Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 April 2017

"Comment on the use of pun in the pulley" WAEC May/June 2017.

One of the reasons why the examination council has added this classic metaphysical poem to the list of recommended poetry for the 2016-2020 Literature-in-English syllabus is to ensure that the candidates sitting for the examination are able to comprehend the the poet's use of language, style and symbolism.

The question here is about the use of pun in The Pulley by George Herbert. It is true that George Herbert wrote the poem to show God's high level of supremacy over humankind. The poet c
hanneled his thoughts straight into the hearts of readers by employing some elements of pun.

A pun can be defined as a joke or kind of wordplay in which sounds, or words, or ideas are used to represent its primary meaning.

George Herbert, in the poem created a title that downplayed the serious matter of humans' mortality as he compared humans' habitual dependency on God to a pulley that draws human beings back to the creator; as seen in the poem, the insatiable wants of humans keep pulling them back to God.

Besides the title and the message of the poem, the chosen words of the poet are playful; particularly the way the poet placed "man" "cup of blessing" "span" "weariness" "toss" within the context of the poem to prove that without God, human beings are nothing.

Few prove of playfulness in the poet's lines are:-
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which dispers├Ęd lie,
Contract into a span.”


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

Sunday, 4 December 2016


"Katerina: An Angel In The Flesh" is a descriptive love poem that embraced the instrument of praise and prayer.

The most part of the poem described Femi Fani Kayode's Katerina as an extraordinary beauty; using the same hyperbolical language of William Shakespeare's craftiness. The ending part of the poem carry some hope words that are tabled in form of prayer.

Few of the poetic devices in the poem are enjambment (as ideas or expressions flow beyond a single line), simile (many comparisons are made in the poem using "like" for instance "Your
words, like the Balm of Gilead" and "blazing red hair like a Royal Princess"), allusion in the poem "the Game of Thrones", alliteration in the poem "deep dimples" and "poor and less privileged", metaphor in the poem "thirst and quest for knowledge and understanding" and "wisdom oozes", the imageries in the poem a mostly of sight.

The major theme of the poem is love, beauty, and the excitement in pleasant human qualities. From the context of the poem, human achievement can also be considered as part of the themes in the poem.


Emerald-green eyes and blazing red hair, like a Royal Princess of Westeroth from the Game of Thrones. Beautiful deep dimples and a lovely warm smile. Pale, silk-like skin and waifer-thin lips. Such natural beauty. Your crown glistens and your glory is self-evident.

Most captivating of all is the power of your soul, the beauty and strength of your inner man and the profundity of your learned tongue: wisdom oozes. Your words, like the Balm of Gilead, bring hope: they soothe and heal.
Your compassion for the poor and less privileged and your empathy for the persecuted, the oppressed, the misunderstood and the downtrodden is self-evident and compelling. Your thirst and quest for knowledge and understanding is insatiable and never-ending.
Your love of the Living God is inexplicable, indescribable, unfathomable, profound, deep and utterly moving. You are a woman of substance, an angel in the flesh, a handmaiden of Jerusalem, a speaker of divine truths, a Daughter of Zion.
You are the stuff of which great Queens are made. May you live long and prosper and may you be a blessing to your generation and to generations unborn.


Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is a Nigerian poet, a lawyer, and a politician born in Lagos, Nigeria on 16th October 1960 to Chief Remilekun Adetokunbo Fani-Kayode and to Chief (Mrs) Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode.He was christened David Oluwafemi (meaning “the beloved of the Lord”) Adewunmi Fani-Kayode. He was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006.

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

Friday, 8 April 2016

Analysis of "Is My Team Ploughing" by A. E. Housman from the perspective. According to wikipedia, "Alfred Edward Housman 26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad." The poem "Is My Team Ploughing" touched the following aspects of human lives which are friendship, career, leisure, and love. The poem through its questions and answers took the form of a dialogue between the dead man and his friend (the poem speak). Few among the ways a dialogue of this nature can happen are through imagination, vision or dream. The context of the poem didn't give the readers the exact clue of where the dialogue took place between the living friend and his dead friend.

The m has 8 interesting stanzas of 4 lines per sta
nza where the end rhymes between the second and the fourth lines of each stanza.

Okay, let's look at "Is My Team Ploughing" stanza by stanza:-

Stanza 1
"Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?"
The dead man asked his living friend whether the people used to work on the farm with when he was alive were still working; this aspect of the poem is about career.

Stanza 2
"Aye, the horses trample,
The harness jingle now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plaugh."
This is the reply to the stanza 1 question. The friend told the dead man that farm operations had not ceased because of his death; this part of the poem is about leisure.

Stanza 3
"Is football playing
Along the river shore,
"With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?"
This showed that the dead friend was young and loved to play football before he died. He wanted to know if people young groups still play football along the river shore like they used to do when he was alive. This aspect is about leisure.

