No Coffin No Grave
Analysis Of No Coffin No Grave By Jared Angira
This poem is about the shameful murder of a tyrant. He was stabbed and shut in front of a night club; the poet sarcastically compared his murder shut to a gunshot representing a last respect to a warrior. Instead of the poem being a pure elegy, the poet created a sarcastic elegy which was beautified with irony and euphemism to show his dislike towards the wicked and selfish life led by the tyrant leader; it was so unfortunate for the dead politician who wished to have respected burial rite but ended with a belittled massacre. The content of the poem is straightforward as a result of the simple diction maintained by the poet. Line 1-7 shows where and how the tyrant was buried, line 8-17 describes the event of his murder by comparing the murder gunshot, and state of his car, line 18-28 tells of the unwell condition of the masses and their state of no-say because they lived in a lower class, line 29-end is about the politician’s empty wish for a befitting end.
Few of the themes in the poem are uncertainty of life and living, shameful rewards for selfishness and wickedness, poverty within the masses, extravagance and embezzlement. The death of the tyrant proved that life is uncertain and whatever anyone sows, he/she will reap.
NO COFFIN, NO GRAVE He was buried without a coffin without a grave the scavengers performed the post-mortem in the open mortuary without sterilized knives in front of the night club stuttering rifles put up the gun salute of the day that was a state burial anyway the car knelt the red plate wept, wrapped itself in blood its master’s the diary revealed to the sea the rain anchored there at last isn’t our flag red, black, and white? so he wrapped himself well who could signal yellow when we had to leave politics to the experts and brood on books brood on hunger and schoolgirls grumble under the black pot sleep under torn mosquito net and let lice lick our intestines the lord of the bar, money speaks madam woman magnet, money speaks madam we only cover the stinking darkness of the cave of our mouths and ask our father who is in hell to judge him the quick and the good Well, his dairy, submarine of the Third World War showed he wished to be buried in a gold-laden coffin like a VIP under the jacaranda tree beside his palace a shelter for his grave and much beer for the funeral party anyway one noisy pupil suggested we bring tractors and plough the land. ©copyright Jared Angira
According to wikipedia article, “Jared Angira (born 21 November 1947) is a Kenyan poet. He has been called “the country’s first truly significant poet. Angira studied commerce at the University of Nairobi from 1968 until 1971.” Copy and Share