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Poetry: Song of the Fat Girl




It is true the media confers status, set agenda among others. 

And the people every right to their opinions.

In our next poem, you'd see how I conveyed a girl's disapproval of what people think of her which gives me a good laugh at the end of the day.

Hope you'd love it too.

Song of the Fat Girl:

I am the fat girl next door;
And I am fat as fat can possibly be;
My stomach protrudes like that of an Elephant;
My legs are like the mortar’s each;
My arm is like a pestle;
In any contest of comparison, if you care to know,
The manifold of flesh on my neck
Will put any lion’s mane to shame;

Wherever I go,
I see disapproving looks on the faces of people
Whom the media has conditioned
To think in certain ways of my type;
While the bold ones would walk up to me and ask aloud:
“Ella, what are you eating?
Can’t you see your weight is getting out of hand!
They would intensify;”

But beneath the breath of others hanging around,
I can tell they are wondering too:
'How did it all come to this?'
They must think of me as being socially nerdish;
Think it’s all down to my unhealthy eating habits;
In short, they must think I am awkward, lazy and ugly;
They even have a name for my condition;
And they called it Obese;
Whatever that means, I don’t keep it a memory verse;
Going through this judgment every day,
It’s little wonder then what many plus size ladies
Daily put themselves through trying to conform
With the media's definition of a beautiful lady;
They could stay off food for insane hours;
Take slim teas at recommended intervals;
Spend the whole day at the gym or doing roadwork;
And all they get in return is a fraction of the intended result;
And a truckload of embarrassment from their hubbies or man-friends;
Who would not have them accompany them to social outings;
But since it has become so difficult keeping up
With the tide of their ungodly rule
That only the slim, tall and blonde lady is beautiful;
I think I better set my own rules
And played by them come rain or sunshine;
That I am fat and short
Could not make me any less cute than the rest;
And I am no less endowed on the inside
Than your so-called miss universes;
I have heard also within earshot
Of much-expressing amazement I could move around at all;
They imagine my body must be way too ponderous
For ease of any mobility:
But that, of course, is completely nonsensical;
Because a body can't be way too heavy
Its owner would simply be unable to swing it around!
Read more ...

How to grasp the Meaning of Printed Page: Study the selection to know its Thought-Groups (5)

In grasping the meaning of printed page, another important step the reader must take is in the direction of determining it thought-groups which are the souls of the printed page.

This is a primer, let me quickly do this to illustrate the important natures of the printed page.

In a way, just as cells are the building blocks of life; so are words and punctuation marks the building blocks of the printed page.

Without them, the printed page automatically becomes a wreck.

And like human beings who are gregarious by nature; words, too, do keep their own company to make the most meaning in the minds of the readers as well as the listeners.

We must bear it in mind that, no single-word, no matter it's class or importance or how perfectly stressed can bring out all the meaning in a selection until seen to harmoniously relates or co-operates with others.

It is then pertinent to ask at this juncture what thought-groups are.

By thought-groups, we mean the interconnected units of opinions, convictions, and sentiments the author is trying to convey.

Anybody who reads, therefore, must have this precisely in mind and nothing else.

He cannot avoid it unless he’s just fooling around with a printed copy.

The reader of printed page utters the author’s ideas in phrases, clauses, and sentences.

This natural process of uttering ideas, opinions, and convictions of the author is called words clustering or grouping.

As a consequence, however, any interpreter who does not commit himself to this sufficiently will badly falter and utterly fails to impress himself and his hearers.

Imagine for a second the sight of a student who comes to class to deliver a speech totally unarmed with this key knowledge.

All he does while standing before the other students who are eagerly awaiting a great performance is to utter the words like water gushing out from a broken tap.

And he’s hurried off the stage and a replacement sort who can do better.

Take a look at the extract below taken from ‘A Stoic America’ after it has been stripped of important structural elements.

 “America is still sound healthy courageous inventive vibrant our economic system has created five times more wealth and has distributed it more widely than any other system in history and our democracy with all its faults has come through a world war and a world depression with all its colors flying and all our civil liberties intact we have realized a generous measure of America’s purpose a miraculous measure for this century”

 By Will Durrant.

