Saturday, 1 July 2017

POETIC LICENSE: A POESY DEFINER? By Ebi Robert





“Human analogy can never explicate the dogma of poesy”
“Emotion recollected in tranquility,” so is poetry defined by William Wordsworth. Poetry is so wide a concept to be summarized with Wordsworth’s few words. “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry,” so says Emily Dickinson. Poesy has also been defined as an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It has also been defined as a form of literature, spoken or written, that emphasizes rhythm, other intricate patterns of sound and imagery, and the many possible ways that words can suggest meaning. But how encompassing are these?

From the wielding of words to the fitting of fixes, figures and an eventual assembling of lines are all but one leathery exploit to describe one word. One blind eye does not deprive the beggar from being a being. Yet a being can be qualified by “complete.” For poetry, it is but a fruitless quest; because no poem can be cooked with all ingredients of it. They are too many for every single one of them to be remembered and employed. That is if remembrance comes at all. While a human was, poetry is. Thus, the human analogy can never explicate the dogma of poesy. This way, the pending question keeps recurring: “What is poetry?” Poetry is a relative concept. However to horn on the hypothesis, poetry is a line or lines called a poem. Makes no sense I guess? Perchance a disputer can also say a monometer should never be a poem. If the accurate assertion to the immediate preceding sentence is to the negative, it simply means that a poem may not actually agree with the “must-ingredient-syndrome.” Nevertheless, one verity that might distinguish an ordinary sentence from a poem is “structure.” A poem should not be denied its name for lack of ingredient unless it is a sentence, clause or phrase.
“I love you so bad,
Since you so left me for home,
My son has been fat.”

I guess the write-up looks like a barren message? But there lies in it, 5-7-5, whether or not critics might name it a corrupted version. Hence, a poem needs no ingredient to be one; a structure can do. I must warn; do not draw the soup-analogy. I have started elsewhere that some analogies are better left alone. They are no good set of ideas for an idea.
“Some analogies are better left alone. They are no good set of ideas for an idea”


WHAT MAKES A POEM?

“Poets are not left alone. They are born with freedom, freedom to breach syntax, freedom to misspell, freedom to tint the touch”

Many poets believe that poetry must comply with every axiom of concord, punctuation touch and spelling. It is good for poems to abide by the rules, but “an all time-must” only murders the premise. Poets are not left alone. They are born with freedom; freedom to breach syntax, freedom to misspell, freedom to tint the touch (mark). Let us consider the stanza below: 

“The day was neither short nor long,
Codified in an old glory,
Brighter that sirius’ ong,
There was no legendary story”.
(From the poem ‘An Element of Death’ by Ebi Robert)

“While a critic judges a poem, they should not forget the poet writes with freedom and that nonsense might make a lot sense.”

You can see the “ab ab” prosody. (An Element of Death) Line 3’s “a” is a perfect example of poetic freedom. The “ong” is a corrupted version of “long”. It was perfectly fitted to cure the rhyme. Poetry mostly tints the touch like the address of a letter does. Poetry also breaches syntax on a matter of structure. For instance, the second footing of an Ouvroir de littérature potentielle poetry type is likely to breach the syntax. Because it is only normal that it need not make sense, the Isomorphism exercises most precisely. However, it is advisable breaching the syntax rule while obeying a structure, than doing it for fun. In all, it means that while a critic judges a poem, they should not forget the poet writes with freedom and that nonsense might make a lot sense.
        Lead each actor doing edict;
Round some hope in pose-
“And” service edifies right virtues in command earthly
Are good as so disposed
(From the ‘Onus of the Anus’ by Ebi Robert)

