All posts by GBAMLOG

Certified blogger with a nose for criticism

“The Second Beginning” by Providence_Wright

I will arise in the morning of my youth
And sing many a Melody to you.
I will begulie the bird, trees, and seas
And they will all agree with me.

We will mount the fastest animals
If thou will open up thy door for me.
The Cheetahs, Lions, Jaguars and Tigers
Will surround us as a mighty protection.

The Snails, Tortoises, Seals and Millipedes
Will catch up with us when they can. The dragons, dinosaurs and sabertooths
Will arise from their slothful bones.

The rains approach and the Brimstones fall.
Sodom and Gomorrah will soon burn.
Alll except Noah will soon drown Egypt and Jericho, not an exception.

We will ride back to Eden
With all sinless creatures,
We will reunite with God,
We will begin life again.

COVID 19: A BLESSING or A CURSE? Adesokan Opeyemi R.

Going by the notions of self-isolation, intermittent lock downs, heightened level of insecurity, inflation, poverty, retrogressive economy and some other catastrophical things, anyone should be convinced to argue vehemently that indeed COVID 19 is a curse to humanity. Behind this horrible mystery (phenomenon) are, majorly, psychological and religious reasons which put me in a confident state to argue that COVID-19___despite its seeming disastrous effects__ is a blessing, a such that should be appreciated and embraced. There are three unfathomable assumptions about the emergence of COVID 19: one, the assumption that some countries are fighting for superiority and through which the provision of vaccines for the deadly virus, this superiority will be revealed. Two, the assumption that some countries deliberately want to decrease the population of the world so that meritorious economies can be achieved. Lastly, the assumption that sins have become boundless that God decided to afflict humans with a disease that will bring them back to their sacred and humble states. Although these assumptions seem to contain some elements of verisimilitude, one cannot be so gullible to accept them exclusively. Without doubts, the reasons in the unfolding paragraphs should make my stand more vivid and logical.

COVID 19 is a blessing because it awoke the spirit of patriotism and also made some indigenes realize the importance of their country. It is so sad and disheartening that many citizens of a country (most especially the influential ones) find it so difficult to invest in their country. The country’s social and economy growth is left retarded. These citizens together with their family members go to comfortable places where they believe life is perfect, and they are only sighted meddling in the country’s affairs when it’s deemed necessary or when they are affected. Their allegiances are completely far from reach. Nigeria, for instance, is greatly affected by the outbreak of the disease. The economy is dwindling day by day and people’s patience is heading towards waterloo. No wonder stealing, mutilation and harassment are now very rampant. People now have to go to work on routines for survival while education, social and religion sectors are still incarcerated. It is actually this virus that dawned the spirit of patriotism on many Nigerian citizens. First of all, every citizen residing in other county where he/she is not an indigene is asked to return to his/her own country. Thus, leading to the homecomings of so many Nigerian citizens. These comings were so ignominious as so many of them who had thought there was nothing that could not be got outside Nigeria were disappointed. The rich citizens of Nigeria came to realize their shortcomings, how they had neglected their beloved county and constantly running away to land they thought was greener. They were all asked to isolate themselves from some days. The loopholes in Nigeria’s economy, education in terms of technology, management and independence are made vivid to them. Undoubtedly, many of them now have a greater sense of patriotism though still being remorseful. It could be foreboded that when things go back to normalcy, a great number of them will be on the move to facilitate the growth and development of the country prior to reality they encountered.

