comparisons to relate his ideas to nature "And life is too much like a pathless wood/ Where your face burns and tickles with cobwebs/ Broken across it, and one eye is weeping/ From a twig's having lashed across it open"

As a child, one is free of back-aching worries, unnecessary egoistic rivalries, and many more. Those with rural background as Frost would solace in the ever available vegetational amusements such as swinging Birches. The poet also described the trees as enduring "And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed/ So low for long, they never right themselves" (line 15-16)

Besides the description of the birches. And besides the freedom and delight derived in swinging the birches. The poet made mention of many nature elements as "ice-storms" in line 5 and 22, "snow-crust" in line 11, "woods" in line 17, "Earth" in line 52, "cobwebs" in line 45, etc.

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

This article is to discuss the relationship that exists between the background of William Blake and the poem titled "The Schoolboy".

The Schoolboy is a poem that criticizes the classroom system of learning with the believe that pedagogical fulfillment is embedded in nature. In such idea lies the irony of the poem because it's widely believed that being well educated within the four walls of the school is fulfillment. The juvenile reasoning of the schoolboy made him feel so maltreated by his parents.

The formal classroom resentment of the poem speaker "The Schoolboy" also reflected in the background of the poet. William Blake is child of art. He was bound by art of nature and divine art. Whether or not Blake lived a wealthy life is a story for another day but his name has stood a test of time in the history of literature worldwide. 

William Blake had a very humble background born 28th November 1757. He mastered printing, poetry and painting with few evidence in existence till day. According to Wikipedia, "It was recorded that little Blake only read the subjects that interested to the extent that when William Blake was ten, his parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but instead enrolled in drawing classes at Pars's drawing school in the Strand." He died on 12th August of 1827.

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

The elephant is made a demon in the poem "Salute To The Elephant" by Babalola Adeboye because folk tales put a lot of exaggerations into their fabulosity. It is no doubt that elephant is a mountainous animal but "demons who swallows palm fruit bunches whole, even with the spiky pistil-cells" is weigh too much. As if that's not enough, the heavy eye-tearing pictures continued:
In line 14, "O elephant, who single-handed causes a tremor in a dense tropical forest"
In line 23, "If you wish to know the elephant, the elephant who is a veritable ferry-man"
In line 28, "Whose molar teeth are as wide as palm-oil pits in Ijesaland"
In line 33, "Beast who carries mortars and yet walks with a swaggering gait"
In line 34, "Primeval leper, animal treading ponderously"
The symbolism "O death, please stop following me" in line 21 also added to the elephant's extraordinariness.

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

To analyze this poem of Kofi Anyidoho, one must examine the origin of the poet. Kofi Anyidoho is a well known African writer with many poetry awards to his efforts. Kofi Anyidoho hails from Ghana born 25th July 1947; Anyidoho is currently a professor of literature at University of Ghana.
With the use of parables, repetition and adages, one can easily claim the poem reflects oral African poetic flavor; it is truly a song as said by the title.

With the simple and straightforward expression of the poet, one can simply say that "My Song" by Kofi Anyidoho has a very simple diction which any reader can relate. With eleven stanzas accommodating lines carved with irregular rhymes and rhythms, the mind of the poet became well broadcasted.

The poet believes in his craft even when there are no obvious success. He believes that bending to blend well with ones talent is worth the sacrifice; worth more than flashy short-term success. He ascertained that people are so myopic and trendy to the level that success has a certain shape but whatever fails to take such shape becomes a victim of mockery. According to the words of the poet, "The gifts that bestows at birth/ Some had some splendid things/ What was mine?/ I sing. They laugh./ Still I sell My Song/ for those with ears to buy" not everybody will accept or appreciate what we do but that should not weigh down the motivation of the doer.
The poem ends in refrains:
" My cloth is torn, I know
But I shall learn to wear it well
My voice is hoarse, I know
But I shall learn to wear it well."
The above parallel refrain is another way of saying that whatever outward appearance portrayed doesn't matter in as much as its propelled towards the maximization of talent.