Take a look at those lines. What do you see? It might make no sense, but the stanza carries two central themes. Like an acrostic, the first letter of each word in line one and two spells a word, with the conjunction separating the first word from the second which makes up the rest after the conjunction, with the last line not spelling any, which means that the last line in the stanza does not play the fun. By this, the stanza is saying, “Leadership and Service are good as so disposed.” For the analysis, “lead each actor doing edict, round some hope in pose” means leading every individual having his own mind is a matter of hope, because one is not sure how obedient they will be to you. “And service edifies right virtues in command earthly are good as so disposed, means that he who is to serve must know service is a good virtue when executed. Thus, the stanza carries two themes, spells them and gives a meaning. But with a clouded eye, this play may not be seen.
 In all, what makes a poem? Nothing but what a poet makes of it. A poem is what a poet calls a poem. For if a poem is a poem because it is a group of lines with ingredients, then a hymn with ingredients is also a poem. Then what is the dividing line between a lyrical poem with “God’s theme” and a hymn; A Poet and a hymn writer? Thus a poem is a poem if a poet calls it one, but that does not qualify it as “good”.


“A poem is a poem if a poet calls it one, but that does not qualify it as “good.”

In all, can there be anything like a license? Théodore de Banville (1823 - 1891) had said that there is no such thing as poetic license. But remember, Horace, (65 - 8 BC) the Roman poet? He said and I quote: 'Painters and poets alike have always had license to dare anything.' We know that, and we both claim and allow to others in their turn this indulgence.’ (The origin of "artistic license." Ars Poetica)


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Monday, 19 June 2017

The Misconception of Birthday (The Mind Academy-Probe 1) by Ebi Robert







                                       

    

There is a plethora of debatable conceptions, convincingly expended by people without any form of probing in their use. While some use such words which might be compound or not, without doing the probe, others like me access the permutation of letters and end with a ‘why’, where the need arises. ‘No man is above mistake’. I learn not to follow the crowd, but the crown; for the one with the crown in the crowd, stands out. In other to proffer rejoinders to some inevitable queries, I have created a kind of series which shall be addressing such questionable concepts of aged usage if possible and seek to highlight an alternative if any. It shall be titled “Ebi’s Play”.[1] The titling spur is drawn from one of Finnis’s basic human goods; play. But here I have settled something more philosophical, something before my seat of the Ionians. Sequel to this, this treatise being the first of the series begins with the theme of birthday.

A DATE AND A DAY

¡feliz cumpleaños! That would be my wishes to a cherry if I were a Spaniard. Then I can say that a psychological emotion has been triggered. But how accurate would be my articulation, per diction? I must have made meanings better than a hiss, yet not accurate as a hiss, I would say.

As typical, I look out for the true definitions before my conclusion. By this, it was only fair I consulted the Oxford Advanced learner’s Dictionary, (7th ed) at page 137. In it, I was told that birthday is the day in each year which is the same date as the one on which you were born. An epoch the celebridad is gifted with noncrystalline silica, the first count of one’s eon. Flowing from the above, it can be basically opined that birthday is the day in each year in which one is born. Invariably, birthday befalls every year. This is either fallacious or a misconception because birthday is once in the life of the celebrant, at best what might re-occur is the birth-date and I shall expatiate with an illustration.

‘It was a cloudy day and the drizzle showed itself. A funny wind blew and kicked up the hat that had been seated on Michael’s head, exposing the fresh cut he got from the force of the machete, say; a yesterday. The rush was to meet up with the blissful fete the compound’s wives had recorded. Michael Junior’s umbilical cord had been severed. This birth was just ten minutes away and the date was 13th June 1990. The activities that occurred as far as I can remember were numerous, 25 years after an opal song was sang for ‘Caroline’, all because 13th June re-occurred. Well, it’s a choice but let’s try these questions:

1)      Was it 13th June, 1990 that occurred or 13th June alone?
2)      Is our current 13th cloudy or otherwise?
3)      Is our current 13th with a furious drizzle?
4)      Was our current 12th recorded with a fresh cut of Michael?
5)       Is our current day with the self-same events of 1990?

Fat food for thought, I guess. Birthday comes and goes, birthstones might come, but birth-date come and come. Birthday is for the celebration, birth-date is for the anniversary, and date of birth is for the record. A birthday comes just once in a life time, but the birth-date repeats itself with different order of events, though sometime similar but not the same. Proto tanto I am use to the former, a shift shall never be vexing verity. This way, the Saul is made Paul.



