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My friends have long since suspected my propensity to do complex, obfuscating poetry, and have advised me against it. I’d endeavored to heed their well-meaning piece of advice, sticking to clear and readable lines as much as I could, but I guess one has just got a way of recidivating to old habits sometimes. Bastards, aren’t they?

I shall come down to the reason for this paper. A few days ago I wrote a poem, one very unusual in structure, use of words, and most importantly, comprehensibility, such has many a reader has complained about having no idea what it means. I have decided, in light of this, to do a very short, unprofessional review, thinking perhaps it will help pass the message of the poem across.

MOTHER ME, DAD DIVINE

Mother me, mother mine

Months-a many, my mirth

By Boston brother birth

Daddy dear, dad divine

By Boston brother birth

This is a five-line poem whose dominant literary beauty is alliteration.

It opens with the personae calling on his mother, which suggests that the following lines are spoken words of his to her. “Mother me, mother mine.” He goes on to say ‘Months-a many, my mirth’, which in plain English might translate as ‘my mirth shall last for many months’. What brings about this rare choice of syntax is the desire to alliterate every line of the poem.

To keep the reader from wondering why he opines this, Personae quickly explains himself in the next line. He says, ‘By Boston brother birth.’ Now, this is the controversial line. And because it is repeated in the last line (5), it is assumed the key to understanding the poem. Not wrongly. And it can be best understood in plain English. Perhaps that is the secret to understanding this little piece of poetry: translate it to plain English. I will try to do my best, collapsing it with the previous line to make a complete sentence: My mirth shall last for many months if I get a brother that is born in Boston (America).

Moving on, Personae declares another thing that will happen if the above happens. ‘Daddy dear, dad divine/By Boston brother birth.’ He promises to hold his father dear and divine to his heart, for he believes that it is only at his father’s permission and support that his mother can deliver her next child in America, opening the gates of opportunities to them.

 

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2 thoughts on “POEM REVIEW: MOTHER ME, DAD DIVINE by Atanda Obatolu

  1. reading through the lines of Atanda Obatolu’s has made me proud, I wouldn’t say I am impressed, perhaps it would instigate another.Thumbs

    Like

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