Stanza 4
"Aye, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal."
The living friend's reply was an assertion that nothing had changed since his death.

Stanza 5
"Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?"
This stanza about love. The dead friend wanted to know whether his girlfriend still mourned him and couldn't fall in love with someone else because her love for him was so strong when he was alive.

Stanza 6
"Aye, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep."
The friend replied his dead friend to stop worries because his girlfriend still lived her normal life.

Stanza 7
"Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine;
And he has found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?"
He requested to know how his living friend was fairing after his death; whether his living friend cherished his bas he slept in a thin grave

Stanza 8
"Yes, lad i lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose."
This stanza reminds of the common Yoruba proverb that says that when a man dies because of a woman, thousands of women will trample his grave. The living friend replied his dead friend that his love life is very easy and cool; in fact, he was now dating a dead man's sweetheart and concluded by telling the dead friend not to ask him which of the dead man which implied that his dead friend's girlfriend is now his own girlfriend.

The major idea in this poem is that life goes on irrespective of whether someone dies or someone lives.

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

Monday, 6 July 2015

Post Mortem was written by the Nigerian world class poet, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

The poem began with the poem speaker, preferring dead plants to dead human beings because human beings become stiff and cold "in the cold hand of death..."(line 4) and everything in them become opposite: their talking become "cotton filled", their manhood or man-pike become small like larva of an insect.

The poem speaker in the third and forth stanza revealed the futility of post mortem where the dead man's head was hollowed and his brain was scaled when death had already done a damage no medical practitioners could recover.

The poem ended with the encourag
ement to love science, scientists, practice of post mortem, old age, etc.

Now, let's look at the themes in the poem. (1) Theme of Untimely Death (2) Theme of Death's Supremacy Over Science And Human Being (3) Theme Of The Importance Of Dying Old.

(1) Untimely Death. The poem reminds the readers of the fact that untimely deaths are the major causes of post mortem. Such deaths hold mysteries that prompt scientists into action of searching the cause of such death; in a very rare occasion, the death of a very old person post mortemed.
(2) Death's Supremacy Over Science And Human Beings.
"in the cold hand of death...
his month was cotton filled, his man-pike
shrunk to a subsoil grub" (stanza 2)
The stanza explained how powerful and dominating death is. The following two stanzas backed the fact that science and scientific experiments are under the feet of death.
(3) The Importance Of Dying Old. Although, the last stanza of the poem look ambiguous, out of the ambiguity came the importance of dying old where "grey" symbolized old age, "one grey sleep and form" sydmbolized lying in coffin while old, "grey slabs" symbolized the undertaker grey- color Cadillac. The poem speaker stressed the importance of old age by saying: "let us love all things of grey;"(line 13).

Language, Style, Poetic Devices
The poem is a five stanza poem with three lines each stanza.
The language of the poem is simple.
The use medical title and instrument gave the poem a medical setting.
Alliteration in line 1 "functions to freezing", in line 2 "beer; cold bier", in line 11 "head hollowed".
Imageries "stocking beer", "harnessed_ glory be!_", "trick to prove fore-knowledge after death", "grey sleep and form".
Euphemism in line 5 "his man-pike", "how not to die" in line 12, "subsoil grub" in line 6.
Symbolism "stocking beer" symbolized dead beings, "cold bier" symbolized the embalmed, "grey images" symbolised victims of post mortem.
Allusion in line 2. Bier alluded to William Shakespeare's Hamlet Act 4, scene 5: "They bore him bare-face on the bier".

>>>Analysis of Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

>>>Analysis of I Think It Rains by Wole Soyinka

>>>Analysis of Abiku by Wole Soyinka


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

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Letter To Martha 17 written by Dennis Brutus is a great poem that revealed that one never misses a good thing till it departs. The poem speaker found importance in things that never amounted to anything.

The major theme of the poem is freedom. Because of imprisonment, the poem speaker realized the importance of being able to move freely from one distance to another without barricades, the importance of being able to see whatever one wishes to see without blockades, and the importance of being independent.

Cloud, sky, stars, birds, became the agents of freedom. In line 1 and 2, it was said that "In prison/ the clouds assume importance", then the hope of seeing the stars came to the mind of the poem speaker in line 11 followed by the thought about the complex aeronautics of the birds, their absolute freedom from care and the graceful unimpeded motion of the clouds which was likened to music, poetry and dance in stanza 4, 5, and 6.

It was shown in the poem that the hope for freedom and the admiration of those or things that are free would definitely lead the confined person into the realm of rhetorical questions. That is why four lines of rhetorical questions ended the poem:
"_where are they going
where will they dissolve
will they be seen by those at home
and whom will they delight?

