no prescription cures a country nobody loves-Tanure Ojiade

years back I saw  a nameless schoolgirl form Ojojo, Warri.
surrender her recess-rice coin to a beggar, one
smeared with the biting indifference of passers-by--
even the ant knows the other's stronger need
and brings the millennium closer to a spiteful lot.

The driver who rescues his van from a treacherous puddle,
then stops to plant there a red flag
founds a fellowship that deserves universal membership--
this rarity gladdens the heart.

And these do not make history or network news,
these do not earn national awards,
these do not crow on rooftops.
Their gestures are magical in their silence--
the ant builds a monument without fanfare,
the very ant that knows the other's stronger need.

And no prescription will cure the sick country
nobody proudly loves an inseparable flesh.
Has it ever happened here that the priest offered his blood
to stave off the vesuvial scourge he foresaw,
has it happened here that the sharer forgot himself
to raise the spirit of the eighty per cent lowlies?

Even the ant knows the other's stronger need,
and no prescription cures a sick country nobody loves.

-Tanure Ojaide

'Lara A

6 comments:

  1. Interesting poem. The last line is true, but I don't think you'd call Nigeria a country nobody loves. Unless (s)he wasn't talking about Nigeria lol

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  2. On a deep, perhaps sub-conscious level, Nigeria is a country nobody appears to love.

    When push comes to shove, Nigerians identify more with their ethnicity (hausa, igbo, yoruba, etc) and are prouder of their ethnic origins than of their country. You hit on some truth right there.

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  3. Nigerians identify more with their ethnicity and are prouder of their ethnic origins than of their country.
    EXACTLY THE POINT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO RELAY AROUND HERE!!!
    Summed up nicely Lara!

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  4. Wow...this is impressive. iDefinitely LIKE! Almost every line rings very true.

    I agree with miss.fab but I also think we don't love it ENOUGH.

    ReplyDelete

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