Piano And Drums By Gabriel Okara
Piano And Drums
The Nigerian poet, Gabriel Okara who wrote the popular poem “Piano and Drums” hailed from Bayelsa state. He was born in the 1921. He was once a civil servant among many other career parts.
“Piano and Drums” as poem is symbolism of the poet’s dilemma in a position of cultural clash. The idea of cultural clash is the motivating or central message the poem passes to the readers.
The “Piano” which symbolised the poet’s westernised present lifestyle was compared with the “Drums” which symbolised the past village background of the poet; the comparison of the poet’s past with present way of living is referred to as the class of culture (since culture is defined as the lifestyle of a group of people or just even a person). Other themes to be found in the poem Childhood reminiscence and its effect, Complexity of the present and future, Dilemma.
Structurally, the poem is a well planned poem divided into stanzas to show where one view ends and where another begins. The last stanza was a perfect conclusion.
And in terms of the literary terms, there are assonances in line 3 (jungle drums), in line 4 (mystic rhythm), etc. Imageries in virtually all the lines of the poem; example “naked/ warmth of hurrying feet and groping hearts/ in green leaves…” then personifications in line 15 (groping heart/ in green leaves) and in line 18 (piano/ solo speaking of complex ways). And many other devices in the poem.