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Ah a cool dawn it is
laden with the sweet birdsong
borne on the wings
of the dew-wet breeze!

Mo ṣe ’ba owurọ o!
Mo ṣe ’ba owurọ o!

And from our mats
the crow of the cock,
Oba Olodumare’s towncrier,
rouses us for the day’s work—
village women to the streams
their men to their farms
our alakọwe to their offices
and their children to their schools.

Ojumọ ire o!
Ojumọ ire!

Olodumare’s band
of guards of the night
he has now given command
to go off-duty with their torches
and let the Sun of the day
watch the Earth with his rays.

Olọjọ oni, mo ṣe ’ba o.

The daytime is blissful for the hawk,
the nightfall for the bat:
let today be blissful for me.

Eiye Ilulu sings all day.
The cricket chirrups all night:
may today for me never want cheer!

The day is ever known with the light,
and tranquillity is ever for the night:
in the daytime, may I feel bright
and in the black of night,
may I repose with a heart really light.



Post image by Jason Safoutin via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - OllaKayode Taiwo Olla is a lover of Black art and literature, and of a little bit of the blues, in music, mood and color. He is a lecturer as well as a graduate student by daytime and a reader as well as a writer by dusk. He wishes for ever he can just paint with brush like artists do! His virtual spaces of the creative flow are and

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “Owurọ | By Kayode Taiwo Olla | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Adefemi Adejola 2016/06/16 at 02:47 #

    This is a delight. Nostalgic, stirs up your African (Yoruba) roots. Big thanks.

  2. KUPOLUYI Ayomikun 2016/07/02 at 01:43 #

    Wonderful poem. Paints a beautiful pic of nature that can be missed easily while we hustle… Thank God for the gift of another day.

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