The Thematic Analysis of The Poem "Do-Gooders" By Olu Obafemi

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The poem titled DO-GOODERS was written by Olu Obafemi to portray the weaknesses and atrocities of the religionists who instead of being the last hope of a common man are threats to people's life. He tries to condemn the attitudes of the religiousists who are using their position as a man or messenger of God to blindfold the people and exploit them. They use their position to tell people lies and demand exorbitantly from them; They deny them their belongings and turn those wretched (lines 14-17).

The central theme of the poem is CONDEMNATION. Olu Obafemi tries to expect what is happening in our present environment where people dumbled into church, mosque or palm grooves only to save themselves from the escalating unemployment problem. When the people ever discover these anomalies of the people of God, they tend to be aggressive. This has led to desertion of many churches, many mosques have been damaged and some grooves are no more in existence (lines 10-13)

The poet shows his anger or agony when he said that Horror begets horror, to nullify horror, meaning that when these kinds of people are caught, they must be treated with without an iota of mercy, just as thieves, tied to the stakes, and Set on fire (lines 18 and 19). He emphasized that pity should not be allowed to come in because they have destroyed many lives already; Many have been turned to wretched bees, with bloated stomach, smelling like the stinking gutters and sucked thin (lines 1-5).

The poem ended it by lamenting saying, Woe be on them, who cheat in the name of God, even an unending woe.


Let's examine jus two (2): Poetic License and the figures of speech used in the poem.
Language used (Poetic License)

Poetic license is the permission given to a poet to use unconventional language ie free to use language in whatever way it pleases him in order to achieve his desires. He can violate the grammaticality of language.

They include in this poem the following:

1. Bloated – swollen in an unpleasing way (line 1)
2. Hoot – funny situation of a person / short loud laugh of a person (line 5)
3. Flatulent – sound important in the way that exaggerate truth (line 9)
4. Damnable – bad or annoying (line 12)
5. Stakes – host on which somebody to be burnt is first tie (line 18)
6. Wretched – extremely bad or unpleasant (line 13)
7. Flakes – small pieces of something larger
8. Blazed – mount brightly and sturdily
9. Do-gooders: those who do good / believed to be doing good

Figures of Speech

Expressions used to polish any piece of writing and to embellish it in a poetic ornament so as to make it elaborate, vivid, picturesque and interesting (Roy Omoni)

Line 1: bloated stomachs
Line 7: horror begets horror
Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

2. Consonance:
Line 7: horror begets horror
Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

3. Alliteration:
Line 4: of sprawling skeletons
Line 7: horror begets horror
Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

4. Repetition:
Line 7 & 8: horror begets horror to nullify horror

5. Rhyme:
Line 18 & 19: must be tied to stakes
Blazed in flames and flakes

6. Enjambment:
Line 7 & 8: horror begets horror to nullify horror
Line 3 & 4: the naked ribs of sprawling skeletons