Of course, COVID-19 brought about the consciousnesses of God and the reverification of faith. For the past years, mankind have been living so strongly dependent on what they believe they created. They channel all their energy towards the development of human race that the reason behind their existentialism is hardly thought. No wonder some religious scholars believed that the disease is more or less an affliction from God to lead humans out of their wrongdoings back to the consciousnesses of him. Some people unconsciously worship money, some worship their fellow humans, others worship man-made things either for interior or exterior motive of which greediness, dishonesty and desecration cannot be underestimated. Gradually, humans are treading the paths of elasticity of some fixed supernaturality. Imagine scientists looking for ways to elongate humans’ life span, people replacing the naturalness of some things with artifices. All these are far beyond limits. The idea of constantly want to prove if God really exists or some kind of human illusive mentalities that aim at bringing about fears and cautiousness of actions. Some are even of the idea that aftermath is nothing but a kind of forgery. Beside this consciousness of God, reverification of faith also surfaced. It has got a stage where one begins to think whom people serve? The religious leaders or the God? The mosque’s or church’s structure or God? many a congregation has been bamboozled believing the efficacy of the religious leaders rather than God. To borrow and reverse a biblical statement, I will say the dues of Caesar have been given to Land and vice versa. COVID-19 therefore, subtly, rectified this. People of the world come to realize that both the churches and mosques together with the religious leaders are nothing but representatives of God. People now have time to reflect and to reverify their faiths. Every household has become a microcosm of their religious stands as all religious gatherings have been duly disassembled.

Even after its demise, the unity COVID-19 instigated will forever be recounted. This sounds so ironical and abysmal but it’s just the acrimonious truth. Some people have been living as if their life depended on their work. The 21st century is indeed a very busy century. Communities, households, cities, countries etc are now unified to some large extent. They are all working fervently to find cure to this virus, and alongside interpersonal, internal and international relationships are built. It was really stupefying when a girl from a very rich home said she wished COVID-19 would never end. The girl later explained the reason behind this vexatious statement. She said her parents were always busy. Working and making more money were all they cared about and evey other thing was given given little prominence including her and her siblings. Now that everybody has to stay at home forcefully, she said her parents had begun to physically, emotionally and psychologically pay a great deal of attention to her as well as her younger siblings. She didn’t have to seek the advice of outsiders for her personal ordeals anymore. She felt delighted and grateful. No wonder the youths of Nigeria who ventured into stealing people’s property in the disguise of Corona virus, poverty and lack of employment didn’t succeed. Many of them were caught while others were met with ghastly penalty. It was unity that made this restraint to be achieved. Undoubtedly, someone somewhere may want to argue otherwise with the idea that disunity has been the order of the day as so many sources of income and happiness have been disrupted and short-lived. But this contradiction is threadbare. People have now realized that the most effective way to overcome this period is by living in oneness. If I may ask the doubtful someone which are more important in the unfolding alternative questions: work or family? Working or staying healthy and alive? Cooperation or disagreement? Another amazing thing is that so far so good many citizens who have feared that poverty, idleness, isolation and boredom will mar their stays at home making them hellish were miraculously nonplussed. Apart from the palliatives given by the governments and some local government chairmen, so many generous movements and programs to help alleviate poverty, hunger and tensions were founded. Even some audio and visual programs prove extremely helpful in this period. Solidarity has suddenly become a familiar concept among peoples.

Without locomoting words, I believe without doubts that COVID-19 should be seen as a blessing rather than a curse. It’s time we understood the fact that not all things that have disastrous physique are always disasters and dooms. Some are just there for some reasons which can not always be made known to us. We should also try as much as possible to always see the positiveness in what appears to be negative. Some are not always curses, but somewhat blessing in disguise. Without much ado, I deem it necessary to halt here.

Thank you.

@Adesokan Opeyemi.

A Sonnet for Nigeria by Chiedozie Ude


May 31, 2020.

Nigeria

Nigeria, country blessed with wealth
But many people there do dwell
In squalor, lack and ill in health
As government claims to change propel.
By strife and greed her seams were slit
To serve those who must riches gain,
Few men who morals did omit
With ruthless hands these things they drain.
The tribes around the Niger spread
With hatred each the next does view
From east to west and north ahead
All plotting bloody change through coup.
So let us mourn our crumbling home
That sinks in deep and dreary foam.

Phone: 09090953414

Email: chiedozieude@gmail.com

This is the intellectual property of UDE, Chiedozie. This poem should not be copied or printed in any form without the writer’s permission.

IS CHIMAMANDA’S PURPLE HIBISCUS WORTH THE HYPE? BY CHIEDOZIE UDE

Chiedozie Ude

Purple Hibiscus, a book like no other

Adichie, generally, should be applauded for being able to shine in the literary world of Nigerian literature which has been largely dominated by the Soyinkas and Achebes. I read Purple Hibiscus for the first time in 2011. Back then, I read it for what it was: an interesting story. However, of recent, I cannot help but give kudos to Adichie for the manner in which she approached everything in this book.