[1] A probe of the “Mind Academy”. The mind Academy is a school of the mind which has scholars probing various concepts, ideas and orders from different fields; ideas believed to be faulty in its use and proffering an alternative to the probed concepts, although fun-filled, but logical.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

DIARY OF AN ADVOCATE- EPISODE 6: (WHERE WAS THE LIGHT?) by Ebi Robert




I slept throughout the whole night filled with the thought of the approach. Cult guys do approach youngsters and poison their hearts. It wasn’t a new fact. This I have seen in the home videos, but it was no longer one hell of an imagination, it had become a reality. I was not sure what to tell Super if he approached me later, I was just confused. I was expected to reply the young man the next day; it was a day perhaps I was to test my manhood; like me being a man. But before the next day, I was somehow uncomfortable with the incriminating item given me. Something inside me was asking me to get it off the house. I couldn’t bear the pressure anymore, so I met Shehu and told him that I could no longer keep the device with me any longer, and that my aunt was getting suspicious. But that wasn’t really the reason. I was just not conformable, somehow I was not. So I gave Shehu his property before the next day.  As expected, the next day came. We all woke up from our beds to attend to the normal duties of the day when we received news that Super is dead. What happened? Many asked. He had an issue with a man called IK, who reported him to the military. The military beat him up to stupor and broke his spinal cord. That was it. Not long, we had the military ransacked the houses, breaking doors after doors. They ended up searching my aunt’s room too, and to my beholding as I sensed, the very place where I kept the item was searched. I had a very big heart beat. How Lucky I was? How so short is life? Two Supers had died within a short period of time. Only God in Heaven knew why it happened that way.

Life continued as usual. I kept on doing the job I was doing then; selling for my mum. I got to know more people day by day. I did all kinds of jobs. Cutting of mud, and filling houses, carrying sands, to pushing and loading of drums in Local boats that anchored at our jetty to carry loads to Port-Harcourt. Right from Nembe Creek, my mum had been into diesel business. She bought Diesel from sellers and sold them in drums to willing buyers. It was a heavy task. Sometimes, I and others employed by my mum had to stay in the mangrove forest for hours to buy the drums of diesel. But somehow, we had some issues with the military who believed that anyone who traded on oil is a bunkerer. Many at times, they came to our house and destroyed the drums of diesels with the knives affixed to their guns. They never cared to ask. My mum diesel poured in the ground leading to wastage at large which in turn also polluted the environment. My mum would cry at length while I and my siblings consoled her. I was pained in my heart but there was nothing I could do. But I dreamt of being a Lawyer someday, so I was sure that someday I would have the guts to speak. The hypocrisy of the military was so unbearable. So it was a general notion to eat with them with a long spoon, because they were considered the DEVIL.

