The poet encourages those receiving persecution, misrepresentations, ridicule, criticism, etc. in the process of accomplishing a task as traces of how people disregard truth in our society. The poem has been appreciated so that the researchers and readers can learn more and criticize for analysis.
As Yoruba will say
Aba laa ko danu, aki ko eni labaa danu
“Disregard the message, not the messenger”
Upon all the severe persecutions, misrepresentations, ridicule, criticism
You receive in the process of accomplishing a task
Let the truth be included in your dictionary
When you do not deal with h absolute truth
You deal in wickedness
Do not allow your integrity to be put at stake
When you have to take a decision
Be guided only by the truth
Once you carry about falsehood
You cover up with lies
And if you cover up with lies
You will jeopardize your conscience
While you seek to regulate your outward actions
Heaven will supervise your inward thoughts
It may seem slow
You will be acquitted one day
Poet: Deola Adelakun
Briefs of the Poem
The poem appreciates truth though it may seem foolish and people may not appreciate it. As integrity is the quality of being honest and strong about what you believe to be taught.
The poem addresses how people in our society disregard good points that others are making. When they notice that the truth is too harsh for them and it can block them from doing their atrocities, they will not accept it.
The poet encourages those receiving persecution, misrepresentations, ridicule, criticism, etc. in the process of accomplishing a task as traces of how people disregard truth in our society.
He then advises people that irrespective of persecution, misrepresentations, ridicule, or criticism they receive, the truth must be their watchword. They should not relent and be discouraged.
Anyone who is not dealing in truth deals in wickedness. If we cover up with lies, our conscience will be spoilt. When you try to manipulate truth on earth, remember that heaven is looking at us.
The truth may seem slow but one day, it will prevail and put us together as one because integrity is also a state of being united as one.
Integrity is the pillar of achieving in life and it is a virtue that must be presented in our society. Lack of integrity, truth, and honesty brings about moral decadence in our society.
The poem, Integrity, is a poem that campaigns for the truth and condemns pretenses and falsehood. There are thematic preoccupations that give more explanations about the poem. Some themes have been discussed below.
The Theme of integrity
The poem is surrounded by the theme of integrity. Integrity socially acceptable act which we expect people to follow. The poet informs, teaches, and, enlightens people to live a life of integrity; those who lack integrity lack marmorated those who lack morals and good virtues.
The theme of truth
One of the main themes in this poem is true. Truth is a good virtue that many people lack in our society these days. People like falsehood more than truth. It is because people do not want to listen to the truth; they equally hate the people who tell the truth. Also, it is because people prefer falsehood and pretense pretense squally like pretenders and hypocrites. This is what this poem addresses that any of our decision should be guided only by the truth.
The theme of conscience
The poet puts forward the impact of our conscience concerning our actions. Our thinking must tally with our conscience concerning our steps and actions. That is why the poet says that if you cover up with lies, you will jeopardize your conscience. While you seek to regulate your outward actions, heaven will supervise your inward thoughts. That is, our conscience must work actively concerning our decisions and steps.
The theme of rewards
The poet understands that everything we do or act on has a reward. If you are a hypocrite or pretender and you have deceived many people, there are rewards for your actions. If you are an honest and straightforward person and people can count on you, there are rewards for your actions too. Nothing exists without a reward! That is why the poet advises and persuades to say the truth and be a person people can count on. Even if the truth is slow and the falsehood runs fast in the beginning, a truthful and honest person will be acquitted one day and truth will prevail at last.
Language and Poetic Devices
The poet cleverly makes use of language and poetic devices to enrich the poem. Some of the examples of the languages and poetic devices of the poem have been discussed for researchers to analyze and criticize.
Stanzas and lines
The poem comprises twenty-six lines in which each stanza has a rhyming sense. The rhyming sense gives a rhythmic effect determined by metrical sounds.
Metre and rhythm
The poem has a regular arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables with metrical flow and movement determined between sounds and events.
The poet’s state or frame of mind concerning the composition of the poem is a campaign for truth and straightforwardness. The poet also feels concerned about saying the truth.
Type of poem
The poem is didactic as the poet tailors it towards teaching people moral standards in standards. The poet calls for truth and our actions and decisions should be guided by the truth all the time.
The poem makes use of local languages and vocabulary to enrich the poem. Some of the coinages are “Aba laa ko danu, a ki ko eni labaa danu”(line 2), “E je ka forikori kama baa forigbari”(line 25).
Figures of Speech
The poet deliberately makes use of figures of speech to enrich the poem. Some of the examples of the figures of speech in the poem have been discussed for researchers to learn more, analyze and criticize.
The poet makes use of metaphor to compare two objects together without comparative words. Some of the examples of metaphor are “Heaven will supervise your inward thoughts.”(line 21), “You deal in wickedness”(line 12)
The poet makes use of personification, using animate attributes for inanimate ones. An example of personification is “Heaven will supervise your inward thoughts.”(line 21)
The poet makes use of synecdoche, using a part to represent a whole. An example of synecdoche is “He will supervise your inward thoughts”(line 21). “Heaven” means people in heaven.
The poet makes use of certain words to represent other meanings. Some examples of symbolism are “Let the truth be guided in your dictionary” (line 10), “dictionary” in the line means “plan of actions” “While you seek to regulate your outward actions”(line 20) “…regulate your outward actions” means “deceive people” “Heaven will supervise your inward thoughts” “…supervise your inward thoughts” means “check your conscience”.
Word List and Meanings
Aba laa ko danu, a kii ko eni labia danu: A Yoruba proverbial expression in Nigeria which means that if the message of someone is not respected in a society, there will be other successful messages for the person somewhere else.
Misrepresentations: False or untrue or incorrect statements or accounts
Criticism: The art of judging or the disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings
Ridicule: Mock or humiliation
Dictionary: Attitudinal list
Posterity: Future times
1. Discuss the message of the poem.
2. Explain the tone and mood of the poem.
3. Explicate some themes of the poem.
4. Comment on the vernacular use of the language of the poem.