The poet frowns at the habit of laziness. He believes that laziness habit destroys lives and the nation. Lazy people cannot live comfortably. That is why the poet calls for changes and everyone must be hard working. The poet also continues to point out the consequences of being lazy over a nation. The poem is developed and appreciated so that the researchers and readers can learn more and criticize for analysis.
If you see a lazy child
Call him a thief
If he protests, ask about his work
How does he wave morsels a day?
Up late a lazy child wakes
What he finds he eats
He does not roast his game
A cock crows
A lazy man frowns
Why is too early for cockcrow?
A lazy man said
It seemed he had all night through
Laziness is the nation’s enemy
It ends in slave labor
And makes a man poor
Poet: Deola Adelakun
Brief of the Poem
The poet talks plainly to the lazy person. This is the bitter truth for the lazy when the poet says if you see a lazy child, call him a thief.
The mind of poet is that laziness will result in stealing. Even, the bible says he who does not work should not eat
One of the habits of the lazy is frowning. The lazy man frowns when cock crows. He will want to have a night to sleep.
Another habit is that he eats what he finds because he is lazy. Everybody is expected to work so that there is something to eat. Faith without physical work is vain.
Men and women, having the opportunity of a happy life are workers and they will become more kindly and less persecuting and less inclined to view others with suspicion.
The taste for the war of hunger will die out of the house of diligent people partly because it will involve long and severe work for all.
The poet encourages and emphasizes diligence does not kill; work refusal is a disgrace. We have to be hard-working and diligent in life.
The poet concludes that laziness is the nation’s enemy. It ends people in slave labor and makes a man poor.
The poem, Idle Hands, is surrounded by several thematic preoccupations that explain the poem better. The major themes of laziness, idleness, and labor have been discussed below to allow for researchers and readers to criticize and appreciate the poem.
The theme of laziness
The poet frowns at the habit of laziness. He believes that lazy laziness destroys lives and the nation. The lazy cannot live comfortably. That is why the poet calls for changes and everyone must be hard working. The poet also continues to point at the consequences of being lazy over a nation. Apart from laziness makes making, he or she is the enemy of the nation because laziness does not contribute actively to the economy of the nation.
The theme of idleness
The poet also condemns the attitude of idleness. Many people are very contented and complacent with their lives. They think they cannot move forward again in life. The poem addresses that if one can be diligent, industrious, and laborious, he or she will still make it in life, but not, she person will end up in slavery.
The theme of labour
The fact is that hard work does not kill; it is the laziness halls. If one is industrious and laborious, he or she will be sustained in life, but if one is lazy, one will eat what one sees and end up in slavery and abject poverty. The campaign of the poet is to work hard, industrious and laborious so that we shall be free from poverty, slavery and to band e able to contribute to the economy and welfare of the nation.
Language and Poetic Devices
The poet cleverly makes use of language and poetic devices to enrich the poem with what the literary work, especially a poem should be involved in. Some of the examples of the languages and poetic language in the poem have been worked upon for researchers to analyze and criticize.
Stanzas and lines
The poem has two stanzas and 15 lines. The poet deliberately demarcated the stanza 1 to explain the nature of a lazy person. It is a sextet. The second stanza continues to explain the consequences of laziness on the lazy and the nation.
The poem is didactic as it teaches moral lessons. The poet cleverly warns a lazy man so that he can imbibe the culture of moral standards and guidelines.
The poet feels bad of the habit of laziness and he optimistic that if a lazy person can change, the poverty of our nation will no longer be there. Also, the lazy person himself will not end his life in slavery.
Figures of Speech
The poet cleverly makes use of figures of speech to enrich the poem with what the literary work, especially poem should be involved. Some of the examples of the figure ins of speech in the poem have been discussed for researchers to analyze and criticize.
The poet makes use of metaphor to compare two objects without the comparative words. Some of the examples of metaphor are “Laziness nation’s enemy.”(line 13), “It ends in slave labour”(line 14).
The poet makes use of rhetorical questions such as “How does hi roll morsels a day?” (line 4). “Why is the early for cockcrow?”(line 10)
The poet makes use of paradox. He makes some statements that seem absurd but in the deeper meanings, we can realize that there are elements of the truth in those expressions. Some of the examples of the expressions are “If you see a thief, call him a thief.” (lines 1, 2), and “Up late a lazy child wakes, what he finds he and ts”. (lines 5, 6), “Laziness is the nation’s enemy”(line 13).
Word List and Meanings
Game: Wild animal
Morsels: Small pieces of food
1. What is the nation’s enemy? (labor (b) hard work (c) laziness (d) disgrace
2. What is the name of a lazy child? (a) poor (b) thief (c) writer (d) slave
3. The example of the first stanza is ____________(a) quatrain (b) octave (c) sestet (d) septet
4. The consequence of a lazy child ___________ (a) sweat (b) richness (c) crown (d) poverty
5. The poet concludes that ______________ (a) we should be serious (b) we should be hardworking (c) we should be indolent (d) we should be playful