The poem has been worked on for those who have to work on it or learn how to appreciate and analyse any poem. Read more below.
I Point My Index Finger at You
- 1 I Point My Index Finger at You
- 2 Briefs of the Poem
- 3 Theme
- 4 Theme of Hypocrisy
- 5 Theme of False Democracy
- 6 Theme of Fake Unity
- 7 Theme of Bad Governance
- 8 Theme of Guilty Leadership
- 9 Language and Poetic Devices
- 10 Didactics
- 11 Stanzas and Lines
- 12 Rhymes and rhyming schemes
- 13 Figure of speech
- 14 Irony
- 15 Metaphor
- 16 Word List and Meanings
- 17 Practice Questions
What I say, not what I do
Has become a common saying
You sing the chorus of democracy
But you are a dictator
You play the music of honesty
But you are a fraudster
Soprano of “don’t steal inspires listeners
But you rob with your pen
You exalt loyalty and good leadership
But you are a traitor
You warn against drug abuse
But you are a drug trafficker
Auto of “let peace reign’ moves people
But you are terrorist
Tenor of “don’t lie” makes sense
But you are rotten liar
You frown at corruption outwardly
But you are corrupt inwardly
You force masses to obey laws
But you are a law breaker
You teach to be wise in management
But you are a big fool wasting resources
You preach of solidarity
But you are an antagonist
You do not need to force what you yourself are guilty of
Leadership by example is key.
Briefs of the Poem
The poem ‘I Point My Finger at You’ addresses the hypocrisy of leaders at various levels. An Index finger is a symbol of emphatic address. Deola Adelakun points at the readers as the ones who are involved.
The poet says you are the one and no other person. The poet draws a clear distinction between mouth-word and action. What people, especially leaders say contradicts what they act. That is hypocrisy!
The poet addresses political leaders and the leaders of various organizations.
Many leaders pretend to say they are democratic buts they are autocratic in their actions. They pretend to be honest and pure, but they are fraudsters and purse robbers. This action is hypocrisy!
You will see many leaders claiming that their ways of governance are the best but their actions show that they are traitors. They always say drug abuse should be abolished but they are involved in drug dealing. Is that not hypocrisy?
These leaders preach peace but they are terrorists. They pretend as if they were fighting corruption but in action they are corrupt. They will tell the masses to obey the laws as if they are laws, but in action they are law-breakers. This is hypocrisy!
These leaders pretend to have management and administrative knowledge, but they are fake people. They say unity and solidarity are good for our nation, but in action, most of them are antagonists. Is this not hypocrisy?
The poet concludes that saying things is not enough but acting. What we say must complement what we act before people and followers can believe us.
The poem, I Point My Index Finger at You, has the themes that explain the poem better as they are seen as central ideas and dominating points of the poem. There are some themes we can identify in this poem. Some of them are discussed below.
Theme of Hypocrisy
The theme of hypocrisy covers the whole poem. Hypocrisy is doing or saying what one is not. The poem is a trace of what the leaders in some nations, especially in Nigeria boast of but they are not. They say they are this or that but they are not. It is hypocrisy.
Theme of False Democracy
True democracy is to lead by the willing of the masses. The leaders do not consider himself or herself only. In the poem “I Point My Index Finger at You,” the leaders in Nigeria prove they are doing democracy whereas they are not. The true democracy does not reflect in their governance.
Theme of Fake Unity
Unity is an act of oneness and not in separation. The leaders persuade the masses to be in unity but they are not serious about it. This is because they cause the segregation. Solidarity forever has been our song for a very long time but it does not reflect our action.
Theme of Bad Governance
The poet states that the masses experience the bad governance. The masses do not get what their leaders promised for them during campaigns of elections. In “I Point My Index Finger at You,” the leaders exalt loyalty and good leadership but they eventually become traitors.
Theme of Guilty Leadership
It has been found in “I Point My Index Finger at You” that the leaders are guilty of ten things they promised but not fulfilled. They behave as a dictator, fraudster, robber, traitor, drug trafficker, terrorist, rotten liar, corrupt person, law-breaker, resource waster and antagonist.
Language and Poetic Devices
The poem is didactic in nature. It means that it teaches moral lessons. The poem points to some weaknesses that the leaders in Nigeria have as those that can be described as hypocrisy. That is why this poem asks to do away with hypocritical acts and mean what we say and say what we mean.
Stanzas and Lines
The lines of the poem are twenty-six (26). The poem has a interlocking couplet. That is, two line stanza in which second line completes the first one.
Rhymes and rhyming schemes
The poem has a rhyme and the rhyming scheme of abcdefghidjgiklmnnogppekoi.
Figure of speech
The poet means the opposite of what he says or intends. What the leaders mean in the poem is the opposite of what comes to pass. There is the difference between what the leaders say and what comes to pass. The first line “What I say, not what I do” is ironical too as what the poet says is different from what he does.
Some lines are metaphorical in the sense that they are compared without the use of comparative words. Some of the words are “But you are a dictator,” But you are a traitor, But you are s terrorist ad all lines starting with But…
Word List and Meanings
Dictator: A person who uses power to force people to do something
Traitor: A person who gives away the secret of the country
Terrorist: A person who uses violent action to achieve political aims
Drug trafficker: A person who deals in dangerous drugs
Solidarity: Oneness, unity
Fraudulent: Tendered to cheat, especially to make money illegally
Antagonist: A person who works contrary to the success of another
1. The poem above is ________________ (a) entertaining (b) didactic (c) narrative (d) descriptive
2. State ten (10) things that the leaders are guilty of as pointed out by the poet.
3. Discuss some themes identified in the poem.
4. Explain what the poet is expecting from the leaders.
5. Write out the rhyming scheme of the poem.