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Wednesday, March 11, 2009



I just finished reading THINGS FALL APART again.
I first read it when I must have been 8 or there about.
One thing that always struck me in that novel, was the story of Ikemefuna
I have mourned the poor inexistent boy all my life
What makes me cry for him
Is the fact that it was Okonkwo who killed him
Every year I read that story, I would think it would change
I wanted it to stop at the point where an elder struck Ikemefuna
I did not want him to scream. ‘father they have killed me’
I did not want Okonkwo to strike him down, because of some stupid fear of being thought weak.
And the most annoying fact of all, is that all my life I have loved Okonkwo and Ikemefuna
Despite all he did, I still find myself having sympathy for Okonkwo
Though when I watched the film on NTA, I hated Pete Edochie.
But Chinua Achebe just makes me so helplessly love Okonkwo.

I think Achebe did very well with things fall apart
I like to imagine that the book was inspired by W.B.YEATS
Or was it just the caption


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
W.B.YEATS, ‘THE SECOND COMING’.


My favourite poem is written by the same person


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of light, and night and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Thread softly because you thread on my dreams
.
W.B.YEATS.


Here’s my own romantic and lame translation of the last poem


Had I the popular wealth-giving talents
Of inventing and manufacturing
The talents everyone would scream about
Of inventing M.S WORD, and finding the cure for aids
I would gladly deliver those talents to your service
But I, having been blessed modestly, have only my ability to write
I have given you my stories to read
Critique carefully, because you criticize my dreams

12 comments:

Danny B said...

chinua achebe worked okonkwo's character to perfection - the outwardly successful guy with a really insecure inside....
not a bad try yrself

JD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD said...

Hello! Lovely blog. Thanks for your comments on my blog.
Achebe they say is the grandfather of African literature. TFA was a good book. I believe what makes a successful novel is characterisation... an impressionable character or characters would make even a poor plot stand out.

JD

Writefreak said...

Chinua Achebe is a brilliant writer and i love Things Fall Apart..btw, do you know how i can get a copy? I'd love to own one!

Scarlet said...

Gosh you brought back memories from times past. I loved reading that book. Saw the play acted on stage and it was so powerful.
i'd love to get myself a copy if u know where.
Thanks for stopping by my blog

Have you any wool said...

@ Danny
yeah Okonkwo comes to life to anybody who reads the book. Achebe did too well with him. yeah my poem was a nice try, considering the fact that im a terrible poet. thanks for coming by. please keep coming

@J.D
wow wow wooooooooooooooooooooooooow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! today is my happiest day. you came by my blog, i have always dreamed of this day. i have read your unbridled and i so much love the story. thanks so much for coming by, please keep coming

@whitefreak.
Glad you love Achebe too, great writer he is. I am totally useless at recommending bookstores online. please someone else help us out. But if you are in Nigeria, Things fall apart could be found in any serious bookshop. I love your blog, greatly inspiring

@scarlet.
pity i dont know where apart from any reputable bookshop in Nigeria. maybe some one who knows could help out. thanks for coming by too. keep coming.

@everyone.
thanks so much you all, your comments keep me blogging

Rose said...

My favourite part of W.B Yeats "second coming" is "the best lack all conviction,while the worst are full of passionate intensity".

I read things fall apart some years back,and what struck me most about the book,was the way okonkwo's character,remained in the mind of readers ,as ikemefuna's killer.
In a way,it reminds me of Elechi Amadi's "the concubine",which is an equally commendable work.

Have you any wool said...

@ ROSE
i have read the concubine, yeah it's commendable though i found the tragedy very hard to bear.

'The best lack all conviction . . .' how true in real life

Buttercup said...

i havent read the book but i remeber watching it vaguely..books seem to capture every emotion better than movies or whatever..

ur translation was reaaly good!

doll said...

me too…I read that book over and over again..and I always cry out of pity for Okonkwo wen the people refused to go to war…I hated the xtains

ManCee said...

You write well.
Your version I especially like-tis 'hip'.
(chuckle)
Funny enof, the Okonkwo+Ike story made me choose at a wee age NOT to be the kind of man who cant think with his heart...and also to remember that I AM a man; I dont have to prove it to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!