Black Poets: Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka was born near Abeokuta in 1934. A Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist, and professor, his writing draw heavily on African culture and myth as well as Western literary forms. In 1986, Soyinka won the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first African writer and the first black person to do so.

I Think It Rains

I think it rains
That tongues may loosen from the parch
Uncleave roof-tops of
the mouth, hang
Heavy with knowledge

I saw it raise
The sudden cloud, from ashes.
They joined in a ring of
grey; within,
The circling spirit.

O it must rain
These closures on the mind, blinding us
In strange despairs, teaching
Purity of sadness.

And how it beats
Skeined transperencies on wings
Of our desires, searing dark longings
In cruel baptisms.

Rain-reeds, practised in
The grace of yielding, yet unbending
From afar, this, your conjugation with my earth
Bares crounching rocks.

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