Her works never fails to draw her readers into an intense engagement and this is done through her reflection on universal themes that transcend any social construct that man has ever created- her use of the narrative in her poetry always manages to capture her readers with the promise of a deeper insight into human nature, into the ways of life and of death. These promises are what make her readers so enthralled with her work and they simply cannot help but want to know more.
Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, an Irish Poet, was one of my favourite poets as a Leaving Certificate student. I know that because the above was the introduction to an essay that I had written on her for my English teacher. I found it while I was going through my old papers, looking for an old quote that I had jotted down many moons ago. I remember now that I had kept it because my teacher had called it “an examiner’s dream”
I had to pause when I found it and read this essay because it reminded me of something that had chilled me to the bones about Eilean ’s poetry.
One poem in particular stood out- “Deaths & Engines”
I had a sort of an uncomfortable romance with the poem “Deaths and Engines.”
I liked it because it spoke nothing but the truth and I hated it for that same reason.
The description of a plane coming into land immediately incites the universal human fear of being airborne and the dread of not being in control. There is an urgency to her discussion of mortality and the unpredictability of human lives. A sense of impending doom permeates throughout the poem.
I remember the example that she used in the poem. The man who survived his accident serves to reinforce this wholly human fear. The man in the poem had escaped death this time but she emphasises that his luck would run out “some time” and he would find himself faced with the eventuality of death.
Death, which is described as an acceleration “down a blind alley”.
But life, like death, is also an acceleration down a blind alley. You really never know when you will hit the wall at the end of that alley.
Continue reading “Death Happens”
It was such a long time ago since I had last seen you that I had to look again.
It was at the bus station. We were waiting for the same bus to take us to the same town.
The same town where we had planted our roots all those years ago.
You did not know me and I did not even know your name.
But I knew you.
I used to see you all those years ago, walking to school, getting the bus, walking to the shop or simply hanging around the estate with your many friends.
I used to marvel at you. Not only were you beautiful, you had this aura about you. An unspoken charm that drew all around you even closer.
Continue reading “The Town Where We Planted Our Roots”
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility and never an opportunity- Words by Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American Poet and Writer.
Our friends can be reflections of ourselves.
We see ourselves in them- our struggles, our fears, our burdens, our interests.
But they also reflect the kind of person we wish to be. We see something in our friends that we wished we had, either it be kindness, courage, ruthlessness, determination or talent.
Those are all things that draw us to people.
We learn through our friends. They are the rocks on the bank of the river that is our life. They shape our course, our movement. They divert our path and change our destination.
Continue reading “Friendship As a Sweet Responsibility”
Racism is an incurable disease. That is what I have come to learn in my 22 years on planet Earth.
Actually scrap that. I knew nothing about this disease until about 12 years ago when I left Nigeria and came “abroad”. It has been a pleasant experience too as I already wrote about in one of my previous posts, Heart Grows Fonder, but sooner, rather than later, the “Question of Race” started come into play.
It first happened when I was in primary school, within the first few months of my education here and one of the teachers questioned me, “you don’t mind if I call you black do you?” I heard my classmates gasp, as though what she had said was something bad, but I did not know what it was back then.
Racism was not a thing to me. Growing up in Nigeria, people were simply people to me. Of course I was aware of the differences in physical appearance. I knew that my favourite James Bond at the time, Pierce Brosnan, coincidentally Irish, looked different to me.
Continue reading “The Question of Race- The Tallaght Debacle”
You walked past a homeless man a while back. You called him George in your head. It was a cold, bitter morning and you were in a rush to get to some shelter as the elements attacked every crevice of your exposed face. You still remember thanking God for small favours and the fact that you had bought a pair of gloves yesterday.
The bridge that you were crossing was a bit slippery- that was how cold it was- there was a thin sheet of ice over the wood and you found yourself walking slowly, to prevent yourself from falling face first, something which, was a very likely possibility.
So there you were, in your big winter coat, combat boots and your newly acquired gloves, shuffling your way across the bridge.
A man was walking towards you, from the other side of the bridge and in between you sat another man. A homeless man. George. He was wrapped in a blue shawl, a huge hat covering his head and his money tin held out in his outstretched hands, un-gloved as they were.
Continue reading “Judgment”
Am I too much?
It was a fear that popped up out of no where. A concern that annoyed me until became a realisation that plagued on all of my insecurities.
I have a previous post titled “Enough”, published sometime last year, and that had been written in celebration of the fact that the person that you are should be enough for the people around you and more importantly, to yourself.
But is there such a thing as being too much? Caring too deeply? Feeling too strongly?
And does that scare people away? And if it scares them away, does that mean that they were never meant to be in your life in the first place? Or is that just another lie that we have been conditioned to tell ourselves, in order to shed the blame from ourselves?
Continue reading “The Question of Being Too Much”
“Stronger than Lover’s Love is Lover’s hate. Incurable, in each, the wounds they make.”
― Euripides, Medea
I didn’t believe it when I was told that there was a thin line between love and hate. I never understood how trully blurred the lines of love and hate were and the many shades of grey that lay in between those two emotions. And then I came across Euripides’ quote (on the door of my wardrobe, of course) and I was forced to ponder on the verity of his words.
Love- passionate, and by definition, abstract.
What does it mean to love someone? To love another human being means the willingness to do anything for that person, regardless of your own personal happiness. You wish them the best in everything that they do, even if it means leaving you behind.
It is an abstract thing and yet it’s tangible effects are seen around us every single day- in the way we treat each other, our careers, and our friendships. We pour our all into these things-our time, our energy, our money, our emotions and our vulnerabilities.
We trust those that we love to never betray us because they have seen us for who we are and they have stayed. We put our energy into the things that we love in the hope that they will bring us success and we treat those around us with respect because we would like them to treat us in the same regard, with the same level of respect.
Continue reading “Lover’s Hate”
And so 2017 has come to an end. I was under so much pressure to write something to sum up the whole year. In fact, it was stressing me out so much that I nearly decided that I wouldn’t bother anymore.
What’s in a year anyway? A day? An hour? A minute? What is actually changing?
The 1st of January 2018 is just another day in the grand scheme of things. But to many, it is another day that signifies so much more.
So many resolutions made already and so many of them broken before the new year has even started.
I am still amazed at how fast it all flew. Scrolling through my social media, I can see that it is of a general consensus that 2017 was the worst and best year simultaneously.
Continue reading “2017- And That’s That”
The worse thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.
It comes from people that are deeply rooted in your belief system, people that you have exposed your soul to and saw a reflection of yourself in.
It comes from those that you trust, the ones that you swear would never harm you on purpose or play with your dreams.
It comes from the people who you never expect it from.
It comes from those people that you love and who claim to love you back. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from a romantic relationship either. It could be betrayal from a family member or perhaps a close friend.
This betrayal hurts so much because at the end of the day, who knows you better than those who you have bared your very being to?
Continue reading “Betrayal”
One of the most painful and destructive emotions in the human spectrum is holding a grudge that will not go away.
It always starts out small- someone did something to offend you. That small knot forms in your stomach but decided to let it slide.
Or maybe you want to talk about it but because of one reason or the other, you can’t.
So you bottle it in, like a pungent poison and refuse to bring it up, in the hopes that you will get over it eventually.
But like a pungent poison, it eats into your soul until you can no longer ignore it. Soon everything that person does irritates you, you run out of things to talk to them about because your anger towards them gets in the way, you don’t want to be around them because their very presence reminds you of everything that they have ever done to you and you just continue to dwell on it.
It sits heavy on your chest day in and day out.
Continue reading “Poisons Like Grudges”