Firstly, her use of her protagonist, as the narrator, helped us to see things from the perspective of a girl made timid by familial obligations and religious constriction. Undoubtedly, the use of this mode of narration helped to endear the character of Kambili to the readers. Adichie’s descriptions of the events are actually how a teenage girl would describe them; thus, giving credence to her choice of Kambili as the narrator.

Secondly, I love her character development. At first, we get to see Kambili as a naive lady, but as time goes on, she comes of age and is able to make several decisions without feeling guilty. One of such is her decision to confess her love to Father Amadi, a man whose job as a preacher requires celibacy. Other instances of this transition can be seen in the way she develops other opinions which are contrary to those of her religious zealot father. This coming of age is what reinforces the bildungsroman aspect of the book.

Also, in terms of character development, we see Jaja grow from a spectator to a key player who begins to look after his sister and mother. Of course, the defiance he shows to his father helps to make the conflict more interesting. Unarguably, the most important act performed by Jaja is when he decides to take the blame for his father’s murder in a bid to protect his mother. This act performed by Jaja debunks the claims made by many that Adichie is totally against the male gender.

Furthermore, Mama also experience this growth; howbeit, not in terms of ageing. She metamorphoses from being a timid woman who lived to please her abusive husband to a woman who would kill her husband in order to protect the children and herself. However callous this may seem, the premeditated murder of Eugene by Mama is justifiable.

Another thing that makes this book worth the hype is that this text discusses a lot of sociological issues that happen in Nigeria — both past and present. The past events covered in this text include: the military coups, the transition from military to civilian rule, the killing of journalists (Ade Coker). The murder of Ade Coker draws great semblance with the murder of the historical personality, Dele Giwa. Thus, we have to give Adichie credit for covering these issues in her text.

Of modern concern in this text has to be themes such as: patriarchy, religious rigidity, the depleted educational system of Nigeria, amongst others. Patriarchy is displayed through the way Eugene Achike rules his family with an iron fist. The religious perspective, also, cannot be underemphasised because many of the actions in the text are instigated by the religious beliefs of the characters. Eugene, for example, believes his father is a pagan; thus, he refuses to respect and help his old father.

Indeed, Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is a story that is totally worth the hype. It is one that will forever be treasured by yours truly.

“Women of the past” by Providence_Wright

They took the burden on their shoulders
Their necks had no rest
Their hands always pounding
Their heads always calculating
They thought of everyone except themselves
They loved like no other
They took the pain with joy
And the sorrows of their children
They took upon themselves

Their eyes were shut
But they never slept
Their lips always ready to put their husbands to rest
Their breast sagged so fast due to excess loving
They had enough strength to trek a thousand miles to distant farms
They taught values and gave knowledge to infants

All they ever wanted was peace
They gave their all in all
Even after being abandoned by fathers who left them to pay the fees
Still, after little tears
They rose to their feet to lift
Sons and daughters
With the help of their maker
They succeeded eating the fruits of their labour

Considering “The Flea” and “To his Coy Mistress” as Metaphysical Poems

Chiedozie Ude
Department of English, UNILAG

😈

“The Flea” and “To his Coy Mistress” are two very similar poems. This similarity is exposed by the fact that they are, by form and content, metaphysical poems. The metaphysical tradition is one which discusses issues on religion or love in a philosophical way, usually through the use of specific poetic devices like conceits and hyperboles. It is based on the witty and philosophical manner in which Donne and Marvell treat their subjects that will constitute the focus of this analysis.

John Donne’s “The Flea” can be regarded as a typical metaphysical poem. This is brought to the fore through a lot of factors. One of such factors is Donne’s use of a passionate persona who does all in his power to woo his mistress into having sexual relations with him. The persona makes use of witty arguments in order to convince his lady to cave in to his demands. To buttress his point, the persona makes a very unlikely comparison, using an insect — a flea. He compares the act of blood-sucking done by the flea to the consummation of a union through sexual intercourse— “And in this flea, our two blood mingled be”. This unlikely comparison is a device known as conceit. Also, it is expected of the lady to rebuff the persona’s act of seduction.

