Today being the 78 th birthday of our great Nobel Laureate Professor Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka. Lest we forget our own Kongi was the first African to win the Nobel Laureate in Literature.As we all know, he has written a lot of great works including popular plays like Lion and the Jewel,Kongi’s Harvest,Trials of Brother Jero to mention a few…I have also enjoyed one of his many other works like The Man Died: Prison Notes (1971) which is one of his Memoirs alongside also a vast range of works in Poetry.
On the occasion of his birthday today,I have decided to publish one of his Poems-Abiku-it is my favourite of his many poems.
ABIKU Written by Wole Soyinka
Wanderer child. It is the same child who dies and returns again and again to plague the mother. -Yoruba belief
In vain your bangles cast
Charmed circles at my feet
I am Abiku, calling for the first
And repeated time.
Must I weep for goats and cowriesFor palm oil and sprinkled ask? Yams do not sprout amulets To earth Abiku's limbs.
So when the snail is burnt in his shell,Whet the heated fragment, brand me Deeply on the breast - 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 wine-froth;
Night, and Abiku sucks the oil
From lamps. Mothers! I'll be the
Suppliant snake coiled on the doorstep
Yours the killing cry.
The ripest fruit was saddest
Where I crept, the warmth was cloying.
In silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping
Mounds from the yolk.
Written by Wole Soyinka
Keep achieving Greatness!
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