2 Poems on Destiny with Critical Analyses


The poems are written and published for researchers and readers to do critical analyses of the poems. Also, the readers and lovers of literature will still have lessons to learn from the poems. Read and enjoy them.

Poem 1



Ori, the god of man


You are to worship

And abandon gods

My head, Ajiki

My Creator, Ajige

Is it not the head that saves?

It is he that provides

It is the head, not the gods

When the head saves

What do gods look at?

Ori, the advocate of man

The solicitor of destiny

The destiny of life

My head I beg, save me

Do not let me cross the limit!

Poet: Deola Adelakun

Brief of the Poem

Ori is an interpretation of the human physical head of a body system. However, its meaning portrays deeper than the physical head in the Yoruba worldview. Ori is a portrayal of human destiny that no human can understand.

The poet sees Ori as the human being himself because the poet believes that without it, no man exists. That is why the poet worships it always. Not only this, the poet emphasizes that all the gods should be silent when Ori, the destiny of man, talks. This means that Ori is the father of all gods.

The poet concludes that it is Ori that advocates and solicits for man, not gods. It is the destiny of life. He begs Ori to save him so that he would not trespass.


The poem has various thematic preoccupations that explain it better. Some of the themes have been discussed below.

The theme of fate/destiny

Yoruba believes that destiny cannot be changed. It stands forever. Even if someone is successful in life, according to Yoruba’s view, they believe that it is the person’s destiny that helps him or her. But if someone is unsuccessful, the Yorubas believe that it is the failure of his or her destiny.

The theme of Yoruba’s belief in Ori

The word “Ori” which means physical head of a body system is a Yoruba language, part of Nigeria. The surface meaning of “Ori” is the head while the deeper meaning of “Ori” is a destiny of a man. Yorubas believe that the head of a man (Ori) is more powerful than the gods. Gods should submit to the head of a man. Yorubas also believes that it is “Ori” that helps, not gods.

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The theme of the importance of head

The Yorubas always recognize the importance of “Ori” as the origin of human destiny. They know that without “Ori”, destiny is crawled. The poet worships “Ori” with different praises to depict its importance. One of the importance is that “Ori” is the advocate and solicitor of a man. “Ori” makes a man successful and stands against misfortune. If a man does not trespass, that is not doing what is not against “Ori”, destiny will work for him or her; if a man works against “Ori”, destiny may not work for him.

Language and Poetic Devices

The poet enriches the poem by using language and poetic devices. Some of the have been discussed below.

Stanzas and lines

The stanza has invisible three stanzas and visible 16 lines. The lines explain the climax and the resolution of the poem.


The poet feels indifferent about Ori and he submits that Ori should help him not to trespass.


The poet chooses the Yoruba word, Ori as the title to portray the importance of the human head. Ori is a local vocabulary that depicts a strong destiny of a man.

Figures of speech

The poet uses some figures of speech in the poem and some of them have been discussed below.


The poet makes use of metaphor to compare the two objects without the comparative words. Such words are “Ori, the god of man” (line 1), “Ori, the advocate of man” (line 12), and “The solicitor of destiny and destiny of life” (lines 13, 14)

Rhetorical questions

The poet makes use of rhetorical questions, such as “Is it not the head that saves?” (line 7), Where are gods then?”(line 11)


The poet makes use of apostrophes to address “Ori” as if he were present or he sees it. Such examples of apostrophes are “You are to worship” (line 3), “My head, Ajiki, my creator, Ajige” (lines 5, 6), “My head, I beg, save me” (line 15)


The poet makes use of paradox to establish the truth in absurdity. At a surface look and hearing, you may ask, “Why Ori is a god of man”(line 1), “Why Ori saves, provides, an advocate of man and solicitor of destiny:” (lines 7, 8, 12, 13)

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Word List and Meanings

Ori:    Head

Ajiki, Ajige:   The lineage of the head in Yoruba Language, Part of Nigeria

Advocate/ solicitor: One who pleads the cause of another or defends or vindicates or espouses any cause by arguments.

Practice Questions

 1. Explain how Ori is described in the poem?

2. Comment on the predominant figurative expression used in the poem.

Poem 2


If you wear lion’s skin

And armed like soldiers

Destiny is obvious

If you swim in herbal concoctions

And always swallow fetish

Destiny is not influenced

If you design your flesh with incisions

Destiny never changed


If you always vomit fury of fire

Like a god of thunder


Destiny stands

Everybody is destined to exist

Every creator exists to live

Every man lives for destiny

Poet: Deola Adelakun

Brief of the poem

The poem “fate” point to everyone to take things easy because everyone is made with destiny. Whether we like it or not, destiny cannot be changed. The destiny of a man stands.

The poet gives the message that if you have power and are always armed with weapons, destiny is sure. Upon all our efforts on this earth, whether you are powerful, wealthy, poor, weak, etc, you cannot change destiny or fate.

The poet concludes that everyone is destined to exist, we exist just to live and we live for destiny. According to the poet, that is why we should surrender our lives to the hands of destiny.


The poem has various themes for more explanation Some of them have been discussed below.

The theme of fate

Fate is destiny and destiny is fate. It is portrayed in the poem that fate controls every human’s life. Anything we are, or we have it by fate. It is believed that fate never changes.

The theme of mystery

Any explanation about destiny is spiritually mysterious. It is spiritual because no one can understand its existence. No one can say how fate works; one will not work and be successful and one will work tirelessly and will still stay unsuccessful. Fate is an element that cannot be explained in detail.

The theme of influence

The poem explains that one thing about fate is that no one can influence it. The work of fate/destiny is static. No man can change it; except the God of destiny. No matter what a man can do, except hard work.

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Language and Poetic Devices

The poet enriches the poem by using language and poetic devices. Some of the languages and poetic devices have been discussed below.

Type of Poem

The poem is a sonnet because it has fourteen rhyming lines.

Stanzas and lines

The poem has four stanzas and 14 lines. The first and second stanzas are quatrains, having four lines each. The third and fourth lines are triplets, having three lines each.

Rhymes and rhyming schemes

The poem has a good end correspondence. The first stanza has schemes of “abcd”, the second stanza has “abcd”, the third stanza has “ABC” and the fourth stanza has “abc”.


The poet feels concerned about the work of destiny. Is it partial? The mind of the poet is to give information that fate is unchanged.

Figures of Speech

The poet uses figures of speech in the poem and some of them have been discussed below.


The poet makes use of simile to compare two things with the comparative words “like”. Such words are “And armed like soldiers” (line 2), “Like a god of thunder” (line 10)


The poet makes use of repetitions to emphasize his messages. Such repetitions are “Destiny” (lines 3, 6, 8, 11, 14)

Word List and Meanings

 Herbal concoctions: The mixture of different herbals used to heal ailments and diseases

Incisions: That which is produced by incising; the separation of any substance made by a cutting or pointed instrument; a cut; a gash.

Fetish: A material object among certain African tribes to represent in such a way to be connected with a supernatural being

 Practice questions


1. Deola Adelakun’s ‘Fate’ depicts _______________.

(a) concoctions (b) incisions (c)  fate   (d)     fetish

2. The type of the poem is _______________.

(a) lyric  (b)  sonnet   (c)  ballad   (d)    elegy

3. The poet uses _________ and ____________.

(a) couplet and sestet  (b) quatrain and septet (c) triplet and octave (d) couplet and quatrain

4. The figurative use of ‘Armed like soldiers’ is __________________

(a)  simile  (b)  metaphor  (c)  personification   (d)  hyperbole

5. The poet concludes his message that destiny is __________________

(a) influenced  (b) not influenced (c) partially influenced  (d) changed

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