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Life Poetry: Wole Soyinka ‘ In The Small Hours’

Poetry is one of the deepest forms of Literature, the deepest of emotions are conveyed in words, the meaning of the words surpass time and space, they truly last forever. Wole Soyinka is one of the greatest forces to reckon with in Literature. The poem was written some time before Nigeria gained independence, that should…

Poetry is one of the deepest forms of Literature, the deepest of emotions are conveyed in words, the meaning of the words surpass time and space, they truly last forever. Wole Soyinka is one of the greatest forces to reckon with in Literature. The poem was written some time before Nigeria gained independence, that should give you a feel of the tone and the theme of the poem

IN THE SMALL HOURS

Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke
Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze,
Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes,
Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers
Comb seaweed hair, stroke acquamarine veins
Of marooned mariners, captives
Of Circe’s sultry notes. The barman
Dispenses igneous potions ?
Somnabulist, the band plays on.

Cocktail mixer, silvery fish
Dances for limpet clients.
Applause is steeped in lassitude,
Tangled in webs of lovers’ whispers
And artful eyelash of the androgynous.
The hovering notes caress the night
Mellowed deep indigo ?still they play.

Departures linger. Absences do not
Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze
As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,
Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn
The notes hold sway, smoky
Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.

This music’s plaint forgives, redeems
The deafness of the world. Night turns
Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats
The broken silence of the heart.

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