The Poem Ambush

1.The Poem Ambush

Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti The land is a giant whale that swallows the sinker, with hook, line and bait aborting dreams of a good catch fishers turn home at dusk blue Peter on empty ships all Peters with petered out desires.
The land is a saber-toothed tiger that cries deep in the glade While infants shudder home the grizzled ones snatch their gut from bayonets of tribulation halting venturous walk at dusk
The land is a giant hawk that courts unceasing disaster as it hovers and hoots in space
The land lies patiently ahead awaiting in ambush those who point away from a direction where nothing happens toward the shore of possibilities.


The poem Ambush portrays the socio-political problems facing Nigeria. The poet describes how lofty dreams, aspiration, visions, and hopes are shattered by the political class that continually plunders the nation’s resources. In the first stanza, he directly compares the ruling class with a giant whale that swallows the nation’s resources leaving nothing behind: The land is a giant whale/ that swallow the. sinker/ with hook, line and bait aborting dreams of a good catch . By way of allusion, he further relates the Nigerian situation to the Biblical event where Apostle Peter toiled all night on sea without catching any fish until he met Jesus who told him what to do: blue Peter on empty ships/ all Peters with petered out desires . As a result of the many years of failed governance, the country experiences all kinds of social problems like violence, robbery, insurgence, kidnapping thus becoming a sabre-toothed tiger/a giant hawk . The youths and elder statesmen refrain from agitation for fear of being persecuted or repressed by government: While infants shudder home/the grizzled ones snatch their gut/from bayonets of tribulation/halting venturous walk at dusk. In the last stanza, while the poet looks forward to a generation that will take the nation out of its hopeless state toward the shore of possibilities, his hope is threatened by the ravenous nature of the ruling class: The land lies patiently ahead/ awaiting in ambush, ready to devour the future change- agents.

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