The themes of the poem are (1) the importance of freedom (2) the effects of imprisonment (3) the unnoticed freedom of nature. The poem holds a tone of bewilderment and the language was simple with enjambments. Similes and personifications accompanied the great use of imagery to polish the poem.

Dennis Brutus was born in 1924 in Rhodesia, lived in South Africa, taught in South African High school, arrested for protest against Apartheid in 1963, etc.


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

Saturday, 13 June 2015

  • According the article of St. John D. Parsons, "Christopher Okigbo originally wrote Passion Flower as a continuation of his poem "Sacrifice" in the series called Heavengate.

    [View The Poem Passion Flower by Christopher Okigbo]

    The passion flower is so named because its parts are said to resemble ceetain aspect of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, e.g. the corona represents the crown of thorns, the pistil and stamens the nails of the cross, and the sepals and petals the apostles. The passion refers to the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death.

    In line 3, Lacrimae Christi is a Latin meaning "the tears of Christ". "dumb bell" in line 6 referred to the practice in the Roman Catholic Church where bell are not rung between Maundy Thursday and the first Mass on Easter Sunday. Messiah in line 8 pointed at the expected King and Savior (Jesus Christ). "after the argument in heaven" which appeared in line 9 of the poem was looking at the shaking of the powers of heaven referred to in The Gospel According to St. Luke, Chapter 21, verse 26, prior to the coming of the Son of Man, described in verse 27.

    Lumen mundi is also a latin, meaning the Light of the World ( Jesus Christ). "Penitence"(line 11) meant sorrow for faults or sins. "palm grove"(line 14) meant the place of sacrifice. In line 15, "vegetable offering" the fruits of the earth that are being sacrificed, that is, palm oil, kola nuts, alligator pepper and eggs of white hens. "five fingers of chalk" in line 16-17 referred to the sacrificial chalk which is sold in "fingers". The prodigal uses five of these for his sacrifice because his own personal symbol is the pentagon (see the poem Sacrifice):

    'on palm beam imprinted
    my pentagon_'"

    Christopher Okigbo before killed in 1967 in Biafra war, was a Secretary, a Latin teacher, a librarian, a West African representative of Cambridge University Press. He was a graduate of University of Ibadan and was born in 1932 in Anambra state.

    READ MORE CLASSIC POEM [Post Mortem by Wole Soyinka]

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

  • Monday, 8 June 2015

    Futility happens to be a poem written by Wilfred Owen, English poet and soldier who was born in March 18, 1893 at Oswestry, Shropshire England but died in November 4, 1918 at Sambre Oise Canal France. Owen was said to have started poetry at the age of 17, today, he's still remembered for his beautiful war poems like "Anthem Of Doomed Youth" "Dulce et Decorum est". This post is to look at the denotation and connotation of the poem Futility.

    The poem of two stanzas revealed in the first stanza where the poem speaker request
    someone referred to as "him" to be brought into the sun maybe it could wake him as it has done before "At home" (line 3) and "in France" (line 4), claiming the sun is the only option for his revival. In the second stanza of the poem, the poem speaker showed the sun had revived seeds, clays, among other things but wondered why it became very difficult to wake the man this time. The poem speaker became angry, blamed the sun and gave the sun an abusive name while questioning it by saying "_O what made fatuous sunbeams toil/ To break earth's sleep at all?"

    The poem has the theme of life's futility. It is said that the poem was talking about world war 1 where men dead in battle were spread under the sun like grains. The poem speaker saw futility in the effort of those in battle because their fighting led them to nothing but shameful sudden death. The poem also saw futility in the effort of the sun that revived at some points but lost its power of revival at a point to death.

    The poem also has the theme of death's supremacy over everything. The poem speaker showed the power of the sun was limited to a certain period of season when he/she said "Until this morning and this snow" (line 5) and also revealed that the sun would have equaled death if it had not foolishly toil "To break earth's sleep at all". It must also be noted that the sun was used to symbolize daybreak in line 13 and 14.

    Another theme of note in the poem is the impact of the sun on human and living things. According to the poem speaker the sun has the power to wake things not excluding the dead victim but one might be tempted to ask how the sun does its revival? The sun is used as a metonymy in the poem to refer to the morningtime. In the morning, the sun wakes alongside humans and even plants but with the power of hyperbole the poet turned the sun to an entity with the ability to wake or revive.

    Move him into the sun_
    Gently its touch awoke him once,
    At home, whispering of field unsown.
    Always it woke him, even in France,
    Until this morning and this snow.
    If anything might rouse him now
    The kind old sun will know

    Think how it wakes the seeds_
    Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
    Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
    Full-nerved-still warm-too hard to stir?
    Was it for this the clay grew tall?
    _O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
    To break earth's sleep at all?
    © Wilfred Owen (18-03-1893 04-11-1918)


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

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