February 22, 2023

A god in a Human Body

Title: A god in a Human Body
Genre: Poetry (a collection)
Author: Tolu’ A. Akinyemi
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle LTD
Reviewer: ENANG, God’swill Effiong
Year of Publication: 2022
Word Count: 780
“I said ‘Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High’”- Psalms 82 vs 6, N KJV
Tolu A’ Akinyemi is a wonder; perhaps, the 8th wonder of the world if one may put. This is, because A god in a Human Body is his ninth collection of poems aside other literary genres. You may also be wondering why this seasoned poet has decided to write on the subject matter of divinity. Well, I don’t know either but we’ll find out as you take a seat and roll this coaster with me.
Is it possible for humans to exhibit the traits of gods? Dreamland, the very first poem in this collection slams the theme of duality for correction to our faces. The title metaphorically symbolizes a thing or future people dared to attain or cannot. But the poet-persona speaks of how even his enemies fear his coming as a poet with ‘a fiery tongue’, which ‘…levels mountains’. The former still affirms his position in the third stanza, that he is ‘a god in a human body/ a broken vessel, / a wandering spirit’. And at the end, that is, the last stanza, he asks a rhetorical question:
Who dares defy the tempest wind
of a raging god—
a god in a human body?

The stanza above sums up the position of the poet as he uses literary allusion, borrowing from one of William Shakespeare’s most controversial drama, The Tempest. In the latter, Tolu Akinyemi likens himself to Prospero (the protagonist), who, in his anger, casts a spell of storm to ravage the ship of his enemies but to sail those he wants safely to his island, where he had been on exile with his daughter, Miranda, for twelve years. Here, one can see that like Prospero, the poet-persona is a god in a human body.
In addition, To dare is to rise carries the same idea as the paragraph above. Using the repetition of ‘To dare is to rise’ emphasizes the result that awaits one when he or she courageously moves to getting what he or she needs. So, when one dares, he does the ‘unthinkable’, ‘unimaginable’, ‘improbable’ and becomes ‘undefeatable!’ and as the persona compares his readers to gods, daring and rising, certainly.
Talking about gods and goddesses, we talk about royalty. Here, the persona speaks in A portrait of a goddess where the tone of admiration makes it clear how precious she is to him. He refers to her as a deity, worshipping at her temple. Also, in How would you draw God’s portrait as a poet? the poet persona compares himself with being like God. This similarity is borne from the use of Biblical allusion of the creation story. He reminds the readers how God created with words just as a poet does. So, to answer the question the title poses, he says that one should ‘…speak, create, [and] birth a revival. / Bring to life the dead things.’ In all, ranging from Zeus, Thetis and Achilles, and even Moremi Ajasoro, one can tell how royal they are or became deities to be worshipped, all because they are portraits or because they possess traits of God in them.
Lastly, Spirits, the twenty-fifth poem, preaches about the carnage of men. The title itself, is a metaphor for humans who are neither here nor there. This is because man’s soul is temporary. However, one cannot dispute the fact that a spirit is not a human but a supernatural, hereby cementing the duality of a human nature. And perhaps, the persona, in a disappointed tone admonishes humans to change from their wars against one another, lest they are lost in this world without properly eternal transition…. Again, Kin and Kindred supports the idea of the spirit-human thing. The dramatic monologue technique is used, whereby, the persona speaks to a person or more to tell his kin and kindred that the body he inhabits is not his but a ‘rent-free’. Hence, his spirit speaks of how he is a god only ‘borrowing a human body.’
All in all, Carlos Santana (a twentieth century Mexican-American musician) once said that: “Just as we have two eyes and two feet, duality is part of life’. And this duality may be rested on the fact that Akinyemi wants us to see ourselves as gods, created in His image, making wonders.