we Analysis of They Too Are The Earth by Niyi Osundare ~ Naija Poets

The Background 
"They too are the earth" is a poem addressing many factors such as poverty, inhumanity, inequality, neglect, etc. The poem speaker felt that if earth is truly for all, why has many lived as if they do not deserve to live on earth_ the beggars, the labourers (carrying heavy loads day and night), the victims of kidnap, the aged abandoned mothers, the scavenger kids, the wanderers, etc.

The Stanzas
In stanza one, the beggars begging by the filthy gutters, pedestrian shoes and halted vehicle tyres are also part of this earth. Stanza two pointed that the sweating muddy labourers that hew woods and hurl water all through the day are also part of this earth. (Stanza three) Many unfortunate souls kidnapped and kept in unknown undergrounds for rituals are part of this earth. (Stanza four) All the figdeting old women who are abandoned in villages are also part of this earth. The fifth stanza of the poem was crafted with the instrument of rhetorical questions inquiring: Are the lazy ones, the unambitious ones, the waif and stray part of this earth? And are the evil doers who thrive through destruction part of this earth?

The Structure 
The poem is a five stanza free verse with an unequal number of lines per stanza. It's tone is revealing and it possesses a diverse setting (street gutters, forest, villages, excavated undergrounds) which are related to humans life on earth. The major poetic device is refrain: "They are the earth" and "They too are the earth". We see other poetic recipes such as paradox "live that earth may die", alliteration "fritter the forest and harry the hills", litotes "Under snakeskin shoes and Mercedes tyres", personification "The dying distant deaths", synecdoche "Millions hewing wood and hurling water".

The Poet
Niyi Osundare is one of the well recognized poets in Nigeria. Born in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti state, Nigeria in the year 1947; his literary works have globalized his identity and based on his act of conversation at a certain Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) meeting I attended, he is such a very humble personality. Among his poetic crafts, naijapoets.com.ng has privileged to review "Not My Business" and "Ours To Plough Not To Plunder".
Continue Reading>>>

Enunwa Chukwudinma Samuel aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

Popular Posts

Article Index

website traffic

Blog Archive


1. Strange Horizons.

2. Cricket Media

3. The Antigonish Review

4. Arts & Letters.

5. 50 Haikus

6. Three Line Poetry

7. The American Journal of Nursing

8. New Letters

9. Poetry Magazine


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