This passage clearly underscores the importance of pauses in grasping the meaning of the printed page.

What are pauses?

Pauses are the structured breaks occurring intermittently in sentences according to specific grammatical laws.

They’re brought about by the expert use of punctuation marks which help to bring order to writings and by extension their expressions.

The comma is not as strong as the semicolon.

The semicolon also is not as strong as the full colon.

And the full colon is not as strong as the full stop.

While these are the basics, it doesn’t end there.

There’re others too like the question, exclamation, and quotation marks which also help to bring sharply into focus other thought-groups in a selection.

The bottom line is that each must be brought to bear on written pieces and appropriately minded by the reader if the various thought-groups are to be completely grasped.    

Here is the same passage after all the punctuation marks have been restored.

“America is still sound healthy, courageous, inventive, vibrant, our economic system has created five times more wealth, and has distributed it more widely, than any other system in history; and our democracy, with all its faults, has come through a world war and a world depression with all its colors flying, and all our civil liberties intact.
We have realized a generous measure of America’s purpose, a miraculous measure for this century.”


By Will Durrant.
Read more ...

How to grasp the meaning of Printed Page: Knowing when the Climax Comes (4)


In grasping the meaning of a printed page, there's yet another thing which contributes more to the reader's understanding and pleasure.

And that's the climax or simply climaxing.

What then is a climax?

In imaginative writing or speech delivery, the climax is the point when the writer's or the speaker's emotional and dramatic intensity peaked.

Rarely a one-off thing but transitional

It could happen many times over in a printed page just like when the driver of mass transit bus stopped over at designated terminal for commuters to disembark.

It the point when the hearer or the reader is called not just to action but in highlighting what matters most to the writer and to which every other detail in the narrative are subordinated.

Something akin to orgasmic experienced by lovers, if you get the drift.

And it doesn't just happen.

It is the by-product of a deliberate process initiated and slowly followed through by the author aimed at arresting quickly the reader's or interpreter's attention.

It objectives are lofty and worth every reader's attention.

It is the surging, forceful, and rhythmic summit of all interesting activities the writer slowly builds up through the series of words, phrases and adjectives.

A classic example is from the Roman orator, Cicero:

"To put a Roman citizen in the chain is a misdeed; to scourge him is a crime; to kill him is almost a parricide; to crucify him- what shall I say? For so nefarious an act there is no word"

Equally worth a mention is this illustration of mine:

"As a people our patience, understanding and perseverance by now is never in doubt, but those who resolve behind the scene to prolong our misery and suffering by denying what truly belongs to us through the use of force or other ungodly tactics shall pretty soon be met strength for strength; power for power and might for might."

Whether the selection you're reading is a novel, drama or a poem, be sure to expect it.

It is an important thread that runs through the fabric of every worthwhile imaginative literature.

But when there's a sudden drop from the important to the less important in imaginative writing anticlimax is what you get.
It could either be intentional or unintentional.

And it's not without its effects too.

In any case, it is for the sake of humor or simply being funny as in this example of mine:

"The everyday Nigerians understood perfectly what hardship is all about; this they daily express with their deluge of angst and complains and award-winning happiness"

In many a novel, drama, short story or poem you might have read the author holds it jealously in focus and don not for anything let the cat out of the bag; he subordinated his narrative to it and patiently wait for the right moment to swing it with power.

Going through scripted pieces, the interpreter is therefore encouraged to pay close attention to how the writer achieves the climax as may occur in his literary creatures.

Otherwise the reader’s understanding of a printed page hovers only around the halfway mark until this aspect is taken care of.

Finally, as an exercise in knowing when the climax comes, we turn once more to the reading of my own poem titled: The 


Business Register.
In the selection, the reader can see how I slowly build up the climax which comes especially at the end of the poem...

