Diop died at the age of 33 in a plane crash. Africa my Africa Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs Africa of whom my grandmother sings On the banks of the distant river The poem starts by Diop reminiscing about Africa, a land he has not seen but only heard about from his grandmother's songs. His choice of words like "distant" symbolise how far he is from his country, a feeling based on his real life as he lived in France throughout his childhood and only visited Africa in the 1950s.
Despite this, he paints a vivid scene of Africa and the proud warriors who walk on its "ancestral savannahs" You can sense how much he misses his homeland by his stress on the word Africa, and he continues to call it "My Africa" to emphasise it is his land and his feelings of patriotism towards it. I have never known you But your blood flows in my veins Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the fields The blood of your sweat The sweat of your work The work of your slavery He continues to say that he has never known Africa, but despite the distance he cannot deny how much it is a part of him.
The "beautiful black blood" which flows in his veins describes his African descent and shows how much Africa is a part of him and his love for it and its people. The next verses are angry and accusatory as he stresses that it is the blood and sweat of his people which is irrigating the fields for the benefit of other people. By this he is pointing a finger at the colonialists who exploited Black people and used them as slaves to profit from their hard labour. Africa, tell me Africa Is this your back that is unbent This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation
This back trembling with red scars And saying no to the whip under the midday sun. In these verses he urges the Black people to stand up to the pain and the humiliation that they are suffering in their own land. He reminds them of the strength Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka uses irony to depict the absurdity of racism in his poem, "Telephone Conversation. IRONY the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, "How nice! " when I said I had to work all weekend. technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated. (esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc. , esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion. Irony, sarcasm, satire indicate mockery of something or someone. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs.
In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied, as in the comment, "Beautiful weather, isn't it? " made when it is raining or nasty. Irony differs from sarcasm in greater subtlety and wit. In sarcasm ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony, as in "What a fine musician you turned out to be! or it may be used in the form of a direct statement, "You couldn't play one piece correctly if you had two assistants. " The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflection, whereas satire and irony, arising originally as literary and rhetorical forms, are exhibited in the organization or structuring of either language or literary material. Satire usually implies the use of irony or sarcasm for censorious or critical purposes and is often directed at public figures or institutions, conventional behavior, political situations, etc. Some examples:
When something bad has happened: "This is just great," or "That was just perfect. " In response to a bad joke: "That's just so funny," or obviously feigned (and often weak) laughter "Ha. Ha. Ha. NOT. " When a boring statement has been made: "Wow, great! " When someone has thoroughly botched something: "Great job! " or "Congratulations! " When somebody accuses another of something bad/wrong: "Do I get bonus points if I act like I care? " Used when writing: I love school The speaker of the poem, a dark West African man searching for a new apartment, tells the story of a telephone call he made to a potential landlady.
Instead of discussing price, location, amenities, and other information significant to the apartment, they discussed the speaker's skin color. The landlady is described as a polite, well-bred woman, even though she is shown to be shallowly racist. The speaker is described as being genuinely apologetic for his skin color, even though he has no reason to be sorry for something which he was born with and has no control over. In this short poem, we can see that the speaker is an intelligent person by his use of high diction and quick wit, not the savage that the landlady assumes he is because of his skin color.
All of these discrepancies between what appears to be and what really is create a sense of verbal irony that helps the poem display the ridiculousness of racism. "The price seemed reasonable, location / Indifferent" The first sentence of the poem includes a pun that introduces the theme of the following poem and also informs us that things are not going to be as straightforward as they appear. "The price seemed reasonable, location / Indifferent" If we read over these lines quickly, we would assume that the speaker meant "Being neither good nor bad" by the use of the word indifferent .
But, indifferent is also defined as "Characterized by a lack of partiality; unbiased. " This other definition gives the sentence an entirely different meaning. Instead of the apartment's location being neither good or bad, we read that the apartment's location is unbiased and impartial. However, we quickly learn in the following lines of the poem that the location of the apartment is the exact opposite of unbiased and impartial. The speaker is rudely denied the ability to rent the property because of bias towards his skin color.
