It’s the last Tuesday of March, so let’s join Regular Rumination et al with the talk about poetry.
You’ve probably seen this on some other blog or website, but there’s no harm in telling you how fascinating I find this: 2 Poets – 2 Poems – 2 Different Perspectives – Same Title.
Abiku is a Yoruba (a Niger-Congo language spoken in Nigeria, Benin and Togo) word meaning born to die. It is derived from the two Yoruba words abi (that which possesses) and iku (death). Abiku is the name given to the spirit of a child who does not live for long, but chooses to be reborn several times to the same family.
Rituals and sacrifices are made to appease it, but an Abiku chooses to be indifferent to the plights of its parents. It enjoys taunting and tormenting its mother by repeating the cycle of birth, death and rebirth in short successions. A woman whose firstborn is believed to be an Abiku usually ends up childless.
Wole Soyinka’s and John Pepper Clark’s poems have been compared, probed and analyzed on different literary levels, but as I stated before, “I am not a big fan of academic commentary on poems”.
So Iet’s share our thoughts on ABIKU by the two poets.
Any similarities? Any differences? What are your personal observations?
Do you know of any other poems with the same title but from two or more perspectives?