Early morning rain by Obinna Chilekezi


Early morning rain


It rained heavily this morning
With showers, strong winds and sandstorm
And the wind with big strong hands shaking everything
At sight. There I perched.

It rained, strongly
And a bird in its apartment is drenched
But it continues to sing sweet songs in that rain
Sweet birdly songs even in that heavy morning rain!

(Banjul, 23/09/18)


Author’s Note 

I feel that I should share this interesting discussion I’ve just had with a friend regarding the poem, Early Morning Rain. He wants to know why I ascribe ‘apartment’ to the bird nest and use the word: “perched” for my own lodging – when it should be the other way round. Interestingly the inversion of rhetoric, which literature professionals call hypallage or transferred epithets, is not uncommon in poetry. My case intends interposing our different positions so that while the bird is at much at home, I am miles away from home, in a hotel. So the bird is in the comfort of its home while I am in a borrowed home or, rather, a hired home. Incidentally we both had flown into our respective abodes before the rain – that heavy rain. Since the bird is very much at home it has less to think about, while, as a stranger in another land, I am in thoughts of home, wondering whether the heavy rainfall with all the winds is also lashing upon my beloved and ever flooded city of Lagos. I am also thinking family, hence while the bird is drenched in the rain, it has fewer worries still, so it could sing and sing. This is not the case with the traveler. His is the burden of travel. Travel, with thoughts of home, thoughts of family, hence he cannot sing!


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