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Criticised Poetry by Adelere Adesina

POEM: EVENING
Poet: Adesoye Samson
Crit: Adelere Adesina

EVENING

     Evening it is:
     sun is set;
     moon is risen;
     stars showing their colours;
5:  cloudy, the sky seems.

      Where is thy glory,
      o, sun?!
      How dost thou this,
      o, moon?
10: Sending in the sun's beam,
     evening thou bringest.

STRUCTURE

Evening, a poem of eleven lines, has two irregular stanzas. The poem is a free verse (that is, it has no regular rhyming and rhythm). The poem is written with enough apparent consciousness on the part of the writer, enough to use proper punctuation. The first verse describes the arrival of the evening, which is, in fact, the subject of the poem. The second verse addresses the forces that are responsible for the arrival of the evening. Regarding the rhyming, the poem rhymes irregularly; that is, there is not a fixed pattern of end rhymes in the poem. The rhyme scheme is abcaa deaefg. The first stanza is more regular than the second verse. This is perhaps to reveal the cohesion in the declaration of events in the first stanza, which is lacking in the second part (the second part being forceful and accusing).

SUBJECT MATTER

Evening, as the name suggests, is a poem about eventide. It centres itself upon celestial events that bring about evening, and the questioning of the jurisdiction of the heavenly bodies involved in taking such steps. The setting being the firmament, the dramatis personae are these celestial bodies, and the poet 'behind the curtain'. A brief analysis of the verses and lines is as follows:

Verse 1

Here, verse one is a verse of simple declaration and 'neo-awareness' (just coming to notice) of the events unfolding in the sky. The poet acted as though he was keeping a journal, which contains every bit of what happened in the sky when evening comes.

L 1: 'Evening it is', this line simply states that eventide has arrived. The colon that is present at the end of the line shows that the following line(s) describe the evening.

L 2: Using 'is' to make a perfect tense (to show a complete action), the poet went on to write that the 'sun is set.' This, going by the colon after the first line, is a sign of the arrival of evening.

L 3: 'Moon is risen.' Not meeting full stop, by run-on lines, 'It is evening... (for the) moon is risen' would be the exact words between the first and the third lines. The writer only showed that one of the celestial activities that brought about evening was the rising of the moon, following the setting of the sun.

L 4: With semi-colons separating each line, the poet continued to show what it meant to be evening. The sun is set; the moon is risen and the stars are showing their colours. By 'showing their colours', the poet meant that the stars were twinkling in the evening sky. The sky seemed to be joyous, colourful and beautiful. Thus, the writer appreciated the beauty of the sky, penning that the stars were displaying their colours in the sky.

L 5: Here, the poet concluded the first line, which so far has been full of simple declaration and artful appreciation of the sky by saying that the sky was in fact cloudy as much as it was colourful. This is ambiguity. Now, the poet might have meant that, literally, the sky was cloudy in one part and clear for twinkles to show in the other part. The writer might have also meant that, figuratively, the sky was so bright that the clouds could not hide the beauty he beheld. He might also have meant that the clouds shared in the beauty of the sky, moving and drawing images across the sky. Whichever, he would we paint the image of clouds and have a complete imagination of what the evening was, considering the clouds as a part of the firmament.

Verse 2

This verse deviates totally from the natural appreciation of the arrival of evening to a strong criticism of the departure of afternoon, questioning the authority of the celestial bodies that are obviously responsible for this change.

L 6: 'Where is thy glory,' is interrogative. This word 'glory' is used to represent 'light'. The poet now questioned the absence of the 'glory' (light) of something. Since the line ends in a comma, there has to be the object in one of the subsequent lines.

L 7: 'o, sun?!' This line is the completion of l 6, where the light of the 'sun' (l 7) was demanded. With the use of an exclamatory mark, the poet showed he wanted, so 'fervently', to know what happened to the sun.

L 8: 'How dost thou this,' This line now interrogates an object, demanding to know the manner or way it managed to do something.

L 9: 'o, moon?!' This line shows the questioned is the moon. The moon was called by the writer to explain how it managed to do something. The writer still forcefully demanded this, using an exclamatory mark after the question mark (i.e. the interrobang) in this line.

L 10: 'Sending in the sun's beam,' This line declares what the poet wanted to know about the moon: how the moon managed to send the sun's beam away.

L 11: 'Evening thou bringest.' Here, the poet declared that the 'sending away' of the sun's beam by the moon was what caused evening. He particularly meant the moon was responsible for the coming of evening.

Rhetorical Devices

Some common rhetoric devices that are used in the poem are as follows.

1. Hyperbaton: ll 1, 5 and 11

2. Address (apostrophe): ll 6-7, 8-9 and 11

3. Ellipsis: l 8

4. Personification: ll 4, 10 and 11

5. Metaphor: ll 4 and 6

6. Enjambment: ll 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11

7. Imagery: ll 2-5, 6 and 10-11

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