This opening pun quickly grabs our attention and suggests that we as readers be on the lookout for more subtle uses of language that will alter the meaning of the poem. "Caught I was, foully" After this introduction, the speaker begins his "self-confession" about his skin color (line 4). It is ironic that this is called a self-confession since the speaker has nothing that he should have to confess since he has done nothing wrong. He warns the landlady that he is African, instead of just informing her. "Caught I was, foully" he says after listening to the silence the landlady had responded with. I hate a wasted journey—I am African
Again, the word caught connotes that some wrong had been done, that the speaker was a criminal caught committing his crime. By making the speaker actually seem sorry for his skin color, Soyinka shows how ridiculous it really is for someone to apologize for his race. To modern Western thinkers, it seems almost comical that anyone should be so submissive when he has committed no wrongdoing. ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT? Her goodness is seemingly confirmed later on when the speaker says that she was "considerate" in rephrasing her question (line 17). Her response to the caller's question included only "light / Impersonality" (lines 20-21).
Although she was described as being a wealthy woman, she was seemingly considerate and only slightly impersonal. The speaker seems almost grateful for her demeanor. Of course, these kind descriptions of the woman are teeming with verbal irony. We know that she is being very shallowly judgmental even while she is seeming to be so pleasant. The landlady, on the other hand, is described with nothing but positive terms. The speaker mentions her "good-breeding," "lipstick coated" voice, "long gold-rolled/Cigarette holder," all possessions that should make her a respectable lady (lines 7-9).
These words describing her wealth are neutral in regard to her personal character, but allow that she could be a good person. "How dark? ," After recording the all-important question, "How dark? ," the poem pauses for a moment and describes the surroundings to give a sense of reality that shows that the ridiculous question had really been asked (line 10). The speaker describes the buttons in the phone booth, the foul smell that seems to always coexist with public spaces, and a bus driving by outside. His description gives us an image of where the speaker is located: a public phone booth, probably somewhere in the United Kingdom.
The "Red booth," "Red pillar-box," and "Red double-tiered / Omnibus" are all things that one might find in Leeds, the British city in which Soyinka had been studying prior to writing this poem). In addition to the literal images that this description creates, a sense of the anger running through the speaker's mind is portrayed by the repeated use of the word red. This technique is the closest that that the speaker ever comes to openly showing anger in the poem. Although it is hidden with seemingly polite language, a glimpse of the speaker's anger appears in this quick pause in the conversation.
In the end, the landlady repeats her question and the speaker is forced to reveal how dark he is. "West African sepia," he says, citing his passport . She claims not to know what that means. She wants a quantifiable expression of his darkness. His response, feigning simplicity is that his face is "brunette," his hands and feet "peroxide blonde" and his bottom "raven black". He knows that she just wants a measure of his overall skin-color so that she can categorize him, but he refuses to give it to her. Instead he details the different colors of different parts of his body. wouldn't you rather / See for yourself? " As it was meant to, this greatly annoys the landlady and she hangs up on him. In closing, he asks the then empty telephone line, "wouldn't you rather / See for yourself? " The speaker, still playing his ignorance of what the lady was truly asking, sounds as though he is asking whether the landlady would like to meet him in person to judge his skin color for herself. The irony in this question, though, lies in the fact that we know the speaker is actually referring to his black bottom when he asks the woman if she wants to see it for herself.
Still feigning politeness, the speaker offers to show his backside to the racist landlady. Throughout the poem, yet another form of irony is created by the speaker's use of high diction, which shows his education. Although the landlady refuses to rent an apartment to him because of his African heritage and the supposed savagery that accompanies it, the speaker is clearly a well educated individual. Words like "pipped," "rancid," and "spectroscopic" are not words that a savage brute would have in his vocabulary (lines 9, 12, 23).
The speaker's intelligence is further shown through his use of sarcasm and wit in response to the landlady's questions. Although he pretends politeness the entire time, he includes subtle meanings in his speech. The fact that a black man could outwit and make a white woman seem foolish shows the irony in judging people based on their skin color. Wole Soyinka's "Telephone Conversation" is packed with subtleties. The puns, irony, and sarcasm employed help him to show the ridiculousness of racism. The conversation we observe is comical, as is the entire notion that a man can be judged based on the color of his skin.
