The Awakening Age
Summary Ben Okri, a Nigerian poet and novelist, in his poem “The Awakening Age” projects the sufferings, obstacles and hardships of the African Negroes and appeals for the peace, prosperity, happiness, unity, harmony and solidarity among the people of the world. The awakening age refers to the time when African people have a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of their condition, and the beginning of their new world He wishes to awake the whole world and its people from the world of darkness, and poverty to the awakening age of enlightenment.
The poem is divided into seven stanzas and each stanza contains two lines. As the poem has altogether 14 lines, it looks like a sonnet. It opens with a colloquial words like ‘O ye’. Then, he talks about journey of the people who travel in the meridian line, have vision of the new world. Here, these (ordinary people of Africa) travelers wish to awake into the world of freedom, emancipation, equality, and prosperity of the modern world.
Then, the poet talks about optimistic people who are very much hopeful about the woven history of mankind where they can climb over the hill through a rope of hope to obtain a new height. This rope of hope lead people to the age of enlightenment, empowerment, wisdom, equality and prosperity through hard works, creativity and hardships. They have clear heart full of purity and whiteness. Through this finely composed poem with apt rhyming schemes depicts the issues of partiality, inequality, poverty, racial and color discrimination and he hopes to see the voice of equality, freedom, feelings of brotherhood, justice, unity and harmony among the people of the whole world. He prefers to see a loving place of equality where people help each other with fraternity.