The Business Register


I
They were your ideas of a dignified old couple,
Perfect perceptible to eyes,
Index by conservative piety;
There’s a matrimony in heaven consummated you say.
Needles the overstated narratives the sail was long
And arduous and many a storm swift
Arose to wreck their marital ship; Survived,
Now they proudly berthed at life nocturnal shores.
And subsequent a household name the community-wide.
They were your standard reflections of the cross;
Mouthpieces of the good news;
They worshiped faithfully as the clock:
Many at the marble-porch parishes;
Many at their humble home;
And not a little nags or fight or bedlam was heard from their floor.
Except perhaps omniscient nature do record some
Behind the closed door, of hearts bruising unseen, untold.
The proud parents of lovely sons and daughters;
Perfumed emissaries to our stuffy-aired world;
And how as morning stars they brightly shone through
Firmaments of social and religious engagements;
Like they use to say, to know a great family,
Into the children all must look. The husband
A perfect gentleman widely likable,
Who kept an open door to children, not even his from far and near;
Even wayward nondescript were welcome;
And at his table he feeds them equally all;
Quick with the rod at his right hand
To prove justice is love to their aberrations;
And with the left draws them close for soothing sermons;
A good man known also gospel by inheritance: His dwelling,
Though a small home with walls unbuilt;
And bath and kitchen
And detached crude convenience unroofed;
And ventured borehole and chairs and canopies now on threshold disrepair;
Like they use to say,
A man who raised himself a room apartment,
Has proved an achievers’ grade,
Ceases to be a member of the renters' club.
But sudden died, first, Lord of the house as is often the case;
When from vigil an ailment struck to cast in haste;
And tributary wailing and mourning rend the chamber's air;

II
Next entered widow Shoboe as heir apparent to estates bequeathed;
A dame hearty lightly built to sail with all winds;
For whatever they were worth, she has her honors too:
As sings the Sunday's choir a dancing Ikoto;
A leading light among the class of good women;
An ever-charming sight for her years advanced;
Her gifts munificent she bestows more on the haves
Than the haves not; while a typical widow would her failings blame
On a dear deceased, wax lyrical his multitude of virtues,
Lineage; such alive rarely acknowledge; shrewdly appreciate.
Accentuating the truism: "till gone don’t know what you have got".
But Shoboe is an atypical widow who by the day more disgruntled became.
Piping to ears unsolicited her vexed notes of ascending murmurs:
Of how meager the patrimonies, empty the vault;
Of how little accomplished her suggestions profound never took;
Of how once he brought a strange woman, their matrimonial bed defiled;
Of how she could have been history, save God and man;
Of how the union really was a patchwork through the years;
And of how this how-that poorly fixed never fixed;
Often all these she spit fired faced down the narrow balcony
Where beloved Kith and Kin hollowed the dead a marbled rest home;
Not even once did his paean sublime from her mouth freely flowed;
His fate sealed a worst mortal of all, unworthy a husband;
Now five years the thriftless dowager reigned;
Her stewardship to none but self alone rendered;
As ever a working bee save the hive's empty;
Pouched the year's round rents and rates collected;
And in defaulters ears the reminder she crooned
On the go dusk or dawn; in trade all rivaling,
Even tenants struggling starters;
Every known article, she vowed to trade
In not too distant future; Inquire one, not on her wooden-stall
And with lightning speed ordered, bungling yet the arithmetic
Of the gains; at threescore and more life seemed just began
And in it simply revels; a party freak her ears everywhere
Went for the breaking news; denied invitation the concerned
Mantle sooner arrived with her grievances. Their plea accepted;
Her avail next time she vouched. So consumed to splurge on
Things mundane that not a line or circle or square drawn.
Nor a shade of color splashed;
Nor a brick added as improved re-inventions to the wheel-heirloom
She's been so critical, mauled denigrate all these years. 


NOTE: Ikoto is a shell of some mollusk.
Read more ...

Poetry: He Walks In Glory.