Night Rain John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo was born at Kiagbodo in the Ijaw country in 1935. For a while he worked as a newspaper editor, before going to Princeton University in the United States where he was a Parvin Fellow. On his return to Nigeria he became a Research Fellow at the University of lbadan. He spent ten years as editor of the highly influential literary magazine Black Orpheus. He then moved to the University of Lagos, as Professor and Head of Department. He took voluntary retirement in 1980 to allow time for his research and creative endeavours.
He set up the first Repertory Theatre in the country, PEC Repertory Theatre. A poet, playwright and essayist, Clark-Bekederemo has been a prolific author. His writings include a book of critical essays, America their America, a collection of literary essays, The Example of Shakespeare, and a highly acclaimed translation of the Ozidi Saga. He has published numerous volumes of poetry including A Reed in the Tide, which is said to have been the first by a single African poet to be published internationally (rather than in an anthology. His poetry is inspired a great deal by his cultural roots among the Ijaw people of Nigeria. Other volumes of poetry include Casualties, which came out in 1970 just after the Nigerian Civil War, A Decade of Tongues, State of the Union, and a sixth book of poems, Mandela and other poems. JP Clark remains a controversial figure in some respects, but there is no doubting his prowess as a poet. Nigerian poet and playwright; he originally published under the name of J. P. Clark. Poetry is the genre in which he is probably most successful as an artist.
His poetic works are Poems (1961), a group of forty lyrics that treat heterogeneous themes; A Reed in the Tide (1965), occasional poems that focus on the poet's indigenous African background and his travel experience in America and other places; Casualties: Poems 1966-68 (1970), which illustrates the horrendous events of the Nigeria-Biafra war; A Decade of Tongues (1981), a collection of seventy-four poems, all except 'Epilogue to Casualties' (dedicated to Michael Echeruo) His poetic career ps three literary pedigrees: the apprenticeship stage of trial and experimentation, exemplified by such juvenilia as 'Darkness and Light' and 'Iddo Bridge'; the imitative stage, in which he appropriates such Western poetic conventions as the couplet measure and the sonnet sequence, exemplified in such lyrics as 'To a Fallen Soldier' and 'Of Faith', and the individualized stage, in which he attains the maturity and originality of form of such poems as 'Night Rain', 'Out of the Tower', and 'Song'. While his poetic themes centre on violence and protest (Casualties), institutional corruption (State of the Union), the beauty of nature and the landscape (A Reed in the Tide), European colonialism ('Ivbie' in Poems), and humanity's inhumanity (Mandela and Other Poems), he draws his imagery from the indigenous African background and the Western literary tradition, interweaving them to dazzling effect. Although he is fascinated by the poetic styles of Western authors, particularly G. M. Hopkins, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, and W. H. Auden, he has cultivated an eloquent, penetrating, and descriptive voice of his own.
Bekederemo's dramas include Song of a Goat (1961), a tragedy cast in the Greek classical mode in which the impotence of Zifa, the protagonist, causes his wife Ebiere and his brother Tonye to indulge in an illicit love relationship that results in suicide. As one of Africa's pre-eminent and distinguished authors, he has, since his retirement, continued to play an active role in literary affairs, a role in which he is increasingly gaining deserved international recognition. In 1991, for example, he received the Nigerian National Merit Award for literary excellence and saw publication, by Howard University, of his two definitive volumes, The Ozidi Saga and Collected Plays and Poems 1958-1988. Chinua Achebe's "Refugee Mother and Child"
The Mother has always held a supreme position in all religions. In Islam, she holds the first,second and third places. In Hinduism, the Mother and Motherland are deemed greater than heaven. In Christianity, the privilege of "giving birth divinely" was also handed over to a woman. The image of Madonna with her child is supposed to be the highest paradigm of motherhood one can envisage . Here ,Chinua Achebe states that even that image could not surpass the picture of a mother expressing tenderness for a son she would soon have to forget. It is the most poignant impression one's imagination and memory can ever perceive. The prescribed poem is titled "Refugee Mother and Child".