Title:- My Song
Author:- Kofi Anyidoho
Versification:- Irregular verse
Number of stanzas:- Eleven
Category: - Life and Ambition
Point of View:- First person
(the poet's personal opinion)
Major theme:- Living by passion
Major device:- Repetition
Diction:- Very simple to comprehend
Most used word:- The pronoun "I"

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

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The poem opened with Fletcher calling at the soothsayer or whoever claimed to understand destiny. He first pretended he wanted to peep into his own future as well with instance in line 9-18
"Tell me, by all your art I conjure ye,
Yes, and by truth, what shall become of me
Find out my star, if each one as you say,
Have this peculiar angel, and his way
Observe my fate, next fall into your dreams,
Sweep clean your houses, and new-line your schemes,
Then say your worst! Or have I none at all?
Or is it burnt out lately? Or did fall?
Or am I poor? Not able, no full flame?
My star, like me, unworthy of a name?"
He then exclaimed "You all lie!" to prove that he never believed in their craps. It baffled him that human beings are so short-sighted that he gave little or no thought to God's omnipotence and failed to realize that only in him "all truth" "all influence" and "all fate" reside. John Fletcher was of the believe that no mortal can crack God's work. He believed that God knows the best way to navigate his life and urged the readers to buy his idea because "Man is his own star, and that soul that can/ Be honest, is the only perfect man"
Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

"I wonder'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high over vale and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils"

William Wordsworth in the poem Daffodils envied the union of the mass daffodils dancing beside the lake in comparison to his own loneliness; this motivates to look into the theme of loneliness in Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

The first stanza discussed how the poet became cognisant of the daffodils, the second stanza showed the strong bond and unity within the endless number of daffodils fluttering with the breeze beside the lake, the third stanza is about the strong impact the scene had on the poet to the level that "A poet could not but be gay/ In such jocund company/ I gaze_ and gazed_ but little thought/ What wealth the show to me had brought". The final stanza of the poem is where the beautiful union of the daffodils kept questioning the poet's lonely mood and by so doing returned the poet's sense of remembrance to the dazzling daffodil scene. In a nutshell, the daffodils became the therapeutic remedy to the poet's loneliness.

The poem "Daffodils" has a total of twenty lines divided into four stanzas of five lines per stanza. The fourth stanza is as quoted below:
"For oft when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils".

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

Okay folks, let's analyze The Schoolboy by William Blake from the angle of diction. William Blake, 1757 to 1827 is a very famous non-african English poet of the romantic era. The poem titled "The Schoolboy" holds its popularity and high level of likeness to how the poet decently challenged the trending classroom education; surely William Blake is a genius.

"Early to bed is early to rise" but such idiomatic expression has nothing to do with the schoolboy during the summer morn: "I love to rise in a summer morn/ When the birds sing on every tree" (line 1-2). Such period is most delightful to the boy since the simple, sweet and spontaneous education he derives is far higher than that of the classroom learning.

Looking at the six stanzas of the poem, it is obvious that the poet paid attention to the rhythm and the rhymes without allowing poetic license steal the simplicity of the poem. What more can be said of the language? There is no obsolete word, no Shakespearean English, no huge vocabulary that will prompt opening the dictionary. Unhappiness of the schoolboy coupled with rhetorical questions in the poem gave it a sad tone;
"But to go to school in a summer morn,_
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay" (quoting stanza two of the poem)

Other poetic languages of not are rhetorical questions, symbolism, repetition, alliteration, etc.


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

What makes a poem a sonnet?
A sonnet has its origin from Italy; it's mostly fourteen lines of five-foot iambics with end rhyme scheme. Last two lines of a sonnet are couplet. 

Most sonnets are structured into a sestet with an octave or three quatrains and a couplet. A sestet is a poetic stanza consisting of six lines, an octave is a poetic stanza consisting of eight lines; usually used as one, a quatrain is a poetic stanza consisting of four lines, a couplet is a poetic stanza consisting of two lines.

Sonnet 18 otherwise known as Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day is love sonnet, fourteen lines in total written in iambic pentameter. The poem carries an end rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Though Sonnet 18 has a structure of five lines the first and the second stanzas with the third stanza a quatrain; the quatrain has its last two lines a rhyming couplet:
"So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee"
The explanation at the first paragraph tallies with the structure of the poem, so it's very obvious that Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day by William Shakespeare is a sonnet.

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

An action that led anyone to prison should be considered a tragic fall and the character in such tragic shell suffers extreme regrets, worries or sorrows.

In the poem titled "Letter To Martha 17" the poem speaker suffered the aforementioned tragic implications; confined with none to talk, absurd ventilation system, inadequate space for movement. All that were taken for granted (the freedom of speech, the freedom of movement, the freedom of association, etc) began to resurface with huge importance.

The poem speaker who used to communicate freely with Martha was then restricted to mailing letters, "freedom of the birds/ and their absolute freedom from care/ became meaningful" also reminded him of how he used to be free and left him to fantasize about the cloud:
"_where are they going
where will they dissolve
will they be seen by those at home
and whom will they delight?"


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

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Is The Schoolboy by William Blake about freedom?

The general answer is yes. Why? The poet is classified as Romantic and the works of the romantic poets are nature inclined not excluding The Schoolboy by William Blake where birds, trees, winter, summer are glorified.

