Book Title: Canticles of a happy people
Book Title: Canticles of a happy people

Author : Adeola Adeoti 

Publisher : Red Letter crib signature 

Year of Publication: 2022 

Genre : Poetry 

Reviewer: Obizulike Chukwuma

Adeola echoes the interspersing quagmire and catharsis of Lagos 

Adeola opened this book of poetry with a smart header, and other poems  gave  candor to this baroque of evocations. In the Lagos poem,  the interesting subject matter was the defamiliarization of Lagos, touted to be a place of interspersing quagmire. Lagos is often depicted as a sleepless  city and ever busy place of teeming humans. Lagos is in  a coastal region of Nigeria , West Africa. It was annexed in 1861 and was amalgamated with the southern protectorate to form the Southern protectorate of Nigeria . Lagos has seen different shades of civilian and military rules and has been forming its own language , culture and adaptive nomenclature since its founding days. Lagos used to be notorious because of  scammers and some infiltration of foreign entities who go around to swindle people with fake money laundering deals and promises of sudden wealth. The beach in Lagos is a hub of lost men , scavengers, religious bugs and worrywarts . Some people go to the beach to pray sometimes while some just stroll the nook and cranny to gouge a newbie or just find a way to outsmart an unsuspecting tourist or wanderer. Horses at the beach in Lagos are interesting to climb but the cost that would be charged if you refused to negotiate before climbing, would throw you into a furnace of ire. Lagos is splendid with skyscrapers and high brow castles. Lagos is the metaphor for the world being an unjust bedstead of classism. Most politicians and governors all over the country converge in Lagos for an outlandish weekend. They are perhaps in Atlantic City or somewhere dark and debauchery strewn. The soul of Lagos is for the highest bidder. You can get cheap steaks and other things you need to survive in Lagos. You have to be sharp in Lagos and always thinking on your feet , else your shirt won’t get home with you. Lagos is plagued with a pack of wolves under the bridge. The little vagrants who are ready to mangle the roads to cause fatal accidents so they could feign wanting to come and help and then dispossess you of your valuables. In the poem, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Adeoti warned everyone to be careful else their items of happiness would be wrung off their pockets. 

Adeola, in the poem, canticles of a happy people, painted the picture of a people in chains but are not suppressed by the avalanche of hurdles on their way to forging ahead in life. They barely resist and stand up against their shambolic government and would continually adjust to the dictates of a deluded government replete with thieves and scoundrels who don't observe nor uphold the provisions of their social contract. The people have become a child tossed into the wind of happenstances,  dealt with whatever hand of fate rife with ruins pelted by the wind. In the last line of the poem , canticles of a happy people, the poet enthused that these caravans are here today to thresh their agony into a song of encouragement. This implies that the people, despite their discontent with their polity, still appear everyday to contend with whatever forces they have to contend with, in order to make sense of their existence.

Adeoti warns his readers about the dangers of entwining their thoughts with the desires of hogs. Hogs are definitely dirty animals and always find food in dirt. This describes the politicians in his country and also the merchants of vices who survive on shady deals. These lots are not limited to miscreants but also top officials in oval offices whose competence is to forge papers, lie about their academic background, swindle unsuspecting lots and kidnap people to earn a living off their misery. The poet warns against desiring or hobnobbing with those despicable specimens to live a life of an exquisite delirium.

The poem, mirror, forewarns men to speak and examine their own life with candidness. Adeola enjoined us  to place ourselves before the  mirror and adjust our notion of in a way similar to the quadrants in Johari's window in psychology and do something about our lives. catch the storm again.

Humans are complex in nature and their frame of references is pivotal to their life’s trajectory. When people stand to weigh events , they analyze it based on bias. Dissonance is a broken fact put up against a character. They are preconceived premonitions about circumstances. Some people catastrophize things around them while some just go ahead with the occurrences of their lifetime. Adeola admonishes his own people to have some introspection and perform some sprint for their own lives. Some evaluate their lives on the basis of functionality and emotional loops while some are just loafers; saving their tears for the end of the world. They toss two fingers in the air and move however they want with no thought for their encumbrances.

This collection of poems is exciting and ingenious.

Adeola came gunblazing with his Franklin stove of fierce words to beat out spears of emotions stacked in the literary  marrows of his readers to pierce through nimble hearts with a knack for marvelous poems. 

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