The adjective 'refugee' assumes different meanings in this context. One, the mother in question may be a refugee. Besides, one who flees from danger, and is in a secure and protective circle is also called a 'refugee'. In this regard, the baby is a refugee, and his refuge is his mother's womb till he comes out to this cruel world. Another interpretation would be the mother finding refuge from the reality of the death of her son in a make-believe world. The air held a nausea of unwashed children with traces of diarrhea,and the stench of the emanations post-delivery. The rawness of the struggle to attain motherhood is depicted as the poet states: The air was heavy with odors f diarrhea of unwashed children with washed-out ribs and dried-up bottoms struggling in labored steps behind blown empty bellies. Mothers there had long ceased to care, as the poignancy of the situation of the refugees had reached their saturation point. But this one still held her own. She donned a ghost smile. The situation is scary because the new-born is dead and the smile seems ghastly. The term 'ghost smile' may also signify that the lady held a 'ghost' of a smile that once was real. Now that the genuine reason for the smile is lost, it may be termed as a 'ghost of a smile. ' Her eyes also looked super-focussed as it held the ghost of a mother's pride.
She combs ,with maternal affection, the hair on his 'skull'. Note that it is 'skull' and not 'head' as the baby is impoverished, and dead. Her eyes appeared to sing a lullaby, as she parts the son's hair. In an otherwise situation, this act would be of little consequence; another everyday affair before breakfast or school. Here,however, it happens to stand for the last display of maternal affection and is therefore equivalent to "putting flowers on a tiny grave. " If You Want to Know Me By Noemia de Sousa My apologies for the long drought without a FUUO poet of the week. Noemia de Sousa (aka Vera Micaia) was born in 1927 in Maputo, Mozambique.
She lived in Lisbon working as a translator from 1951 to 1964 and then she left for Paris where she worked for the local consulate of Morocco. She went back to Lisbon in 1975 and became member of the ANOP. In the early years of the liberation struggle she was very active. She later left and lived in exile. Noemia racial background was Portuguese and Bantu and in much of her poetry she explores the idea of Africa and her heritage. Her poem below is phenomenal. It’s angry and inspired and that final stanza—where she proffers her body as a medium for Africa’s struggle for freedom--wow, powerful. And she ends her poem without a period, perhaps because her last word is ‘hope’ and what is more hopeful than an undefined end? 1926–2002), Mozambican poet and writer. Carolina Noemia Abranches de Sousa was born in the Mozambican capital, Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), the child of two mixed-race parents, roughly fifty years before her country's liberation from Portugal. She was proud that her background included German, Portuguese, and Goan (Indian) ancestors as well as Ronga and Makua from Mozambique. Her early education was in Maputo, though after her father died she was not able to attend an academic high school. She trained at a commercial school, learning to type and do stenography, but she also pursued more traditional academic subjects and studied English and French.
De Sousa's first job was working at a local business as a secretary, employment she took in order to support her mother. She published her first poem, “O irmao negro” (The Black Brother), in the local literary magazine Mocidade (Youth) when she was nineteen. She was then known as Carolina Abranches , so she disguised her identity by publishing under the initials N. S. E. , referring to her unused names of Noemia de Sousa. She soon began working for the Associacao Africana (African Association), a political group that included the renowned Mozambican poet Jose Craveirinha , and she was responsible for reviving the association's militant newspaper, O Brado Africano (The African Call).
