Niyi Osundare

Niyi Osundare Poems

The Lion stakes his claim
To the leadership of the pack

But the Antelopes remember
The ferocious pounce of his paws

Deep green, my testament, as I forage
through this forest of vanished glories,
my memory one shell of naked echoes

The moon is playing hide-and-seek
Behind the clouds. A mellow smile
Lingers on the lips of the sky

I stay very long in the river
And I become a fish
With a head made of coral
And fins which tame the distance
Of billowing depths

In the Beginning was not the Word
In the Word was the Beginning

Unwind the wind

Some days know
the secret leaning of the heart

their auricles are acres of clay
watered by the kindest dew

I looked round for vendors of my own past,
For that Hall where, many seasons ago,
My Continent was sliced up like a juicy mango

Niyi Osundare Biography

Niyi Osundare (born in Ikere-Ekiti, Nigeria, in 1947) is an essayist, writer for the theatre, lecturer and one of Nigeria's most celebrated poet. He has published 18 volumes of poetry, several plays, essays, articles and criticism. Previously a professor at the English Institute of the University of Ibadan, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English at the University of New Orleans. His poetry combines concepts and traditions of the Yoruba culture with Marxist approaches. He uses mythological concepts to underline his struggle against social injustice and inhumanity. Niyi Osundare’s prizes include the 1991 Noma Award, the 1998 Fonlon-Nichols Award and the 2008 Tchicaya U Tam’si Award for African Poetry, one of Africa’s most prestigious poetry prizes. In 2014 he received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest distinction for outstanding creative and intellectual achievement.)

The Best Poem Of Niyi Osundare

The leader and the led

The Lion stakes his claim
To the leadership of the pack

But the Antelopes remember
The ferocious pounce of his paws

The hyena says the crown is made for him
But the Impalas shudder at his lethal appetite

The Giraffe craves a place in the front
But his eyes are too far from the ground

When the Zebra says it's his right to lead
The pack points to the duplicity of his stripes

The Elephant trudges into the power tussle
But its colleagues dread his trampling feet

The warthog is too ugly
The rhino too riotous

And the pack thrashes around
Like a snake without a head

"Our need calls for a hybrid of habits",
Proclaims the Forest Sage,

"A little bit of a Lion
A little bit of a Lamb

Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe
Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake

A leader who knows how to follow
Followers mindful of their right to lead"

Niyi Osundare Comments

Aiwuyo Bliss Etinosa 01 March 2020

hi i wish to add my poem but am only 12

28 9 Reply
Rosemary 10 May 2022

Don't doubt yourself. You can do it!

9 3
Emmanuella 18 April 2020

Please can I get the analysis of Nepa and Inu Rere

26 9 Reply
Precious 02 February 2020

is it interesting

11 7 Reply
Vivian Essuman 26 September 2022

Please can I get some. questions under the leader and the led

2 1 Reply
Rosemary 10 May 2022

The poem NEPA really descrbes the fustration that comes with NEPA

2 2 Reply
Beatrice 28 March 2022

I love the way you addressed NEPA i am 11years old, so i need the content analysis ofNEPA.Thank you

2 2 Reply
Beatrice 28 March 2022

I love what you wrote about NEPA i am so happy i am 11years lod, so i meed the content of analysis today because i have to submit my assignment tomorrow.God bless you

1 1 Reply
BERNARD 14 June 2022

Please can i have the analysis you are talking about?

1 1
Beatrice 28 March 2022

I love your poems i am 11year old oand i would like to know the content analysis of NEPA.God bless you

2 2 Reply

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