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Which Nigerian Poem Is Your Best?

mine is the duology between the two ABIKUs by Prof Wole Soyinka and Prof J.P Clark.

i still can recite them till tomorrow.

what are yours?

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One of my favorite Nigerian poems is IN THE SMALL HOURS by Wole Soyinka. He has become the first Nigerian who received Noble prize for his play. Here are some wonderful lines from his poem:

Departures linger. Absences do not

Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze

As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,

Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn

The notes hold sway, smoky

Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.

http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/waiwen/soyinka.htm

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2007 to 2010 ending?

something must have been lost in our collective literary awareness.

what new great stuff is coming out of our clime?

i am wondering.

i have a collection of poems i did in my secondary and A level days. i shall be beading home by Xmas with the hope i can lay my hands on them. if i do, we shall all enjoy them here together.

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Knotty,

Labyrinths is a collection of Chris okigbo's poems. Which one of those poems would you like me to paste up here?

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Where is my generation of poets? what is happening? wasted generation are we? i hope not, i believe we are not.

Niyi Oshundare and co., w`sup?

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i just stumbled on a couple of poems that were really delighful in those days.

WE HAVE COME HOME by Lenri Peters

SEASONS     By Wole Soyinka

THE CALL OF THE RIVER NUN Gabriel Opkara

IBADAN  by J P Clark

OLOKUN

STREAMSIDE EXCHANGE all by Prof J.P Clark

Streamside Exchange  

 Child: River bird, river bird,

Sitting all day long

On hook over grass,

River bird, river bird,

Sing to me a song

Of all that pass

And say,

will mother come back today?

Bird: You cannot know

And should not bother;

Tide and market come and go

And so shall your mother,

By: J.P. Clark

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Abiku  

 In vain your bangles cast

Charmed circles at my feet;

I am Abiku, calling for the first

And the repeated time.

Must I weep for goats and cowries

For palm oil and the sprinkled ash?

Yams do not sprout in amulets

To earth Abiku's limbs.

So when the snail is burnt in his shell

Whet the heated fragments, brand me

Deeply on the bosom. You must know him

When Abiku calls again.

I am the squirrel teeth, cracked

The riddle of the palm. Remember

This, and dig me deeper still into

The god's swollen foot.

Once and the repeated time, ageless

Though I puke. And when you pour

Libations, each finger points me near

The way I came, where

The ground is wet with mourning

White dew suckles flesh-birds

Evening befriends the spider, trapping

Flies in wind-froth;

Night, and Abiku sucks the oil

From lamps. Mother! I'll be the

Supplicant snake coiled on the doorstep

Yours the killing cry.

The ripes fruit was saddest;

Where I crept, the warmth was cloying.

In the silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping

Mounds from the yolk.

          By: Wole Soyinka

boastful, mystical, mysterious, diabolical, awe inspiring, this poem is hardly an incantation.

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laudate

Labyrinths by Chris Okigbo is another favourite.

please, car you jar our memory by reproducing this poem? PLEASE.

i love Africa very much too.

did you know that David Diop, the Senegalese Poet died in 1960, by a plane crash?

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well,to me,ABIKU by soyinka is nice but something close to incantation in yoruba mythology.have u read HEAVENSGATE by chris okigbo ?the poem is tight,very tight.about nigerian poets,i love clark,okigbo,soyinka and okara in that order.chao

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Casualties by J P Clark.

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Casualties

yes, nice poem too. i remember. that one gave us lines like:

many are the casualties who have no say in the matter

dying by instalment

are we not all casualties of the realities of daily living in Nigeria? did we have any say in the matter? are we not dying instalmentally?

poets are prophets, but prophets are not poets.

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We read J. P. Clark's Casualties - a collection of his poems set basically in the civil war era. That's where I encountered "Night Rain" again since secondary skool, and then "Abiku".

There were otha more complicated/political poems that our lecturer, Mr. Akpuda, had to guide us through like toddlers. They were quite hard 2 crack 4 some of us who weren't so devoted.

But the collection I read and fell in love with was Toni Kan's When A Dream Lingers too Long.

I love all the poems in it, especially the title poem. My long essay was on that collection.

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What I love about the poem is the way it has racism down pat (especially the way it was back then predominantly in the 1950s and 1960s), although it is more subtle than what actually obtained.

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My best part was when the caller said are you light or dark? Still is very much a part of our society.

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oh my!

ha ha ah ah ah ah ah aha ha ha ah ah ah ah ah ah

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that na poety na.

another one - oko plus obo equals omo.

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poetry not song lyrics. lol

i thought it was igbo at first too.

anyways, it's cool.

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la be igig orombo - ni be lagben sere wa, inu wa dun, ara wa ya, labe igi orombo.

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@ viee, you can type in "'telephone conversation' soyinka" in the google search bar and pick your website of choice.

[url]http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNFA,RNFA:1970--2,RNFA:en&q=%22telephone+conversation%22+soyinka[/url]

i choose the first website on the list

http://www.k-state.edu/english/westmank/spring_00/SOYINKA.html

srry if i sound redundant. just trying to be helpful. lol

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~groping in the dark~

i can see that i have missed more than  i knew.

nairaland is beginning to make more sense than i ever thought it would.

can someone finish off the Abiku, Part1?

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"a coward dies many times before his death" (i don't remember any other lines from this other poem and i can't find it online)

@viee

i liked it too. you can find it online.

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i only remember a few

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"The Vultures"

In those days

When civilization kicked us in the face

When holy water slapped our cringing brows

The vultures built in the shadow of their talons

The bloodstained monument of tutelage

In those days

There was painful laughter on the metallic hell of the roads

And the monotonous rhythm of the paternoster

Drowned the howling on the plantations

O the bitter memories of extorted kisses

Or promises broken at the point of a gun

Of foreigners who did not seem human

Who knew all the books but did not know love

But we whose hands fertilize the womb of the earth

In spite of your songs of pride

In spite of the desolate villages of torn Africa

Hope was preserved in us as in a fortress

And from the mines of Swaziland to the factories of Europe

Spring will be reborn under our bright steps.

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it was great

i wish i can lay my hands on it again

always made me laugh

esp the brunnette part

boy!

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u guys should plzzzzz not stop!

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sorry The Vultures is not a Nigerian poem. it is from Senegal by David Diop.

in those days, when civilisation kicked us in the face

when holy waters slapped our clinging brows

the vultures built in the shadow of their talons blood stained monument of tutelage

i`ll continue

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osegwu

pleaseeeeeeee

don`t stop

continueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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ABIKU by Wole Soyinka

In vain your bangles cast,

Charm circles at my feet?

I am Abiku calling for the first and the repeated time.

Must I weep for goats and cowries

for palm oil and sprinkled ashe

yams do not sprout in amulets

to earth abikus limp.

Do I coninue?

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havent read the vulture

wish i can get it

nite rain was fabulous

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viee

did you study literature at o/level during the mid eighties? those were poem i studied thereabout for WAEC and tell you what, they were really,really nice, especially NIGHT RAIN.

remember THE VULTURES? sweet poem!

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