Bella Ogwuche’s Poem, “Litany that we all do not someday rewrite our bodies into sad songs”


Participants in the recently concluded Splendors of Dawn poetry and short story competition focused exclusively on Nigeria’s accountability and trust under the theme: BREAKING CHAINS, BUILDING TRUST: NIGERIA ACCOUNTABILITY RESOLUTION.

Discover the beauty of introspection through poetry in Bella Ogwuche’s piece, “Litany that we all do not someday rewrite our bodies into sad songs,” which is part of the Splendors of Dawn Poetry and Short Story Competition. Nigerian society is resilient and yearns for change, and Ogwuche’s poetry captures these feelings. Below is the poem:

It has been eight years since we have been dancing to the tunes of lawless gods and days since we waited for the day to break before we broke. Here, on the palms of a broken city, my grandmother is still on her knees awaiting the dawn. I only wish that I never be 18, to watch my thumb forced into becoming a trace for chained independence. This poem is a prayer that God shapeshift our tongue of everything null of distortion, of twisting tales. He strips us of every shackle that binds this body with enmity.

Verse 1: A Reflection of Lawless Times: In the opening lines, Ogwuche paints a poignant picture of a society embroiled in lawlessness. The mention of ‘dancing to the tunes of lawless gods’ signifies a period marked by chaos and disorder, where norms and order have been disrupted.

Verse 2: Yearning for Change and Dawn: The poem carries a sense of longing for a new beginning, symbolized by waiting for dawn in a broken city. The image of the grandmother on her knees, awaiting the break of day, represents a hope for a fresh start, a new era free from the chains of past turmoil.

Verse 3: Resisting Forced Compliance: There’s a poignant expression of resistance against the imposition of a predetermined fate, particularly expressed through the desire not to turn 18 and be subjected to forced actions symbolized by the thumbprint. This represents a longing to preserve innocence and autonomy in the face of societal pressures.

Verse 4: Prayer for Transformation: The poem culminates in a prayer-like plea for transformation. Ogwuche implores God to reshape the narrative, to cleanse tongues from distortion and narratives that twist reality. The metaphorical stripping of shackles signifies a collective yearning to break free from the chains of enmity and discord.

Conclusion: Bella Ogwuche’s “Litany that we all do not someday rewrite our bodies into sad songs” is a testament to her poetic prowess, inviting readers to delve into a world where hope intertwines with societal reflection. Through evocative imagery and powerful metaphors, the poem encapsulates Nigeria’s quest for renewal, freedom from imposed destinies, and a genuine desire for a transformed narrative. It serves as a heartfelt plea for a nation untangled from the grips of distortion and enmity, yearning for a future built on integrity, unity, and accountability—a sentiment echoed in the hashtags #No2corruption and #vote4accountability, symbolizing a collective call to action for positive change.

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