mercredi 23 décembre 2009


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I don`t know what to say
So, don`t ask me
All I know is he gave
He was here
He came and he left it.

Yes, that may not be your pay
But why ask me?
Don`t you know what`s in a name?
Anything, as long as it`s near
Unless you think it`s a bottomless pit.

copyright 2009

4 commentaires:

Bakia jamilia arrey a dit…

I do not seem to make out any issue or idea in this poem.can you please enlighten me?.But the impression is that the poem says a lot.

Tikum Mbah Azonga a dit…

Thanks Jamilia.

There are several ways of approaching a poem. But you can try this: The title is "The name game". Go through the poem and see to what extent it is a name and/or a game. Say whether you agree with that categorization or not. Give reasons for your answer.

The poem opens with a negation, that is to say, a denial of something. Find out from the rest of the poem whether this denial is justifiable. Find out too what might be the origin of the denial. If you were in the shoes of the narrator, would you equally opt for denial? Why?

The personal pronoun, “he” is used to refer to someone who is not named and about whom the reader does not know much. Who do you think this person is? How do you think he is related to the narrator? Why do you think the narrator is concealing the person’s identity? Is it that the narrator is so overpowered by emotions that he cannot reason rationally?

Sometimes the role of adjectives in a poem can serve as a useful guide. Remember that the adjective is a `describing word`. In other words, it is a `telling` word. In this particular poem, there are not many adjectives used. Why do you think so? There is `bottomless` that describes the pit in the last line of the poem. If you come to think of it, a `pit` is not a place anyone would like to be in. It’s deep, macabre, and claustrophobic and gives the impression that one is in a grave. It’s dark and narrow and uncomfortable. When you’re in a pit, you can’t run. You’re stuck. Remember that when allied forces led by America troops invaded Iraq at the time of Saddam Hussein, they found him more or less stranded in a pit. To make matters worse, this particular pit in the poem is said to be bottomless. Since it does not have a bottom, if anyone falls in it, the person will keep falling without ever stopping because the pit has no bottom to catch the falling person.

Interestingly, the title makes what may be considered as an unusual use of adjectives. The word, `name`, which is normally used as a noun, is used here by the poet to qualify the other noun, `game`. In other words, it is a noun that the poet has decided to turn into an adjective. A closer look indicates that the poet goes further to play on the two words, `name` and `game` because they are homonyms (similar sounding words) that are made to stand in close proximity with each other. Do you think this was intentional or not? Explain your answer. At this juncture you can decide whether you like the poem or not, and above all, have reasons to back your answer. Ask yourself also whether the poet attained the objective he set for himself when he wrote the poem.

There is a lot more to be said about this poem. Nonetheless, I believe that with the information I have given so far, you have enough meat on your plate to sink your teeth into. So go back and read the poem after reading my comments. Perhaps that will inspire you to write your own poem!


bakia jemilia arrey a dit…

Thanks for the clarification

Tikum Mbah Azonga a dit…

It`s a pleasure. Keep reading.