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In the small hours' by Wole Soyinka

By Nkem Egenuka on Mon, 22/08/2016 - 13:44

Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka was born in July 13, 1934, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He attended University College in Ibadan, Nigeria, University of Leeds, England.

He was a reader at Royal Court Theater, London, chairman of department of theater arts in the University of Ibadan, , lecturer of  English literature in  the University of Ife, Nigeria.

Soyinka has won so many awards ranging from Rockefeller Foundation grant, 1960; John Whiting Drama Prize, 1966; Dakar Negro Arts Festival award, 1966; Jock Campbell Award, 1968; Nobel Prize in literature from the Swedish Academy, 1986; named Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida, 1986; Prisoner of Conscience Prize, Amnesty International; several honorary degrees.

 

IN THE SMALL HOURS 

by Wole Soyinka

Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke

Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze, 

Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes,

Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers

Comb seaweed hair, stroke acquamarine veins 

Of marooned mariners, captives 

Of Circe's sultry notes. The barman

Dispenses igneous potions ?

Somnabulist, the band plays on. 

Cocktail mixer, silvery fish

Dances for limpet clients.

Applause is steeped in lassitude,

Tangled in webs of lovers' whispers

And artful eyelash of the androgynous.

The hovering notes caress the night 

Mellowed deep indigo ?still they play.

Departures linger. Absences do not

Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze 

As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,

Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn

The notes hold sway, smoky

Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.

This music's plaint forgives, redeems 

The deafness of the world. Night turns

Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats

The broken silence of the heart.

 

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