Elegy of a Boy who Fell off the Cliff #Dec2018

Elegy of a Boy who fell off the Cliff.

Below the white linen on the medical barrow are putrid wounds;

Of torn flesh, smashed marrows and stretched meat.

The ruins and remains of a fall from four ten feet

Of a faceless boy who tipped off the cliff bounds;

Down through into dark hollows of a loveless pit.  


Beneath the blood-covered skin;

Multiple bone-twists and cracks in the white wall.

Tonight, this song must arrive the town hall

For this sight of gore is to the eye, a sin.

Tonight, the devil’s wife must merry on some sweet gin.  


Save the broken bones and leaking ligaments,

Deliver it in a chocolate box.

Tell the preacher, “a gift from candy rocks”

And that for the tears, death has paid a hundred cent.

Need not be for a mourning garment under a widow’s tent.  


Again on this cold stormy night,

Death has walked the land

With sorrow, pain and the rest of his band.

Let us start the black-kiss ritual, for fate, we cannot fight.

Sing aloud the song of the boy who fell off such great height.  


Now Fate fades away in the shadows

Like an innocent child carried away by the gentle sea.

Sing not to a boy who fell “whatever will be will be”

For the pains of a broken heart is the walking-dead’s key.  


Let every man and gentle lady guard their heart.

The sermon says “to keep a soul-smile and soar high”               (sobs…)

Let this be the verse of a little boy who fell in love;

Shot by a shockwave; unable to glide through the cliff’s-curve

And In turn, fell so deep off the cliff

For love…Oh love- did break his little wing.  

About the Author

Anu Soneye

Anuoluwa Soneye is a writer of poetry and short story and a graduate student in the B.A English program at the Obafemi Awolowo University. His keenest interest as a writer is embodied in the ability of a work to project the pain that envelopes the world we live in. Aside writing, he also has a penchant for music.

21 thoughts on “Elegy of a Boy who Fell off the Cliff #Dec2018

  1. Awwwnnn! There was never a boring moment from start to finish. The use of imagery is so dope too. I could visualise and feel everything. Well done!


    The poem is a narrative piece. The poet employs a third person narrative technique to present the agony, pain, grief etc of a boy who lost his father. According to the narrator, the little boy is obviously in love and fond of his father and also dependent on his father for survival and future breakthrough. The little boy is too small of age to bear the burden of what death has posed on him
    The narrator or speaker counsels and comforts the little boy telling him that what will happen had happened and that the little boy should not give room for the devil (walking dead). The devil might want to key into the little boy’s sobriety and bring more disasters like stickiness.
    TONE: sorrow, anguish
    MOOD: sadness, hopelessness
    1) Hopelessness
    2) Inevitability of problems in life
    3) Unrest
    4) Poverty
    5) Pretense
    6) Betrayal

    The speaker employs thematisation in the first line of the poem the poet decides to bring the prepositional group, which is supposed to be at the object level, this is because he wants to place focus and lay emphasis on it, likewise line 3&5 of stanza 2 {TONIGHT). The speaker uses this thematisation to create the awareness of the readers to a particular event or situation. The speaker paints a vivid mental picture and reality of the situation of the society through the employment of prepositional group.
    ‘Below the white linen’
    ‘on the medical barrow’
    In the simple sentence ‘Below the white linen on the medical barrow/are/putrid wounds (APS), the structural pattern of the simple sentence defiles the normal structure or pattern of a sentence. The structure of the sentence looks awkward.
    The speaker adopts this sentential pattern to project the awkward events or situation of things in their society.
    The ‘A’ element in the sentence analyses above is an ‘adverbial phrase of place’. This draws the attention of the reader to the particular location where the awkward and incongruous events that are more prevailing in his society that is in the hospital can be found.
    The subject of the first line of the poem, ‘putrid wounds’ describes the lend of people in the hospital to be people with rotten wounds or critical conditions.
    More so, the nominal groups, ‘putrid wounds, torn flesh, smashed marrow, stretched meat, the ruin and remains, a loveless pit, the blood-covered skin’ all paint the bizarre situation of the people in his society. The speaker also uses these nominal groups to describe his experience and the realities in his environment.
    In the third lines and 5 of stanza 2, the speaker uses the modal auxiliary verb ‘must’ to signal compulsion and urgency in the delivery of the ‘song’.
    The ‘song’ as used by the speaker is an Euphemism. The speaker uses Euphemism because the only way the unpleasant situations can get to the ‘town hall’ the government (inflicter of pain) is when codified as good news.
    In the third stanza of the poem, the speaker changes his mood to an imperative mood. He switch to imperative sentence in line 1 – 3 in order to direct the boy. This shows the authoritative nature of the speaker.
    The essence of the direction is to give him guideline on how to encode the message
    ‘Chocolate’ as used in line 2 stanza 3 connotes love and acceptance etc. the speaker orders that this be used as a mask of love so that the government (preacher) can accept the gift whose content is that of sorrow, pain, unrest, anguish and grief.
    The speaker uses third person personal pronoun to distance himself from the crises, unrest in the poem but in line 4, of stanza 4 he uses command with ‘let’ to show the readers his inclusion in the unrest.
    ‘Sing’ line 5 stanza 4 and ‘sing not’ line 3 stanza 5, the speaker here employs lexical antonym my to contrast the outcome of the ‘song’ (the speaker’s message) the message did not receive a favourable action, hence the people resigns to fate.

    The poet paints the picture of Nigeria as a complicated one. Nigeria is our father land. Every citizen loves their country, Nigeria, maybe far back. Every one however looks up to the good of Nigeria. They, out of their love for their father land, rely on him for their present and future survival. Nigeria is also a country with very strong economy, hence, he is the centre piece of Africa (the cliff). But unfortunately, Nigeria has fallen so badly and all its pride has broken into pieces. The voice of the citizens or masses are no longer heard at the centre. The ceremony of the innocent has been drowned. The speaker here is not left out either. However, out of his little power, decides to project the voice and the plight, grief, anguish etc of the masses to the government (centre). The government always preach change but do not act as preached in their manifestoes. The Nigeria which was the centrepiece of Africa has fallen severely (40metres, the poet stated), and has become an object of mockery before his citizens and his neighbouring countries. Instead of the government to protect the Interest of the masses, they do not care or worry about their Welfare. Rather, the masses themselves are the ones working towards projecting their voice, which is not heard. The poet writes to advocate for the masses.

    Nice job from you (Anu)

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