The poet presents that there is a tendency that those who talk too much will be liars. He advises gossip, not to slander, and blisters our tongue with backbiting. It is better according to the poet to work hard and reduce your talk. Think much and say little. The researchers will learn further in this work, thus making them appreciate and analyze any poet.
Hear-say is half lies, silence is wisdom
Grows by rolling as a snowball, so does a story
Those in many talks are in many lies
Silence seldom makes mischief
But talking is a plague to the Parish
An open mouth shows an empty head
The chest with gold and silver in it
Would not often stand wide-open
Free from slander if we must talk and
Not blister our tongue with backbiting
Slander, a sport to tale-bearers is death
To those who abuse
Gossips of both genders give up the shameful
Trade of tale-bearing
Never be the devil’s bellows any longer
To blow up the fire of strife
The files will go down your throat
If you keep your mouth shut
And no evil speaking comes out either
Think much but say little
Be quick at work and slow at talk
Ask the great Creator to set
A watch over your lips
Poet: Deola Adelakun
Briefs of the Poem
‘Gossips’ is a poem that warns against idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act is also known as dishing or tattling, joblessness, vegetating, hibernating, time-wasting, truancy, time to kill, time to burn, indolence and mouth losing.
The poet presents that there is a tendency that those who talk too much will be liars. He advises gossip, not to slander, and blisters our tongue with backbiting. It is better according to the poet to work hard and reduce your talk. Think much and say little.
We should not be the devil’s agent any longer to cause strife. The poet sees gossip as a slothful, dull, lackadaisical, lethargic, jobless, and flagging person. He continues that an open mouth shows an empty head. The chest with gold and silver will not often widely stand open.
The poet continues that keeping our mouths shut will make the flies go down our throats. By doing this too, no evil speech will come out of our mouths. Gossips of both genders give up the shameful trade of tale-bearing.
It is better to think much but say little instead of saying much and thinking little. By doing this, we should have control over our mouths. A good virtue is not gossip.
The poet sees people as busy animals talking about other people. He continues to reveal what backbiting and gossip can cause. Those who gossip people are causing rifts and conflicts. It is important to keep our mouth shut and face our work instead of backbiting and gossip.
Too much talk is dangerous
The poem is an account of the acts surrounding gossip and the consequences that can accompany the acts. The poet warns all people who are fond of too much talk to be cautious because too much talk is dangerous and disastrous. Also, those who are in many talks are in many lies.
Many words cause conflicts
The poet is in concern to warn those who utter many words because it causes conflicts. It is something that blows up the fire of strife. At times, according to the poet, fights, rifts, and conflicts will go down if keep our mouths shut.
Actions are more active than many words
It is better sometimes to take action rather than utter words because if we are not careful of any word used, it can come back to us later. This is the poet tries to say that we should be quick at work and slow at the k and no evil speaking should come out of us.
Language and Poetic Devices
Stanzas and lines
The poem has 23 lines which also have stressed and unstressed syllables which give a rhythmic effect.
The poet is very concerned about gossip (gossiping) and gossip (the people who gossip). He is optimistic that strife will go down if can minimize how we use our language.
The poem is considered didactic. It teaches moral lessons to deviate from gossip because it causes conflicts and rifts.
Symbolism and imagery
The poet uses certain words to represent real meanings in the poem. Some of the words are “plague” and “parish” (line 5) “plague” is used to represent danger or bad things while “Parish” is used to representing “people”.
Figures of Speech
The poet makes use of metaphor, comparing two objects without the use of comparative words. Such words are “But talking is a plague to the Parish” (line 5), “Slander, sports to tale-bearers is death” (line 11), “To blow up the fire of strife” (line 16)
The poet makes use of hyperbole for emphasis. Such exaggerated words are “slander, a sport to tale-bearers is death” (line 11)
The poet makes use of personification such as “Never be the devil’s… to blow up fire of strife” (lines 15 and 16), “…silence is wisdom” (line 1), “Silence sometimes makes mischief” (line 4)
The poet makes use of alliteration such as “Silence seldom make mischief” and “s and m” alliterate (line 4)
The poet makes use of repetitions such as “Silence” (lines 1, 4,)
Word List and Meanings
Mischief: Bad behavior that is annoying but not causes serious damage.
1. Explain the message of the poem.
2. ‘The poem is didactic’. Discuss.
3. Comment on the poetic devices of the poem.
4. Explain the expression ‘to blow up the fire of strike’.
5. What, according to the poet, should be our attitude?