Likewise in Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress”, the employment of a passionate lover as the poet persona also stands out. Marvell’s persona also employs wit in his bid to seduce his lady. He presents an imaginary situation whereby time is not a factor. The persona uses a series of hyperboles to educate the lady on the extent he can go to show his love for her if only time was nonexistent:

“An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.”

He informs his lady that he can afford to be patient if he had enough time, but because this is unlikely, he impatiently tries to convince the lady to use the opportunity presented by youth to have sex with him. Undoubtedly, the passionate stance of Marvell’s persona towards is lover reinforces the metaphysical origin of this poem.

Another thing that is noteworthy in these poems is the recurring motif of courtly love. Courtly love is one which requires a man to attempt wooing a lady. It is because of this convention of courtly love that we are presented with a passionate persona who does his best possible in order to convince a lady of his love for her. Thus, it comes as no surprise that both personae in the poems are presented as desperate men who use various tricks to aid the seduction of their mistresses. Both personae are philosophical in their approach. While Donne makes use of conceit, Marvell uses the shortness of time to strengthen his argument for the consummation of their union. On the other hand, the lady, the object of the persona’s affection, is expected to be unreceptive towards his advances.

Furthermore, metaphysical poetry is also marked through the argumentative style. Some times, this argument is in the form of a dialogue between a man and his mistress; but other times, it is in the form of a monologue. Marvell’s and Donne’s poems fall into the later category. Both poets craftily deploy their wits by citing various reasons why their ladies should submit to their demands. Donne presents his argument by using a flea who sucks blood from his mistress without having to go through the stress of winning her affection. To Donne, this act done by the flea is as inconsequential as the act of losing one’s virginity as a lady. So, Donne argues that the lady should be more accepting to his amorous desires. Similarly, Marvell presents his argument adroit fashion. He informs the lady of how time is an enemy of youth and beauty. He follows a pattern by first establishing what could be achieved if time was on their side. He then moves on by declaring that time cannot be defeated; thus, proving to his mistress thst the only logical thing to do is to seize the day — Carpe Diem.

To be continued….

A Song For Greatness Gone: In Memory of Christopher Okigbo.

By Chiedozie Ude (May 21, 2020)

Dedicated to Oyinma, a lover of everything African.

Goodbye to a great genius
Who has crossed heaven’s gate,
A sufferer of the warrior’s fate
A destiny that is heinous.

Why did you have to fight that war?
Did not Ojukwu have other men
To prevent you from the lion’s den?
Or were you born to war adore?

Biafra cries as it mumbles your name,
Lamenting the great works lost
In your battle lust
The Biafran dream also burned with your flame.

For your daring, we have a tomb,
For bravery, a martyrdom,
The price you paid for freedom —
A facade of doom.

You sought the paths of thunder
In return you found man-made brontide,
Weapons which the Soviets supplied,
Now, you get to rest under.

Mother Idoto mourns her child,
Her watery presence is reinforced by her tears,
Grievous sounds enough to raise one’s hairs
For a prodigal who has forever been exiled.

Who now shall tell of your legend,
Beautiful river goddess?
Shall we also witness
The coming of your end?

On Nsukka’s hell grounds
There fell Okigbo Christopher,
Defending his ideals on anarchy’s altar,
A ram for the gods of the battlegrounds.

Wild you were in your creativity,
Unrestricted by colonial subjugation,
You rose to international acclamation,
A man with artistic proclivity.

Brief was your stay,
No sooner here than the other side,
An eternity where you must now abide,
Leaving only a piece of your intellect for display.

Your star departed when it was brightest,
Twinkling into the great beyond
Never again to respond
To the cock’s siren, even at its highest.

Dee Christopher, martyred for the Biafran cause
An ideal you dearly held
One which was mercilessly shelled
By the enemy’s airforce.

This hour stand I enchanted,
Overwhelmed in the labyrinths of your astuteness,
Which, by far, surpasses the ocean’s saltiness,
Wisdom which Mother Idoto granted.