For me, life became worse. I was becoming a pain in everyone’s neck. My stubbornness knew no bounds. I was afraid of no one; not my dad, not my elders. My dad got fed up once and threatened that I would no longer go to school again. I was sad and wanted a change because though I was stubborn, my love for education never died. But each time I tried, I found myself doing the young thing. I always travelled to Port-Harcourt and bought music CDs. But each time I bought, I never forgot to buy a Christian song. In the morning, I usually played the songs sometimes against the customers’ wish. I remember one chronic Indian Herm smoker who told me about his Christian wife who always helped him out in his worldly life. He was one of the few who enjoyed the Christian songs each time I played them. Sure, with the Igbo in his hands. Anytime I played the Christian music; I felt contentment and asked God for forgiveness. But one day or two, I would return to my sins. At a point, I became tired of myself. I couldn’t understand my problem. I just did not know why I ended up doing the wrong things all the time. But I can never forget something someone told my mum: Don’t worry, he will change. Perhaps that lady, who I cannot remember anymore, was right.
One day, I guess, I was listening to the radio when I heard the teachings of one Bro. Awudese Azibalua of the Gospel Deliverance mission. This was around late 2008. I was sure the church is the one I had known when I was younger, the church where the truth about God was taught. I was so happy. I immediately took the mobile number of the church and called. I explained my plight to the teacher who understood me and promised to pray for me. I continued hoping and praying that all will be well some day. Then, I loved singing a song by Don Meon titled: Heal me! Each time I played that song, I had a kind of relief that all will be well someday. I tried running away from my sins, but all wasn’t really well for me. The more I tried the worst I seemed to become. I could not help it anymore so I called the pastor again, Bro Awudese. Then he who knew what was wrong, being a spirit filled fellow asked me to visit Port- Harcourt where I would be prayed for. I was happy, so I traveled to Port-Harcourt and located the church. That day, he seemed to be the only person in the church. The environment was quiet. I entered the church and lo, he appeared. I was dressed with a cap, a collared shirt, a pair of trouser and a big chain with a rubber head around my neck. He asked if I am the one, and I replied ‘Yes’. Then he said: ‘You want to serve God, so why do you have such a chain round your neck’? Seriously I never knew it wasn’t needed. I was used to material things like that. As a Chelsea fan, many of my belongings were fashioned blue with the Chelsea icons and insignia. The chain on my next wasn’t an exception. I immediately refused it while he looked at me firmly. The next thing he said was: Let us pray. Well, I needed prayer, so I closed my eyes. Seriously, he prayed in a kind of silent way. No much noise. All I was hearing were words like: Out, trees, down to abyss, move, come out, etc.
I was just wondering what was happening. But all those while he was saying those words, I observed a change in my body. I was getting lighter as if many things have been removed from me. The more the prayer was offered, the more I became free. I just do not know how to explain my feelings, but all I know was that the experience was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had in my life. The prayer lasted for almost an hour and our eyes were open. I looked at him firmly and asked him for a book or anything I could be using for my personal study. He gave me a book titled: ‘War between two kingdoms’ or so. I was so happy. I had a feeling I had never had before in my life. When going home, the houses and everything around me looked different and new. I felt like I was in a new world, the same evil world I had known before.
After that encounter, one change I observed was that I was able to say ‘No’ and it stands. I started adding weight. My weight had been affected because of the much intake of alcohol into my system, but there I was getting better. My family members observed that I was getting better to the extent that one of my rugged aunt said: ‘Now we have gotten our son back’. But her own too no good ooo! Aunt Rose can drink for Africa. Somehow after a while, I find myself falling again. The environment continued influencing me and I found myself in sin again. And this time, Satan was ready for me.

Towards the end of 2008, bunkery activities were getting to an end in Ijaw kiri. Like an Ice that melts into water, oil bunkery melted away. I went full time into diesel and fuel business with my mum, moving from places to places to get life moving. There was a time; I and a dude by name Nigga Raw were taken to a fishing camp named Obutumoburo. There we stayed in the bus like area buying diesel in cans and filling them into the drums after which they were rolled to the muddy ground and later loaded in a boat. The place was so uncivilized that having good water to drink was a problem. No electricity, no network, no nothing. Everything was just a gosh! We stayed there for weeks. Then I was getting better. My zeal for God was increasing even though I had not understood the gospel better. Then I used to preach the word to Nigga Raw who used to listen to me. He was getting convinced and even stopped smoking marijuana. But that didn’t last for long. He returned to his former ways after a while. We left the village after some weeks. I toured with my mum to many places but when it became clear to me that I had a dream that must be pursued, I then spoke to my mother. I told her that I had to go to school. I had my WAEC and JAMB exams to write, so I had to go and prepare. My mother who understood, allowed me to go back to Yenagoa and so I returned.