She wrote several well-received and much anthologized poems through the late 1940s, though after 1951 she no longer wrote poetry, with the exception of a commemorative poem following the death of independent Mozambique's first president, Samora Machel , in an airplane crash in 1986. Her early poems are often cited as representative of the Negritude school of writing, extolling black African culture and history, though she was writing in isolation from the better-known French school of Negritude. Her poems celebrated Mozambican culture and history. One of the most often cited is a poem about migrant workers in South Africa's gold and diamond mines, “Magaica” (“Migrant Laborer”) which concludes: " Youth and health, the lost illusions which will shine like stars on some Lady's neck in some City's night. "
Her celebration of “my mother Africa” (in the poem “Sangue negro” [“Black Blood”] is continued in “Se me quiseres conhecer … ,” [“If You Want to Know Me”], which has a catalog of Mozambican lives: " If you want to understand me come, bend over this soul of Africa in the black dockworker's groans the Chope's frenzied dances the Changanas’ rebellion [ … ] " And she was appreciated for her cries for liberation, as with these closing lines from “Poema de Joao” (“The Poem of Joao”): “who can take the multitude and lock it in a cage? ” In 1951 she moved to Portugal to escape the vigilance of the Portuguese secret police, who were interested in her work at O Brado Africano. In Portugal she met and married her husband, Gaspar Soares, in 1962. The couple moved to France, where de Sousa worked as a journalist under the pen name Vera Micaia.
She returned to Portugal and was living there when she died in 2002. I Thank You God Bernard Binlin Dadie Bernard Binlin Dadie (or sometimes Bernard Dadie) (born 1916 near Abidjan) is a prolific Ivorian novelist, playwright, poet, and ex-administrator. Among many other senior positions, starting in 1957, he held the post of Minister of Culture in the government of Cote d'Ivoire from 1977 to 1986. He worked for the French government in Dakar, Senegal, but on returning to his homeland in 1947, became part of its movement for independence. Before Cote d'Ivoire's independence in 1960, he was detained for sixteen months for taking part in demonstrations which opposed the French colonial government.
In his writing, influenced by his experiences of colonialism as a child, Dadie attempts to connect the messages of traditional African folktales with the contemporary world. With Germain Coffi Gadeau and F. J. Amon d'Aby, he founded the Cercle Culturel et Folklorique de la Cote d'Ivoire (CCFCI) in 1953.  His humanism and desire for the equality and independence of Africans and their culture is also prevalent. Famous for his work I Thank You, God "I thank you God for creating me black, For having made me the total of all sorrows, and set upon my head The World. I wear the lively of the Centaur And I carry the world since the first morning. White is a colour improvised for an occasion Black, the colour of all days And I carry the World since the first evening.
I am happy with the shape of my head fashioned to carry the World, satisfied With the shape of my nose, which should breathe all the air of the World, happy With the form of my legs prepared to run through all the stages of the World. I thank you God for creating me black For making of me Porter of all sorrows.. Still I am Glad to carry the World, Glad of my short arms Of my long arms Of the thickness of my lips.. I thank you God for creating me black White is a colour for special occasions Black the colour for every day And i have carried the World since the dawn of time And my laugh over the World, through the night, creates the Day. I thank you, God for creating me black
Gabriel Okara's "Once Upon a Time" "Once Upon a Time" has been published in the Edexcel GCSE anthology. In "Once Upon a Time", Gabriel Okara speaks of a time when Africans were rooted in the simplicity of tradition and minimalism of sophistication; and how different they have turned out to be with the advent of colonialism. The very title "Once Upon a Time" points to a fairy tale existence long ago that is almost deemed unbelievable "Once Upon a Time" they used to laugh with their hearts and eyes in complete sincerity. A smile, if natural, first reaches the eyes. Therefore Okara portrays fake, unfelt smiles. A smile is the first greeting a person is received with.
If the greeting itself is deceptive; the rest is to be regarded with great suspicion. "Once Upon a Time" they were children in the lap of nature . However, now they have turned into processed products of the pseudo modern existence. They now laugh mechanically with their teeth and ice-block cold eyes. The term 'ice-block cold eyes' is very suggestive of death and stagnation. It also denotes lack of communication. Pictorial vehemence suggests the lurking hypocrisy. The people only 'search behind' the speaker's shadow. Okara means to say that every action is analyzed and every motive criticized. Also, they are satisfied with the shadow of the person in question, and do not seek the identity of the persona.