He walks in glory like the sun,
Sweeping the ward of universe with its light;
And cannot be stopped;
He walks in glory like the moon,
Bright and beautiful always upon the night;
He walks in glory like the breaking day,
Tall and famous and cannot be undone;
He walks in glory like the star,
Shinning and whizzing through the midnight sky.
He walks in glory like the expertly beaten gong,
Rumbling forth it mournful trill;
And cannot be gagged.


Let a thousand flowers sprout
Of 'who is who in the Pantheon
Of Yoruba traditional Bards'
To ever grace the stage?
Only a few names can contend
The top stop with him;
Only a few!

With a musical gift so rare,
Simplicity so enduring,
And a voice so mellifluous;
He took the stage by storm,
Pouring out his soul in the praises
Of Presidents and Kings and Chiefs alike;
And of the lowly nondescript,
Whoever comes whoever may.
To this end, he was indeed true to his craft
And to all was fair.

He walks in glory even to the very end;
And to this befitting day, he walks in glory.
Besides the colorful musical feather on his cap,
He had, as it so happened,
Another from his kingdom walk,
That we've come to cherish even more;
So, shall we all rise up on our feet!
That our mouths may speak all the fair orations;
But our hands may choose to give one

Of shrewd applause or generous offering.



*For Juju music legend Commander Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi as he turns 75
Read more ...

How to Grasp the Meaning of Printed Page;: Determining the Dominant and Varying Emotions of the Author (3)



In today's post which by now I'm sure you all know is the third in the series; I'll be dwelling on how to determine the dominant and varying emotions of the author just as highlighted above.

OK. So, let's go straight into the nitty-gritty.

Authors, writers and poets like every one of us have emotions or attitudes or feelings which as a necessity they manifest especially in their work as much as in their everyday life.

They simply cannot help it.

Let’s imaging for a second the sight of a mother whose beloved child has just died if she’s nothing but grieving.

Or the sight of a man plodding home from work after losing his job if he’s nothing but melancholy.

Or the animated countenances of kids gazing at a flock of egrets either calmly perched on the backs of the grazing cattle or simply hovering around them.

Or even the sight of school children who are deservedly anxious too but couldn't just access their examination results if they’re nothing but frustrated.

All these are varying emotional whose meaning can never be lost on the perceptible members of the human community.

This is much more so because authors are like stars of the big screen that put their souls in their assigned roles.

And by so doing, they bring fully into the fore without leaving anyone in doubt as to the true essence of the theme(s) or ideas being projected.

Every day, we betray emotions of all kinds depending on how life happens to us; and the emotions could either be dominant or varied as occasions may demand.

An emotion is dominant if the author devotes a greater part of his time to it above several others which occurred on the printed page.

While on the other hands, if more than one mood pervades the selection we say the author emotions are varied.

As a rule, hardly is there an author who is not governed by certain attitudes to, a feeling for or conviction towards the ideas or themes behind their writings especially in imaginative realms.

There's hardly an author also who sustain one emotion throughout a written work except the subject or scope covered is narrow.

For instance, an author may sound hopeful in one stanza and in the next appears to despair or show a lack of faith.

But in almost all cases, an author is like an eagle in flight poised to gain necessary heights, for effect, must rides on thermal of varying columns of winds.

The sort of the reverential feeling you get when you read Wole Soyinka's 'Mohammed Ali by the Ring Side in 1985'
'
Readers on the other hands who wish to grasp the poet's emotional meaning must first of all feel what he felt to be able to adequately share with others the beauty of his communicative emotions.

Among the various emotions known to humankind are: joy, sadness, awe, grief, excitement, anger, apathy, sympathy, empathy, envy, jealousy, reverence, humility, hate, love, soberness, fear, courage and confidence and so on and so forth.

Most written pieces from the Bible and other classics of old and contemporary time are bunk with exercises in elements of emotional beauty which the reader as interpreter must grasp if he is to fully appreciate the author's noble endeavor.

In no other poetic selection is varied emotions are made more evident by an author than in this long poem of mine titled: The Business Register.

You'll clearly see how disapproving I was of widow Shoboe, the dramatic personae who I model exactly after the real-life personality; most especially for her ingratitude, the disrespect shown to her late husband and her poor sense of business.

