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.