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Ibadan by J.P Clark: An Ode To The City?

 

Ibadan,
running splash of rust
and gold-flung and scattered
among seven hills like broken
china in the sun.

– J.P. Clark

The poet is a Nigerian of Ijaw origin. He was probably inspired to write about Ibadan having studied at the University of Ibadan. The poem was written in 1965.

The poem has embedded in it a combination of imagery and allusion.

…running splash of rust is an allusion to the brown roofs synonymous with the old city, flung and scattered paints a picture of disorderly houses which the the poet further likened to broken China which leaves one to imagine the extent to which the houses are scattered.

With no inkling  into the mindset of the poet, and the circumstance that led him to describe the city in such light, one is left to speculate whether the poem is an ode to the city or a form of criticism.

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Oluwaseyi is a graduate of History and International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He is a social critic and he does writing as a past time favourite hobby. Having grown up in Ibadan, he has decided to join Ibadan Insider in order to document the rich history of the pacesetter state, as well as showcase its potentials to the outside world. He is a sports afficiaonado and he has always bared his mind on issues in that field through writing and analytical arguments on air via different sports shows on radio in Ibadan. He features on R2Football on R2Radio, Matchday Live on Petals FM and the PL show on Naija FM

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