After all, we're all admonished never to speak ill of the dead and in this case a loving dead husband at that.

The Business Register

I
They were your ideas of a dignified old couple,
Perfect perceptible to eyes,
Index by conservative piety.
There’s matrimony in heaven consummated you would say.
Its needles the overstated narratives the sail was long
And arduous and many the futile storm
That swift arises to wreck their marital ship. Survived,
Now they proudly berthed at life nocturnal shores.
And subsequent a household name the community-wide.

II
They were your standard torchbearers of the cross;
Mouthpieces of the good news;
They worshipped faithfully as the clock:
Many at the marble-porch parishes;
Many at their humble home;
And not a little nags or fights
Or Bedlam was heard from their pious floor.
Except perhaps omniscient nature does record some
Behind closed door, of hearts bruising unseen, untold.
They were proud parents of lovely sons and daughters;
The perfumed emissaries to our stuffy-aired world;
And how as morning stars they brightly shone through
Firmaments of social and religious engagements;
Like they use to say, to know a good family,
Into the children all must look.
The husband is a perfect gentleman widely likable,
Who kept an open door to children, not even his from far and near;
Even wayward nondescript were welcome;
And at his table he fetes them equally all;
Quick with the rod at his right hand
To prove justice is love to their aberrations;
And with the left draws them close for soothing sermons;
A good man known also gospel by inheritance: His dwelling,
Though a small home with walls un-built;
And bath and kitchen and detached crude convenience unroof;
And ventured borehole and chairs and canopies now on threshold disrepair;
Like they use to say,
A man who raised himself a room apartment,
Has proved an achievers’ grade,
Ceases to be a member of the renters' club!
But sudden died, first, Lord of the house as is often the case;
When from vigil an ailment struck to cast in haste;
And tributary wailing and mourning rend the chamber's air;

III
Next entered widow Shoboe as heir apparent to estates bequeathed;
A dame hearty and lightly built to sail with all winds;
For whatever they were worth, she has her honours too:
She is a dancing Ikoto as sings the Sunday's Mass choristers;
A leading light among the class of good women;
And ever charming a sight for her years advanced;
Her gifts munificent she bestows more on the haves
Than the haves not; while a typical widow would have her failings blame
On a dear deceased, wax lyrical his multitude of virtues,
Lineage; such alive rarely acknowledge; shrewdly appreciate.
Accentuating the truism: "Till gone don’t know what you have got".
But Shoboe is an atypical widow who by the day more disgruntled became.
Piping to ears unsolicited her vexed notes of ascending murmurs:
Of how meager the patrimonies, empty the vault;
Of how little accomplished her suggestions profound never took;
Of how once he brought a strange woman, their matrimonial bed defiled;
Of how she could have been history, save God and man;
Of how the union really was a patchwork through the years;
And of how this how-that poorly fixed never fixed;
Often all these spits fired faced down the narrow balcony
Where beloved Kith and Kin hollowed the dead a marbled rest home;
Not even once did his paean sublime from her mouth freely flowed;
His fate sealed the worst mortal of all, unworthy a husband;
Now five years the thriftless dowager reigned;
Stewardship's to none but self alone rendered;
As ever a working bee save the hive's empty;
Pouched the year's round rents and rates collected;
And in defaulters ears the reminder she crooned
On the go dusk or dawn; in the trade all rivaling,
Even tenants struggling starters;
Every a known article, she vowed to trade in not too distant future;
Enquire one not on her wooden-stall,
And with lightning speed she ordered it,
Bungling yet the arithmetic of the gains;
At threescore and more life seemed just began
And in it, she simply revels; a party freak her ears everywhere
Went for the breaking news; denied invitation the concerned
Mantle sooner arrived with her grievances. Their plea accepted;
Her avail next time she vouched. So consumed to splurge on
Things mundane that not a line or circle or square drawn.
Nor a shade of color splashed;
Nor a brick added as improved re-inventions to the wheel-heirloom
She's been so critical, mauled denigrate all these years. 






Read more ...