Wole Soyinka (Abiku) Poem by African Poetry

Wole Soyinka (Abiku)

Rating: 5.0

In vain your bangles cast

Charmed circles at my feet;

I am Abiku, calling for the first

And the repeated time.


Must I weep for goats and cowries

For palm oil and the sprinkled ash?

Yams do not sprout in amulets

To earth Abiku's limbs.


So when the snail is burnt in his shell

Whet the heated fragments, brand me

Deeply on the breast. You must know him

When Abiku calls again.


I am the squirrel teeth, cracked

The riddle of the palm. Remember

This, and dig me deeper still into

The god's swollen foot.


Once and the repeated time, ageless

Though I puke. And when you pour

Libations, each finger points me near

The way I came, where


The ground is wet with mourning

White dew suckles flesh-birds

Evening befriends the spider, trapping

Flies in wind-froth;


Night, and Abiku sucks the oil

From lamps. Mother! I'll be the

Supplicant snake coiled on the doorstep

Yours the killing cry.


The ripes fruit was saddest;

Where I crept, the warmth was cloying.

In the silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping

Mounds from the yolk.

Friday, August 8, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: superstition
Willy odo 12 November 2017

I love the poem and the poet. The poem is stored in my memory since 1989.

12 4 Reply


4 5
Willy odo 12 November 2017

I love the poem and the poet. The poem is stored in my memory since 1989.

5 7 Reply
Esselebor Ebhojie 20 July 2022

Very entertaining and superb in spiritual narrative of a phenomenal scenario of reincarnation

2 0 Reply
Cattie, 03 January 2022

I like the poem but what is the meaning of the verse ' i am the riddle of the palm?

3 0 Reply
David 12 July 2022

From the act of cracking open palm nuts. Squirrel are renown for being able to crack open nuts with their teeth

2 1
Khyra 21 October 2021

A child that comes to life repeatedly to plague the mother Abiku

1 0 Reply
shut your donki wonki bumm upp 17 September 2021


1 3 Reply
Muniroh Omotosho 03 September 2022

The real bozo is you

2 0
blessung 21 January 2019

abikun written by whole Soyinka

10 5 Reply
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