With the slumbering of the night,
And the cry of your eyes for sleep,
Our children, we beg of all
To lend us, your left ears for a counsel.
Listen to these advice from your doomed fore-bears!
As your ancestors, we tell you this day,
That our own time has come,
And shamefully, it’s melting away.
Oh! Our barren today will soon varnish,
While your tomorrow is about to germinate!
There is something we must make you see;
This wound in our guilty heart so deep,
But not deep enough to swallow our debacles.
Our generation indeed, built you a house…
A big house built on a poisonous foundation!
For we were callous harbingers of injustice,
Preachers of oppression we were!
We were acolytes of many evils.
With this heart-greed that silenced our voices,
No longer can we now wail for justice!
Our children, we crossed our legs,
We clutched our fingers to watch cruelty grow!
This seed of segregation in you we planted,
Has magnified into a monstrous tree of hatred.
Nothing but doom we have achieved!
Above all, dear children of our loins,
We’ve banished a lady called “Truth”,
From our land, we chased her faraway,
As we couldn’t bear this bitter bride.
Search for her in the bushes, farms and forest!
We repeat, search to find this beauty,
Return her home but stand by her,
For “Truth” alone can avert your doom,
“Truth” alone can savage your innocence
And “Truth” alone can blot your tears!
In you, rests our feeble hope,
That hope of a future rekindled.
Desert not from your lips,we beg,
Cancel not from your hearts, these messages:
Messages of hard work, love and brother-hood!
We plead with you to please undo,
Undo these wrongs we’ve mindfully done!
These two wrongs you must make right:
Religious intolerance and tribal discrimination:
Kill these duo, we plea you do!
Goodnight! Our dear children,
In you, we foresee the best,
And dream of glorious days unborn.
Sleep well! Our very last hope,
May your tomorrow be better than our today!
Intellectual property of:
ODJE, David Odje (Mr)
(B.A Hons ENG & LITT. UNIV. Of BENIN)
BACKGROUND ANALYSES OF THE POEM
The poem “Advice from your doomed forebears” is a lamentational lullaby (i.e. a song meant to lull children into deep sleep).As creative hand-work, this poem is a carefully crafted literary piece that gives voluminous explanation to some of the noticeable failures of the older generations (our ancestors).
In stanza one, the speaking voice (poet personae) in this poem, makes it crystal clear before the younger generation that their own time has come for them to be armed with some needed information (counsel) concerning most nauseating parental flaws as seen today.
More so, stanza two (2) opens and closes with an acceptance by our parents that their own time is up, in the football field of this world which has “God” and “destiny” as referees. At this juncture, our ancestors further encourage their off springs to stand poise and ready to tackle the imminent challenges of life.
Around stanza three (3) of this same poem, we cannot help but to notice an “open-confession” by our parents. With ample shame and regrets, our ancestors accept that they have failed the generation of their children in almost all the human endeavors earlier managed by them. Maybe in the areas of corrupt leadership, parental irresponsibility and more, our fore bears have taken the blame for building this new generation a “house,” but a “house” that obviously stands on a poisonous foundation of hatred, distrust and lies!
In furtherance, stanza four (4)kick-starts with a self-condemnation. Our forebears claim to have defamed their parental title by degenerating themselves into disciples of oppression, injustice, and greed even in the face of their children who observe, learn and copy these societal maladies.
In a remorseful state of lamentation, stanza five (5) progresses with the state of limbo our ancestors have also maintained in their time. Forebears of this new generation have encouraged the growth of hatred and the mentality of segregation among their own children simply by their “inactive disposition”. Of Course, they have come to the self-realization that this position of nonchalance may condemn the future of the younger generation. http://influence.com.ng/2016/05/30/3-ways-ordinary-citizens-under-develop-nigeria/
However, stanza six (6) begins with an exposition. Along this line, our fore-bears give succinctly the needed insight to enable the younger generation understand better some of the reasons why the older generation could not live up to expectation. It becomes apparent that our ancestors have raped, abandoned and also exiled the “Truth” within the political, academic, social and religious endeavors of their existence.
Stanza seven (7) of this master work uncloses with a solemn plea by our fore-bears to the younger generation. They beckon on the new generation to embark on a “search expedition” not only to return the “truth,” but also to jealously stand by it.
An air of hope begins to set in as stanza eight (8) draws near. Within the context of this stanza the poet-personae expresses unshakeable hope on the ability of this new generation to save the day, by protecting their future. Our ancestors appeal to their children to always abide by the working principles of entrepreneurship, love and unity. http://influence.com.ng/2016/05/16/entrepreneurshiphow-to-succeed-at-what-you-do/
Religious selfishness and ethnic segregation are the two basic items that projects stanza nine (9). The speaking voice in this poem seriously warns the younger generation to hasten the process of killing the mentality that governs the idea behind religious sentiment and tribal bias among them. The children are hereby advised to correct this wicked attitude earlier developed and encouraged by their parents in error.
The last stanza (stanza ten) begins with a valedictory statement that places the new generation on a pedestal of high-hopes. Our ancestors optimistically etched their dreams of escaping obliteration if their children can listen to the advice they have been offered. It closes with a prayer for the younger generation for a better tomorrow.
In a nutshell, this pictorial piece of literature passes for a direct clarion call to the off springs of our time to acknowledge the fact that their force bears (ancestors) have accepted the blame for being too selfish with the truth. Although, this poem makes it clear that the responsibility of correcting the wrongs of the past hangs on this new generation if they must enjoy the luxury of an exalted future.