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Literature in English

ABOUT THE POET

He is a sierra Leonia writer he has produced many wor, to develop African literature. A dinning table is from the collection of his poems.

The Poem

Dinner tonight come with

Gun wounds. Our desert

Tongues lick the vegetable

Blood the pepper

Strong enough to push scorpions

Up our heads. Guests

Look into the oceans of bowls

As vegetables die on their tongues.

 

The table

That gather us is an island where guerrillas

Walk the land while crocodiles

Surf. Children from alpha beta with empty palms dine

With us; switchblades in their eyes,

Silence in their voices, when the playground

Is emptied of children’s toys

Who needs roadblocks? when the hour

To drink from the cup of life ticks

Cholera breaks its spell on cracked lips

 

Under the spilt

Milk of the moon, I promise

To be a revolutionary, but my Nile, even

Without tributaries comes lazy

Upon its own Nile. On this

Night reserved for lovers of fire. I’m

Full with the catch of gun wounds, and my BOOTS

Have suddenly become too reluctant to walk me.

 

Analysis

The speaker likens their dinner to a deep gun wound sustained in the battle field. The pain of the injury is compared to a dry tongue as the anguish causes slivia to dry in the tongue just like a desert which has been emptied of water. The agony resulting from the owund forces him to loose consciousness. Even the non participants are overwhelmed with the devasted effect of the bullet. Hence their own tongue are equally dry of saliva.

The speaker describes the dinning table as a war theatre where soldiers fight on land while the naval warfare takes over the sea. Hence, “The table that gathers us is an island where guerrillas walk the land while crocodiles surf”.

Thus it is a warfare that is fought both on land and sea. This war has already begun to claim its casualties. The innocent children are not left out of the devastation. They helplessly face the wars situation in tiers and silence.

“Children from Alphabeta with palms dine with switch blades in their eyes. Silence in their voices”

The war denies them of the toy and happiness in their usual play ground in joyous mood. Even the availability of instrument of play has become a taboo to demand for. Children toys and play ground have become unnecessary luxury and an inhabitation to say the list. This explains the rhetoric questions “who needs road block”.

As the fighting fiercely rages the unhealthy atmosphere. The filthy condition and the environmental degradation, or pollution results in outbreak of diseases such as cholera and Kwashiorkor. This takes its tolls on the emaciated body structure.

In the worsening war situation, the speaker is determined to carry on the liberation struggle “revolution” but the injury sustained in the battle weakens his bones and nerves. He laments that the gun wound has rendered him ineffective or useless in a night where brilliant warriors are called upon to demonstrate their military power. And that the leg has become heavy to enable him fight like a truly wounded soldier.

THEME

War destroys, devastate causes anguish to people. It does not discriminates, as it causes the participants to get maim, sustain injury so does it cause non participants to suffer anguish, despair and painful memory. The children are not equally spared. The war, deny them of their childhood joy and play. It inflicts injury on them and can lead to outbreak of diseases like cholera and even death. The wounded may be maimed for thereby putting them in perpetual agony.

 

Assignment

Rhetorical Question

“When the playground is emptied of children’s toys/who needs roadblocks?”

 

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See also

AFRICAN PEOTRY

THE BLOOD OF A STRANGER

INTRODUCTION TO AFRICA DRAMA – HARVEST OF CORRUPTION

The themes and characterization of the novel

THE SETTING OF NATIVE SON BY RICHARD WRIGHT

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