Breaking News
Translate

POETRY: Problems of Life

By Osa Amadi

Rice has finished

Beans has finished

Garri has finished

Yam has finished

Salt has finished

Pepper has finished

Tomatoes has finished

Onions has finished

Oil has finished

Fish has finished

Crayfish has finished

Meat has finished

Soup has finished

Food has finished

 

Bread has finished

Milk has finished

Sugar has finished

Tea has finished

Wine has finished

Water has finished

 

Gas has finished

Kerosene has finished

Fire wood has finished

Petrol has finished

Diesel has finished

Engine oil has finished

 

Bathing soap has finished

Washing soap has finished

Body cream has finished

Toothpaste has finished

Anti-perspirant has finished

Perfume has finished

Toilet tissue has finished

Shaving powder has finished

Shaving stick has finished

Shoe polish has finished

Nail vanish has finished

Sanitary towel has finished

 

Mosquito flit has finished

Rat poison has finished

 

Credit has finished

Data has finished

 

Paper has finished

Ink has finished

The notebook has finished

Toner has finished

Eraser has finished

Solo tape has finished

 

Health has finished

Blood has finished

Medicine has finished

Money has finished

Life has finished

The man is dead.

Analysis

This is the voice of a poet acquainted with the sorrows of life.

He identifies scarcity of resources and the vagaries of existence vis-à-vis ill health and death as constituting the problems of life. The problems he listed are not exhaustive or limited to, but encompass the eight sections into which he had categorised the lacks of life. These categories can be spotted in the eight stanzas of the poem.

There are people who have never experienced the lack of salt and pepper; of bread, sugar, or milk. Such will never have the inspiration required to author a poem like this. But there is no one who has never known sickness, and eventually, all will one day come face to face with the problem of death. So this is a poem that has something for everyone, regardless of clime or status.

It echoes the stress and struggles of men and women to provide both for the basic necessities of life and for the higher hierarchies of needs.  Problems of Life  communicates the well familiar situations in which bread winners are daily inundated with barrage of reminders about the household items that have finished and urgently needed to be re-stocked. “Daddy,” (or mummy), “milk has finished.” And before you could say “okay,” your attention is drawn to another type of lack: “rice has also finished.” Then: “there is no sugar.” Before you could get angry and say “but I bought a packet of sugar day before yesterday,” your daughter adds: “my math notebook has also finished!”

The simplicity of the poem, both in diction and in thematic treatment, is a quality that endears it to readers and lures them to identify with its content in a shared sense of meaning. Through repetition of the words “has” and “finished” the poet achieves a dance-inducing rhythmic pattern:

Rice has finished

Beans has finished

Garri has finished

Yam has finished…

There is also a sense of climax evoked in the last stanza where we see health, blood and life finishing, and eventually – death – the end, of at least the problems of milk, sugar, bread and fish.

A prose writer, Osa Amadi, in moments of occasional flashes of inspirations, has captured a number of thought-provoking poetic lines such as in The Road to knowledge, If I should be a coward, A Song is a Spirit, The Monster must Die and Appreciation.

 

 

 

 


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.