Christopher Okigbo (The Passage) Poem by African Poetry

Christopher Okigbo (The Passage)

Rating: 4.1

BEFORE YOU, my mother Idoto,
Naked I stand;
Before your weary presence,
A prodigal

Leaning on an oilbean,
Lost in your legend
Under your power wait I
On barefoot,
Watchman for the watchword
At Heavensgate;

Out of the depth my cry:
Give ear and hearken…

DARK WATERS of the beginning.

Ray, violet, and short, piercing the gloom,
Foreshadow the fire that is dreamed of.

Rainbow on far side, arched like boa bent to kill,
Foreshadow the fire that is dreamed of.

Me to the orangery
Solitude invites,
A wagtail, to tell
The tangled-wood-tale;
A sunbird, to mourn
A mother on spray.

Rain and sun in single combat;
On one leg standing,
In silence at the passage
The young bird at the passage

SILENCE FACES at crossroads:
Festivity in black…

Faces of black like black
Column of ants,

Behind the bell tower,
Into the hot garden
Where all roads meet:
Festivity in black…

O Anan at the knob of the panel oblong,
Hear us at crossroads at the great hinges

Where the players of loft organ
Rehearse old lovely fragment, alone-

Strains of pressed orange leaves on pages
Bleach of the light of years held in leather:

For we are listening in cornfields
Among the windplayers,
Listening to the wind leaning over
Its loveliest fragment….

Onyinyechi Cosmos 07 May 2018

No doubt, Okigbo remains a genius of his time...If he had survived the Nigeria-Biafra war, today he holds the name: Nobel Laurette in 'Poetry'. In his poem, Mother Idoto, he affirms, ...a prodigal. He calls himself that name because he knew he had deviated from his culture and...with a sense of regret he begs for forgiveness.

24 6 Reply
Kedrix Udjoe 01 September 2015

hmmm.yes we are the players of lost organ......

4 5 Reply
Uche Nwanze 17 December 2019

A masterpiece, a stroke of genius.

3 3 Reply
Kingsley Egbukole 24 December 2019

A great write from a master. Beautiful.

3 3 Reply

A great poet, my mentor, far ahead of his time. Tge depth of his insight still remains a challenge for tomorrow.

4 1 Reply
Me 21 August 2022


1 1 Reply
Chinedu Dike 17 August 2022

Piece of great elegance. A wonderful creation....

1 2 Reply
Raphael Imalele 23 July 2022

Long but very interesting and meaningful

1 2 Reply
Tessy 30 May 2022

Christopher Okigbo writes inspirational. His poems are so educative

1 0 Reply
Whitney 29 November 2021

How many stanza does it have please, I've veen seeing different stanzas

5 0 Reply
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