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GOOD POETRY, AN ANALYSIS OF ‘REFUGEES’, BY MICHAEL INIOLUWA OLADELE

Poetry gets me excited and ‘good poetry’ get me intoxicated. That is why I just felt rapturous after reading Michael Inioluwa Oladele’s ‘REFUGEES’, a poem he submitted for publishing on Words Rhymes & Rhythm poetry sharing platform. It was like a cup of sweet wine with ice. Sip, sip, sip!

This poem is simpy and sublime. With simple diction, simply and relatable story, clear telling and wonderful use of rhyme, imagery, rhetorical question, alliteration, consonance, simile and metaphor as well as enjambment, he gave me a trip into his word-den

Enjoy the poem…

How are we going to maintain him?
For where we go, food is absent
How are we to sustain him?
For where we go, food is absent.
.
Our little child is a glutton
His stomach protrudes daily
His shirt has lost all buttons
His eyes shine to bread brightly
.
Our little child likes meat
But our destination lacks meat
Our little child wants to drink
There is nothing here to call drink
.
Do we take him or leave him?
Our journey to freedom is not of tourism
Our little child likes meat
But there is no food where we go.

REFUGEES by Michael Inioluwa Oladele

In the poem, Michael presented, on the face value, a starving refugee family with a desperately hungry child. They are on a journey and are afraid for the child since they neither have anything to offer him/her now nor have any hope of something where they are going.

Underneath this open interpretation are a number of scenarios painted by the poet. Anyone can interpret it as they please and find backing in the well knitted lines.

For me, I see a political, social and religious dimension in it – A real refugee/street urchin situation like the one facing homeless people all over the world, displaced persons (like Boko Haram victims) the EU refugee crisis; A self-conversation where one is taking decisions against the desires of self with the hope that it works out; Trying to get someone with a different perspective to buy into an idea you are optimistic will work…

The more I thought of the poem, the more meanings I got. What meaning did you get?

POSSIBLE CORRECTIONS:

  1. His eyes shines to bread brightly His eyes shines to bread brightly [EYES is plural so the verb should be SHINE, not SHINES.
  2. I think stanza 1 should actually be stanza 2 while 2 moves to 1.
  3. Line 4 of stanza 3 should have ‘THERE’ in place of HERE since the [poet suggested a destination not yet reached in the opening and concluding stanzas.

All in all, I just love this poem!

Author: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

KIS, author of two poetry collections, ‘WHAT CAN WORDS DO?’ and ‘I SAID THESE WORDS’, is an award-winning Nigerian writer, photographer, and media professional with experience in journalism, PR, publishing and media management. In 2016, he was listed in Nigerian Writers Awards’ list of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40. The same year 2016, he won the Nigerian Writer’s Award for ‘Best Poet In Nigeria 2015.’ he had also won the Orange Crush 1st Prize for Poetry in 2012.
He is the CEO of Words Rhymes & Rhythm LTD.

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