Olokun is a poem by John Pepper Clark_ one of the best poets in Africa till date.
The voice of the poem profess his love for a mermaid or preferably a sea goddess.
In the poem context, the voice of the poem loved to scroll the dark hairs of the sea goddess and claimed the love he had for her did surpass the one he had ever bestowed any other woman.
Though the mermaid’s eyes were like “touch of sleep” yet no man will ever wish to fall asleep in her presence because of her loving kindness.
The voice of the poem also stated that men that are so drunk of her love crumbled like ancient walls at her feet “And so the good maid of the sea/ Full of rich bounties for men/ You lift us all beggars to your breast”.
The poem does fit under the category of nature and love.
The poem commenced with a first person singular view until the 17th line with “We crumbled in heaps at your feet” to further prove his jealousy for sharing the sea goddess with other men.
The poem is a free verse of twenty lines with a tone of affection. The diction is simple with many use of simile. The themes exposed in the poem are the comfort that nature and natural things bestow humanity, the beautiful and kind personality of sea goddess, the strong bond that love builds between male and female, the degree of men’s hunger for riches, etc.
Similes are “As tide thro weeds of the sea” in line 2 and “like ancient walls” in line 16, Allusion to the Bible are “I am jealous and passionate/ Like Jehovah, God of the Jews” in line 6-7 and “But what wakeful eyes of man/ Made of the mud of this earth” in line 11-12, Personification is “the touch of sleep” in line 13, Metaphor is “The sable vehicle of dream” in line 14, Symbolism is “beggars” in line 20, Synecdoche is “breast” in line 20, Alliteration is “all beggars to your breast” in line 20.
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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo With Wings Flying)