Synopsis of Anthology
Many people are intimidated by the mention of the word ‘portray’ because it is perceived as something cryptic and beyond understanding.
It is reflected the voice of the time where subject matter and language choices may change with whatever is considered an everyday concern in the current expectations of the society.
There are, however, pieces of information that can help us grasp and analyse poetry, and then find our own poetic devices.
Enthrallingly, this is what the poet has achieved in this book as he has provided Word List with Meanings and Revision Questions at the end of each poem to enable the readers correctly analyse and appreciate the poem after reading.
It is an anthology of poems with variegated thematic concerns which capture social, emotional, economic, cultural and political experiences of man.
The issues discussed by the poet range from hypocrisy, attitude, love, power, damnation, strained relationships, peace, morals, corrections, conflicts resolutions, love, death, pride, power, peace, wickedness, brutality, consequences, revenge, honour and respect life issues to vanity.
The poet treats life as an undulation of sadness, joy, tolerance, hardship, failure and success.
The selected 23 out of up to 60 poems are divided into 6 main themes, namely hypocrisy, wickedness, attitude, love and romance, truth and life and conflict and death.
4 Poems Addressing Hypocrisy
There are 4 poems addressing hypocrisy. They are ‘I Point My Index Finger at You, Our Heritage, Our Pride, Fake Life and Why’.
4 Poems Addressing Wickedness and Brutality
There are 4 poems addressing wickedness and brutality. They are ‘Revenge, Jezebel Scam, Satire and Gossips’.
5 Poems Addressing Attitude
The poems addressing attitude are 5. They are ‘Hand to Mouth, Daydreamer, Souls of Business, There is a Stone for Every Goliath and Pride and Power’.
3 Poems Addressing Love and Romance
The next poems are those who are addressing love and romance. They are ‘A Teacher by Example, A Unique Treasure and Beauty’.
5 Poems Addressing Truth and Life
The poems addressing truth and life are 5. They are ‘Truth Is No Longer Priceless, Integrity, Vanity, Life Mystery and Idle Hands’.
2 Poems Addressing Conflict and Death
2 poems that address conflict and death. The poems are ‘Bomb Blast and COVID-19’.
Purpose of these 23 Poems
The video is recorded on each of the poems. These are poem reading presentations and the listeners are expected to listen, subscribe and share.
You can also get the book online where you can get access to other poems. You will read further, analyse and answer the questions.
Knowledge Needed for the Analysis of Poems
Poetry as a piece of literary work, whether spoken or written, expresses and communicates thoughts, ideas, experiences, feelings and emotions beautifully by means of imagery, rhythm and sound. It is is usually written in verse with lyrical effects.
In order to achieve effect, a poet, chooses words that conveys meanings through their sounds and that also create images in the readers’ mind. Poetry has music, rhythm and rhyme.
That is words in a poem are arranged in lines, usually with a repeated rhythm, and sometimes with a rhyme in the end. The ideas in a poem are arranged into lines and stanzas.
To analyse a poem, a reader needs to understand how the poet uses words and sounds devices to create images and to bring out his meaning. Thus, the following elements which give poetry its uniqueness in language and meaning will be treated.
The following are major forms of poetry: narrative poetry, satirical poetry, dramatic poetry and lyrical poetry.
Features of poetry
- Poetry is written in verse, in the form of stanzas and lines.
- Poetry is metrical in arrangement.
- It is usually lyrical.
- It makes use of figurative language.
- It expresses thought, ideas and experiences sometimes in a concise form.
Types of poetry
- Ballad: the word ‘ballad’ is out of current use. The poem derives from village festival and is not often written but handed down orally from generation to generation, e.g. Ekun iyawo, Ijala Ode, etc.
- Epic: This poem narrates heroes and their deed , e, g Milton’s Paradise Lost, Soyinka’s idanre
- Elegy/Dirge: The poem of lamentation and a song of mourning and a sorrowful event such as the death of a bosom friend, Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
- Lyric: A poem to be sung to the lyre. It is sung during burial of the dead or during the marriage ceremonies, e.g. J. P. Clarks Streamside Exchange
- Ode: An ode is a written or spoken poem addressing somebody or something to mark a special occasion.
- Pastoral poem: this poem celebrates the lives of country and people.
- Narrative poem: This is a long poem that tells a story, e.g Samuel Coleridge’s The rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.
- Panegyrics/Eulogy: It is a praise poem dedicated to the glorification (praising) of the attributes or qualities of a person, an animal, a place or event and object.
Tools to consider in analyzing poems
- Stanzas/Rhymes: This is the division in the formal pattern of person. It could be two, three or more lines. Rhyme is the exact correspondence in sound or word-ending, usually at the end of the each poem. The arrangements of the stanzas should be considered. Learn how they are arranged below.
- A two-line stanza is known as a couplet
- A three-line stanza is known as triplet
- A four-line stanza is known as quatrain
- A five-line stanza is known as quintet
- A six-line stanza is known as a sestet
- A seven-line stanza is known as a septet
- An eight-line stanza is known as an octave
- Rhythm: This is a metrical movement determined between sounds and events.
- Tone/mood: These are feelings or state of mind of the poet. It is the frame of mind in which the poet was when composing his work.
- Atmosphere: This is the prevalent mood, feelings and thought of actions of people in a poem.
- Enjambment: This is also known as (run-on-line). It occurs when the ideas in a line of verse move from one line to join that follows it.
- Imagery: It is the use of words to form mental pictures. A poet could use words to draw a picture of situations whose ordinary words cannot convey effectively.
- Metre: This is the arrangement of the stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem to give a particular rhythmic effect.
- The content of the poem: The content is the main body of the poem and you should understand the message and subject matter.
- The structure of the poem: the structure of the poem is to be considered, such as stanzas, verses and lines.
- Language and style of the poem: The style, figures of speech and theme are to be considered. The style is the way the language is structured. It is the manner the poem is done. The theme is the central idea and the dominating pointing of the poem. The figures of the speech are simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, irony, euphemism, etc.