They picked Akanni up one morning Use of first names makes us think that the poet knows the victims
Beat him soft like clay Simile shows how a human can be easily misshapen just like clay.
And staffed him down the belly of a waiting jeep. Use of powerful verb “staffed” to show high level of aggression. Personification- the jeep symbolises a hungry person who swallows his victims into his belly.
What business of mine is it so long they don’t take the yam from my savouring mouth? Whatever happens around if the poet gets his food then he does not care
Booted the whole house awake The soldiers’ Aggression is shown by the verb “booted” Personification of the house getting awake as a person
And dragged Danladi out Then off to a lengthy absence. Repetition of use of a first name. Aggressive verb “dragged” “Lengthy absence” makes us think that the victim may never return to his home and fasmily.
What business of mine is it so long they don’t take the yam from my savouring mouth? Repetition of the chorus, gives stronger impression of the poet not wanting to get involved as long as he is safe.
Chinwe went to work one day Only to find her job was gone The next victim is named by first name yet again to tell us she is well known by the poet. The act of injustice is not so shocking as the previous ones but still leaves someone hurt.
No query, no warning, no probe- Just one neat sack for a stainless record. Being without a job means to be hungry and poor and even dead as there will be no money for food
What business of mine is it so long they don’t take the yam from my savouring mouth? Third repetition of the chorus, another reminder that the poet does not want to know about the horrific things happening to people around him.
And then one evening As I sat down to eat my yam The next evening though brings the soldiers to the poet’s home in the special for him time of supper
A knock on the door froze my hungry hand. The time for him being picked up has come, he is the next victim, but will anyone object, will anyone defend him, do anything to save him?
A jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawn Waiting, waiting in its usual silence. No-one is there for the poet, everyone is just like he was-they don’t want to know.
Structure The poem has four stanzas. The first three stanzas are the same The fist four lines of them describe what happens to three people the knows, then there are three more lines which are the same in every of the first three stanzas and they form a chorus which shows the passive reaction of the poet to the horrible, shocking events. The forth and final stanza is a contrast to the previous three, it is about how the time for the poet to be taken away comes and finishes on a cliff hanger as we do not know what happens to him.
What is the poem about? Structure Voice in the poem/narrator Poetic devices used Tone of poem What is the effect/purpose of the poem?
Quotation Poetic devices How does it relate to life in Nigeria ‘beat him soft like clay’ simile 'stuffed... down the belly' of the jeep personification