Poetry is the language of the gods and the vocal expression of the inner spirit. It is pure. It is clean. It is energising. It is invigorating. Like caviar, it is an acquired taste that is only for those that are refined, enlightened and sophisticated enough to appreciate it.
That is why it thrives and is reverred in only the most advanced of nations and cultures. Essentially it is about passion: the passion to love, to fight, to survive, to overcome and to excel.
It also provides a veritable channel for the innocent expression of pain and joy. It is the most perfect art. It is beauty personified. It touches the very fiber of our being. It takes us to a higher realm where angels dwell and where fairies and nymphs make merry.
It gives us a reason to live and cause for hope. It is the oldest, the most civilised and the most advanced form of prose and for thousands of years it has been stirring the deepest emotions in humanity.
From the ancient script of the ”Epic Of Gilgamesh” to the words of Homer in the ”Iliyad”. From William Henley’s ”Invictus” to Max Ehrmann’s ”Desiderata”.
From Rudyard Kipling’s ”If” to Stanley Kunitz’s ”The Layers”. From King Solomon’s ”Songs of Solomon” to Samuel Coleridge’s ”The Rime of The Ancient Marina”.
From King David’s beautiful ”Psalms” to Wiiliam Yeats’ ”Wild Swans At Coole”. From Robert Browning’s ”How Do I Love Thee” to Anne Sexton’s ”The Truth The Dead Know”.
From Henry Longfellow’s ”Songs Of Hiawatha” to
Ibn Arabi’s “Interpreter of Desires”.
From Wole Soyinka’s “Abiku” to Lenrie Peters’ “We Have Come Home”.
From William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” to J.P. Clark’s “Casualties”.
From Edward Thomas’ “Adlestrop” to Rumi’s “The Alchemy Of Love”.
From Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” to Christopher Okigbo’s “Path Of Thunder”.
From Emma Lazarus’ “The New Collosus” to William Blake’s “The Tiger”.
From Lord Byron’s “She Walks In Beauty” to Ben Okri’s “The Awakening Age”.
From Oscar Wilde’s “The Garden of Eros” to John Keats’ “Ode On A Grecian Urn”.
From John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” to Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno”.
From Chinua Achebe’s “Love Cycle” to Dike Chukwumerije’s “The Revolution Has No Tribe”.
From Victor Hugo’s “Tomorrow At Dawn” to Ola Rotimi’s “The Gods Are Not To Blame”.
From J.R.R. Tokien’s “The Song Of Aragorn” to C.S. Lewis’ “The King Amuses Himself”.
From Voltaire’s “From Love To Friendship” to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Book of the Duchess”.
From Babington Macauly’s “Lays of Ancient Rome” to the moving words of the Spartan King Leonides at the Battle of Thermopolaye where, as he fell, he said “remember us!”
From Alfred Tennyson’s ”Charge Of The Light Brigade”
to Femi Fani-Kayode’s “An Ode To The Giver Of Life”, “Daughter of Zion”, “Remembering Macdreamie”, “St. Barts and The Godsent Child”, ”She Was Tranquility”, “He Wears The Ring Of The Baphomet”, ”The Passion That Bleeds”, ”A Tribute To The Warrior”, ”I Stand And I Fight”, “The Hills Of Ohafia”, “Snowhite”, “Tender You Are”, “Where Angels Beckon” and “‘Ayo Mi: The One That Brings Me Joy”.
Then come the great speeches.
From Winston Churchill’s “we shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the land, we shall fight them in the air and we shall fight them on the sea”, to Abraham Lincoln’s “four score and seven years”, to King Henry V’s “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers”, to Mark Antony’s “friends, Romans, country men,” to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”, to John F. Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you”.
All great and all powerful.
From Queen Yaa Asantewaa’s “we will fight till we fall on the battlefield”, to Alexander the Great’s “I will make those who stay the envy of those who return”, to Patrick Henry’s “give me freedom or give me death” to Paul the Apostle’s “nothing can separate us from the love of the Lord”, to Odysseus’ “let them say I walked with giants”.
All moving and all inspiring.
From Herodotus’ “go tell the Spartans passerby”, to Adolf Hitler’s “blood and soil”, to Barack Obama’s “yes we can”, to William Wilberforce’s “I take courage”, to Macbeth’s “I will fight till the bones be hacked from my flesh”, to Frederick Douglas’ “America is false to the past, false to the present and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future”.
All beautiful and rendered with passion, splendour, conviction, and sincerity and all inspired and invoked by the power of the Holy Ghost.
They lift the soul, re-kindle the spirit, stir up courage, break down barriers, shatter obstacles, melt down resistance, destroy the opposition and move even the greatest and most insurmountable of mountains.
I love poetry. I love its ability to inspire, to embolden, to transcend pain and to rise above all sorrow. I love the power of poetic prose. I love the rythme of the ryhme. I love its strength and its passion and I will do so till I die.