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The lights are impossible of my eyes
For how comes such happy vigour
With the birth of a new thought?
Over that impossible sea!
Over the immaculate desert!
Frolicking in the cherubic presence;
Of that very round depiction!
Upon my earth I climb!
For how long does it last?
To that fact am I oblivious
A gracious state of mind
Is all I badly crave;
As I leave this place of yesterday!
Oh, upon my earth I climb!
This poem could be regarded as an eccentric progeny of the sonnet family, attempting to resemble the lot in structure- only in structure. It is a patriotic poem that takes its roots from the primordial celebration of the Nigerian Democracy Day, May 29, 1999, whose personae is obviously a Nigerian in the Diaspora. On learning that his beloved country has been given democracy, decides to return home, perhaps provoked by the terrible racial bigotry that he’s been subjected to in the foreign country, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The poem opens with the personae stating the excitement; ‘happy vigour’ that accompanies ‘a new thought’; the decision to return to his country-beloved. The new thought is further explained in the following lines that make up the first verse, though rather niggardly.
Lines 4-7 suggest the thought of flying; of gliding above seas and desert; of being in the ‘presence of that very round depiction’ that suggests either the sun or the moon; but more likely the moon. It is obvious here that the personae is in a sort of oneirism, transporting himself to a future he is eager to visit. This is confirmed by the last line of the verse: Upon my earth I climb.
Still dreaming of flying away, the personae, in the next verse, also confirms his reverie, announcing that he is unaware of how long the flight takes/will take. All he wants, according to him, is for the obnoxious locals to let him alone. He doesn’t want their shocked, mortifying glares; or their accusing fingers; or their rude remarks. He is returning to his country, bidding adieu to the foreign country which he refers to as a ‘place of yesterday’, for only that explains why they are still so much ridden in racial prejudice.
In all, this is a rich poem that centres on Democracy and Racism.