The Poet Is A Universe … Mirroring societal ills
The Poet is a Universe (Khalam Editions, Ibadan, 2017) is a 127-paged book of poetry whose themes range from love to cosmology.
Kayode Adaramoye, the author of the book is a lawyer who studied at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island Lagos. His written works span the genres of prose and poetry of which The Poet is a Universe is his second collection. The notions and ideas of land, people and country all pass through the prism of the poet’s gaze and are transformed into meditations and the realities of a peculiar phase in the development of Nigeria. The book is divided into three parts: cosmic reflections, Imagined nation and Tender flames.
The first part ‘cosmic reflections’ comprises four poems, and as the name connotes, it deals with abstract. The poem ‘The Curve of History’ for example, reveals the writer’s distaste for the continuous act of diluting history and changing it from its original and universally recognized structure. As the writer puts it, no matter how much history is changed or ‘curved, it will still remain. “Time comes, time goes but history presides on hard facts, like Daniel on white Throne, the curve of history is a sacred seat of decision on the altar of truth.”
The second part, ‘Imagined nation’ is the widest aspect of the book and mainly addresses some fundamental dislocations in the geographical entity called Nigeria. It portrays how she sprung out from the time of colonialism till date, and exposes the ills and injustice that still abides.
The poem ‘Perilous days’ does great justice in depicting the agony of colonization and the joy that came at its culmination as it reads thus: …Cloudy skies dawned suddenly/Violent hurricane our way blown/In vortex of devouring storm we are trapped/Earth collapsed into horror of death/Our captain lost steering/To perilous whirlwind… We feasted, we merried/Battle of destruction in burning hell buried/With wine of joy overflowing/As we oscillate in wild gyration of glory…
In pointing the nation’s ills and deficiencies, no poem in the book does it better than ‘The Bangaga Nation’. The poem says it all in describing a nation like Nigeria who has so much in her possession but little to show for it, as the second verse reads “…Bangaga, Bangaga, Bangaga/A nation flowing with milk and honey/her people wallowing in poverty and misery/Hypothyroidism on rampage/Rudderless leaders, angels of darkness… The payment day is around/With paymaster coming with wages/Weep not the oppressed for your salvation is near/Weep ye the oppressors/Your destruction is now…”
Majority of the poems in the last part of the book, ‘Tender Flames’, are love themed. Love conquers all and through love, a nation and its people can spring to their full glory. This concept of love is well told in this poem ‘Love Message’ as it reads thus: …rivers of love in deep depth flows/ shallow men swim not/ deep men in ocean swim/ men deep in hate are shallow waters/ men of depth are deeper in love sea/ ending in blissful depth of love abyss!
The level of intellectual knowledge reflected in Adaramoye’s writing is one of the book’s strongest points; The Poet is a Universe tells a lot of truth about the present state of our country Nigeria. Lovers of good prose, and people with good analytical minds, will enjoy every bit of this book.