This points to the current media policy that project the shells of various personalities without delving to their depth. They fail to comprehend the enigma behind each unique individual. The poet moves from expression to action. Now they shake hands 'without hearts' as their left hand probes the speakers' pockets. People do not go out of their way to help others now-a-days. Instead, influenced by the Western formula of success, they take advantage of others to reach their end. The poet asserts that immersed in the crowd, he has also become a cog in the wheel of society. Like Kamala Das echoes in her poem "Fancy-Dress Show", the poet claims that he has learnt to adorn different faces to suit the situation- homeface, officeface, streetface, hostface, ocktailface, with all their conforming smiles like a fixed portrait smile. The third stanza portrays the hiatus between words uttered and bitter reality. The divorce between the intention and remark is explicit. The poet has also learnt o say "Good bye" when he means "Good Riddance" The shut door stands for modern insularity: it foregrounds the alienation of the individual from tradition, tribe and clan. . The speaker tells his son that he wants to relearn everything and be like him. He seems to echo that :"Child is the father of man". Okara ,in other words, would like to go down to his roots. The man distrusts even his mirror image, his reflection: for my laugh in the mirror hows only my teeth like a snake's bare fangs! The poisonous erudition is implicit in his own state of being. The poet opines that unpolluted simplicity and innocence can only be found in childhood, and relived in the same. The Call of the River Nun is a similar celebration of lost innocence David Rubadiri's "A Negro Labourer in Liverpool" An analysis of David Rubadiri's "A Negro Labourer in Liverpool" The poem strives to highlight the plight of a Negro labourer in Liverpool. The indefinite article ‘a’ points to the lack of a specific identity. They are just one among a group, one of the community, who do not necessarily possess any individual identity.
They are labeled according to their work(labourer)or corresponding to their geographical location. The poet himself hints at the indifference of society as a whole to the plight of the labourer as he states that he ‘passes’ him. He slouches on dark backstreet pavements. His ‘marginalization’ is evident in his position ’slouching’. Further, it is also emphasized in his being side-stepped on the pavements. Again the pavement is qualified by the phrase ’dark backstreet’. The head is ‘bowed’ when it would have preferred to be straight. He is overcome with fatigue and totally exhausted. He is a dark shadow amongst other shadows. He has no unique identity, his life is not colourful.
The poet asserts that he has lifted his face to his, as in acknowledgement. Their eyes met but on his dark Negro face. The poet probably refers to the reflection of the speaker’s eyes in the eyes of the labourer. The eyes are foregrounded on his dark face. There is no sunny smile as he wears a forlorn expression. The sun is an important and recurrent motif in African poetry. A wise man once said that a man is poor if he does not have a penny; he is poor if he does not possess a dream. The labourer here neither has hope nor longing. Only the mechanical ‘cowed dart of eyes’ that is more mechanized than the impassive activity of the people. People in their ‘impassive’ fast-forward life fail to notice the labourer.
He painfully searches for a face to comprehend his predicament, acknowledge his suffering. It expresses his utter solitude and utter desperation. Capitalism & Women Academy. Mises. org Feminists Should Thank Capitalists. Mises Academy Course. Enroll Today! Ads by Google Notice that the poet shifts from the indefinite article ‘a’ to the definite article ‘the’ in addressing the Negro labourer in the second stanza. It is to assert and affirm his existence in society that the poet does the same. David Rubadiri goes on to describe him in terms of his motherland; and in terms of his emotions: ’a heart heavy’. He bears a century’s oppression that had sought after an identity.
He strives to attain the fire of manhood. But ironically, even in the Land of the free (England), he is unable to attain the same. Nevertheless, the free here are also dead, in a state of decay and stagnation, for they too grope for a light, a ray of hope. The speaker puts forward the question: Will the sun That greeted him from his mother’s womb Ever shine again? Not here- Here his hope is the shovel. And his fulfillment resignation He awaits a new dawn, as fresh as that promised as he arose from his mother’s womb. He longs for the rays of hope of a sun that will never set for him. Presently his hope is his shovel-his hard work, and he discovers content in its fulfillment.