Luckily for me, I located the Gospel Deliverance Mission at Amarata, and was so happy. Then I wondered why I had not known the location all those while. Perhaps, it could be because I hardly walked around. I was still battling with sin even though I was quite better than before. I arrived the church, and meet one Bro Allison. He was the pastor heading the Amarata Branch at that time. I explained everything to him and he prayed for me. I became better again. But then since, I was a babe in Christ I had some issues with my growth but never relented. That had been a quality given to me by God. Unless I am dead, I do not give up on hope for any reason whatsoever. I started attending church activities, asking questions and getting the answers I needed. I studied the bible and got to know more about God. My love for God increased day by day and I was glad I was free. At a point, I started developing a strong hatred for sin and I was sure, there was nothing else holding me to get baptized. So I made up my mind and ‘opps’, I was in the water. The day I got baptized was one of the greatest days of my life. Instantaneously, I felt this unspeakable joy in my heart that I cannot explain. I was so happy and bold to preach the word. I was convinced the more of Christ and desired for more. Ever since that very day, I could say NO to sin and it stands. Righteousness became my badge and I am proud to say it. Not by my power, but by God’s. I was sure I am no longer a baby but a mature Christian. I went about proclaiming the word of God as my heart led me. I prayed and received answers and I had that expected confirmation.

I was set for my exams, because by then I had already registered for the exams. And as a Christian, I knew malpractice was and is a sin against God’s will, so I had to read hard for my exams. As it was in line with my dream of being an advocate, I registered for Jamb and filled LAW for both options. But there were many battles I had to fight.

[There is no star advocate in the episode. My life in Ijaw Kiri had ended but the memories came once in a while, and so, as one good with the pen, I wrote a complex poem about my experience in Ijaw Kiri. Below is the poem]:

THE FALL OF IJAW- KIRI
Merriment died and so years elapsed
Few months to ‘a call’
There a baneful days
Living dead foot-notes blaspheming life
And a closing days of debt
They make men make nothing of earth
Yea, the note of dead men that live

Someone had pains to sleep,
And in wrestling breath, smells through fire
Was breathed; One to two, two to one
There was a discount and no discount for life

The luminary was supplying beam,
Whiskey poised as a cigarette
Forward, toward a mental thing
Tobacco gabled head,
That was why, that was how they ended
Tobacco gabled head
To disregard men with highness

Eyes in and fall
Fading on physique and shadows
Full light of dun flames
Eyes gamboling in sorrow
A smoke, a flame with soul,
So slow, goes their soul

The noise was everywhere
Money mongers and mockers mocked
With noise in their nose
So much noise; they pretend
They were pretender
Yea, if the light quenched
Their pretence ignited

They were hot in a cold day
Hours ahead the fire, they were hot
This was the poison we had, it was my poison
The earth was married to pollution

Yea, the due was done
And turned we were to scare-flesh
Beautiful familiars drained
Beautiful families of my flesh
Drained, died and dried
 
A capture of primordial semblance,
The earth coronated me
Where my males were enemies to me
And my mouths howling in a drum

There was this call of death,
There were hundred magus hundred
Times any: just in a space less end
Where doom varies for the den of demons

For die fastness, there were morrows of men
Complex with dim radiation
Rain was a prey of prayers
When bartenders loss oil

There were numbers of evil-tasks,
And the least were not spared
Even the aged was translated
And men accounted to the heeded,
Men begot vipers; women become men

To hear the ardent music of real men
With tone and voices, ears opened to nothing
But opened to a sough afar

Abomination structured their hearts
When men kissed men
And women died to the shape of their fellows
Youth drank blood and die
While men worked on their sepulcher.

The wicked were invoked to inspire
In the coercion of the forces
They crumpled forgetting our occupation
To bless their listless greed

They were strikers; strikers of strokes
They crucified the buccaneers
And buried them in the waters
They tried; they deserved bursary
But not from him who was won by God

I sought for the panacea
I sought for the gear
To blind my bean to my sickness
I sought for the panacea

And yet, I fell, and the land fell as well
I was trodden by God
I was trodden by Evil, the evil that happened to death

Ijaw Kiri fell without Lots and wives
Without thunders and fire
But Ijaw-kiri fell and I fell
And shall never be risen to death]

THE END

[Suspense –Next episode, readers would know the battles I fought. But, hey, they were not physical battles. By then I no longer wrestle against flesh and blood.]

WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 7



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