In the poem, Blake used the plight of the schoolboy as a medium to opine that freedom is embedded in nature and natural things. He pointed at the awesomeness in the company shared outside classroom "O what sweet company!"

William Blake through this poem also proves that nature equates freedom that was why the complaints of the schoolboy centered on how his parents took away his youthful freedom by forcing him into boring classroom learning. In line 16-17 "How can a bird born of joy/ Sit in a cage and sing" was part of the metaphors used by the poem speaker to reveal that classroom learning is imprisonment.

The schoolboy picked his learning freely and willingly from nature as a result of the delights he derived from such things as beautiful trees, singing skylarks, summer morning, etc. Contrary to formal education; the prove of the schoolboy's freedom and willingness to learn from nature is contained in stanza one of the poem:
"I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman wind his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!"


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

Among other things, breath and beauty are the impermanent factors in Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day by William Shakespeare.

This sonnet 18 of Shakespeare seems more popular than other sonnets of his, but this article isn't ready to invest on such luxurious debate. As always, the poem is about love only that Shakespeare pushed his imagination further by placing the beauty of his love in an immortal package. Line 3-7 made a brief list of things under the bondage uncertainty; things like flowers, seasons, the sun_ all which could be tampered by "chance, or nature's changing course"

Despite the claim by the poet speaker that the beauty of his lover can never fade or die. The natural truth remains that human can never live on earth forever and same applies to the beautiful appearance of human beings irrespective of the poet's imaginative hyperbole or irony or whatever word best explains Shakespeare's fantasy.

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

Monday, 8 August 2016

The poem Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson also brings Homer's Odyssey to mind_ most particularly the movie. The poem speaker in Tennyson's Ulysses disregarded idleness to preach adventure which was tabled in form of dramatic monologue for readers delight.

To create an introduction to the poem Ulysses, I'll briefly say that in 1842, Lord Alfred Tennyson published Ulysses as a way diving into his own imaginative adventure of human aging.

I'll discuss the characters of the king as printed in my past questions and answers and it goes thus:
"The poem Ulysses presents the persona's inclination for adventure, his insatiable quest for knowledge and the desire to conquer in heroic dimensions. In the presentation of the theme of the poem certain aspects of the characters of the king are brought. In line 1-6 the king is presented as an adventurous and restless character whose quest for travels and adventure cannot be contained. He demonstrates pride and arrogance in his assertion that his job is restricted to sitting in one place with an old wife, to administer unfair laws to a set of primitive and idle people. Line 34-44 he is therefore bored and longs for further adventures. In the metaphor in which he compares the life of travelling and drinking from a cup, he maintains that he will pursue and give free reign to his travelling instincts. His journeys have had their fair share of joy and sorrow on him and others to love him.

The king is practical and realistic. He accepts old age and celebrates the virtues that come with it. He is not peevish and complaining but notes "old age hath yet his honour and his toil". In the last section of the poem, he tells us that although they now lack the strength which in times of their youth moved heaven and earth they are still what they are in their old age: equal in temper and of heroic hearts. Even though they have been made weak by time and fate, they are strong in will and determination "to strive, to seek, to find and not yield"

Among other characters of the king, enjoyment of life is not excluded. The king takes delight in the pleasure of the world and he revels in his participation in entertainment activities. He thus laments the state of inactivity and immobility in which there is "a pause" indicating "an end" and "rust unburnished" The king creates the impression that since "every hour" leads to "that eternal silence" it becomes imperative to travel and "follow knowledge like a sinking star/ beyond the utmost bound of human thought"

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

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Friendship, love, unity, health, wealth, etc are the elements that drove Maya Angelou's heart into this creative piece. She couldn't deny the strength in wealth but she acknowledged that wealth and riches were not fulfillment.

[Click Here If This' Not What You Want To Read]

Okay, lets look at the first stanza of the poem where the poem speaker opened with "Last night" and such phrase weigh very deeply big for anyone who's willing to agree to my tiny thought. No matter busy someone is, no matter how conserved and reserved and deeply self a person can be, nighttimes are times when companionship matters a lot ( even the sadists and the extremists sometimes don't
like to lonely at some certain night):
"Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone."

In another stanza, riches didn't suffice. "There are some millionaires/ With money they can't use/ Their wives run round like banshees/ Their children sing the blues/ They've got expensive doctors/ To cure their hearts of stone." The rich we thought be made happy and fulfilled because of their money are shown by the poem speaker to be in a very huge predicament with little or no help nor way out.

Maya tried to alert everyone that all the inadequacies of the world is as a result of human selfishness_ neighbors hardly caring for their neighbors, oppressors here and there. The only solution is unity else human race vanishes as smoke:
"Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone."
Based on the structure, the poem seems lyrical. Most especially the refrain:
"Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone."

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

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