“THE LEADER AND THE LED” NIYI OSUNDARE
The lion stakes him calm
To the leadership of the pack
But the antelope remember
The ferocious pounce of his paws
5.The hyena says the crown is made for him
But the impalas shedder t his lethal appetite
The giraffe craves a place in front
But his eyes are too far from the ground
When the zebra says it’s his right to lead
10. The pack point to the duplicity of his stripes
The Elephant trudges into the power tussle
But it’s colleagues dread his trampling feet
The warthog is too ugly
The rhino to riotous
15. And the pack thrashes around
Like a snake without a head
“Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”.
Proclaims the forest stage,
A little bit of a lion
20. A little of a lamb
Tough like tiger, a compassionate like a doe
Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake
A leader who knows how to follow
Follower mindful of their right of lead”

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LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR ( The Black Woman)
Naked woman, black woman
Clothed with your colour which is life, with your form
Which is beauty !
In your shadow I have grown up; the gentleness of
Your hands was laid over my eyes.
And now. High up on the sun – baked pass, at the heart of
Summer, at the heart of noon, I came upon you, my
Promised land.
5.And your beauty strikes me to the heart like the flash of
An eagle.
Naked woman, dark woman
Firm-flesed ripe fruit, somber raptures of black wine,
Mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons, Savannah
Shuddering beneath the east wind’s eager caresses
Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering under the
Conqueror’s fingers
10. Your solemn contralto voice is the spiritual song of the beloved.
Naked woman, dark woman
Oil that no breath ruffles, calm on the athlete’s
Flanks, on the flanks of the princess of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the right
Of your skin
Delights of the mind, the glinting of red gold against
Your watered skin
15. Under the shadow of your hair, my care is lighted by
The neighbouring suns of your eyes
Naked woman, black woman,
I sing your beauty that passes, the form that I fix in the
Eternal,
Before jealous fate turn you to ashes to feed the
Roots of life.

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AGOSTINHO NETO “THE GRIEVED LAND”

The Full Poem

The grieved lands of Africa
In the tearful woes of ancient and modern slave
In the degrading sweat of impure dance
Of other seas
5.grieved
The grieved lands of Africa
In the infamous sensation of the stunning perfume of the Flower

Crushed in the forest
10. By the wickedness of the iron and the fire
The grieved land
The grieved land of Africa
In the dream soon undone in jingling of gaolers keys
And in the stifled laughter and victorious voice of laments
15. And in the unconscious brilliance of hidden sensations
Of the grieved lands of Africa

Alive
In themselves and with us alive
They bubble up in dreams
20. Decked with dances by baobas over balances
By the antelope
In the perpetual alliance of everything that lives
They shout out the sound of life

Shout it
25. Even the corpses thrown up by the Atlantic
In putrid offering of incoherence
And death in the clearness
Of river

They live
30. Thee grieved land of Africa
In the harmonious sound of conscience
Contained in the honest blood of men
In the strong desire of men
In the sincerity
35. In the pure and simple rightness of the star’s existence

They live
The grieved land Africa
Because we are living
40. And are imperishable particles
Of the grieved land of Africa.

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OUMAR FAROUK SESAY
THE SONG OF THE WOMEN OF MY LAND
Like a sculptor chipping away at bit of wood,
Time chisels away bits of memory
It strips away lyricals of the song of the land
Leaving only a fading tune echoing,
5. They a\ song in the forlorn fields
About their lives; sons
Of how many ploughed the terrain of their mindscape
For memories of lyrics lost in the vast void of time,
In those days when a song beheld their lives;
10. When servitude cuffed the ankles of their soul,
And dereliction decapitated the epics of their lives
With a song, they sponged off their anguish,
to behold their collective pain,
to celebrate their gains,
15. Give lyrics to the tune of their lives,
Cheat the tyranny of time,
And commune with the yet unborn
to give meaning to an epoch lost in antiquity
Yet time strips the lyrics and scars the tune,
20. Leaving dying song
Dead!
Like the woman who died long ago,
Leaving the song to tell the story of their lives
Today the tune rooms the forlorn fields
30. Like their souls looking for lyrics.

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The Caged Bird: Maya Angelou

Thpoem
The free bird leaps
On the back of the wind
And float downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tone is heard
On the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighting trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn- bright lawn and names the sky his own.


But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night: Dylan Thomas

The poem
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day,
Rage, rage against The dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end no dark is right,
Because they always had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage, against the dying of light.
And you, my father, there on the dad height.

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Journey Of The Magi: T.S Elliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey
The ways deep, and the weather Sharp,

5 The very dead of winter,
And the carmels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There where times we regretted
the summer palaces, on slopes, the terraces
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

10 And running away and wanting their liquor,

and women
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

15 And the villages dirty and charging high prices.
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches.
With the voices singing in our ears, saying

20 That this was all folly.
then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley
Wet, below the snow line, smelly vegetation;
With a running stream and in water-Mill beating the darkness. And three trees on the low sky,

25 And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at open door dicing for pieces of silver
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued.

30 And arrived at evening not a moment too soon
Finding the place, it was (you may say) satisfactory
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down.

35 this: were we let all that way for
Birth or death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had birth and death.
But had thought they were different: this birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death,
Our death.

40 we returned to our places, these kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation.
With an alien people clutching their gods,
I should be glad of another death.

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     BAT : D.H Lawrence   

The Poem
At the beginning, sitting on the terrace,
When the sun from the West, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise……
When to the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding…
When under the arches of the Ponte Vechio
A green light enters against the stream, flush from the West,
Against the current of abscure Arno.

Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together

A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.

And you think:
‘The swallows are flying so late!’

Swallows?
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop…
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the night,
And falling back.

Never swallows!
Bats!
The swallows are gone.
at a given instant the swallows give way to bats
By the Ponte Vocchio…
Changing guard.
Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one’s scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Flying madly,
Pipistrello!
Black Piper on an infinitesimal pipe.

Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;
Wings like bits of umbrella
Bats!
Create chairs that hang themselves up like an old rag to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep
Bats!
In China the bat is symbolic of happiness.
Not for me!

A Government Driver on His Retirement : Onu Chibuike

The Poem
Many years on wheels
A faithful service to his fatherland
Today retires he home
And a celebration he holds

Many years has he pummeled his boozy throat
In obedience to duty rules and regulations
Today, he’ll go home a Freeman
Eligible for his country’s services

Come friends, rejoice with me,
I suppose and zoom myself home
Away from duty rules,
Come celebrate my freedom
Early to duty tommorow holds not,
Thirty-five years of faithful service
I’ll booze to sleep away my sufferings
Today I’ve long waited for.

More joy to send him him home
A brand new car in his name
An appreciative symbol
For undented thirty-five years of service to
Fatherland.

“Come friends and rejoice more,
Joy till no more joy to joy
Today frees and makes me a king
My patience rewarded”.
And so, he boozed and boozed
Celebrating the celebration of his retirement
From faithful service to fatherland
He battled with his bottle booze.
On his way home on wheels,
Booze boozed his vision and clear judgment
He boomed his brand new car
And it sent him home
Home to rest in peace.

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