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Analysis of ''Homeless Not Hopeless''

We are the natives of the street
holed-up under bridges
we are necessary
we are part of our existence
major fragments of the globe
as the day chameleons to night
you slump in the warmth of your beds
and the heat of loved ones
we also embrace the cozy
cardboard beds laid on stinks
as the night injects us with cool breeze
and endurance.
We sleep and dream
And have conferences with
the indigenes of the elusive world
when it's day, in bundle
we pack our belongings
and move on with our days
standing, kneeling and bending
to beg for alms just for the day
necessary part of your society
translators of our dreams
carriers of our burdens
Angels, we open gates
Of your blessings
We are the lack
That take your lack
We are homeless not hopeless
This makes us rile at hereafter
when death opens the gate
to the second phase.

About the poet
Sola Owonibi is a poet, playwright, who teaches literature at the Department of English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria.

''Homeless not Hopeless'' is about the poor in the society who are not always reckoned with when issues of social economic values are being considered by the establishment,though these people are relegated in all aspects of life,they do not consider themselves irrelevant and hopeless.In this regard, Sola Owonibi, through Homeless not Hopeless, has brought to the fore the plight of the underprivileged people in the society, their significance and indispensable role in building and sustaining the society. With that, Owonibi is trying to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich with the aim of having a class-free soceity.

Though this class of people live under the bridges that dotted the city,sleep on cardboards on the hard concrete floor,and battle with cold and mosquitoes,they do not begrudge the rich people who are lucky to sleep in warmth beds among loved. Their only desire is that they should be considered as part of the community. From their hazardous sleep under the bridge ,these people will wake in the morning,pack their mats and flood the street begging for alms. In spite of their abject existence which is to be considered, a necessary part of their society with definite roles which keep the rich in their own position so that the society can be going very smoothly. They are not only carriers of burdens,and translations of the dreams of the rich. Yet thesee pooe beggars are not hopeless and even look to life after death,inspite of the fact that they eat the remains of what is left for them by the rich.The poet-persona, therefore, reminds the upper class that they are necessary in the society. No one does the dirty jobs than the underprivileged ones. The rich have to seek the services of the less privileged to carry out the trivial jobs around them. Hence, the rich needs the poor to survive. When the rich comes up with business ideas, they use the poor as tools to achieve such ideas for their dreams to come through. That is why the persona points to the rich that they are “translators of your dreams/ carriers of your burdens.”

This is a simple poem with a powerful message. It is a free verse. The poem is a one stanza rendition of thirty-two lines.. One major recurrence throughout the poem is the repetition of “we”. This emphasises the fact that the persona aligns himself with the underprivileged members in the society. He is the voice representing the downtrodden whose voices are not heard and their contributions to the society not recognised.

Poetic devices
Simile:Line 6

Paradox:line 10-11

Metaphor:line 25-26

Rhyme:line 27-28

1. The sumptuous lives of the rich

2. The need to recognise everyone in the community

3. Homelessness of the underprivileged

4. The chasm between the poor and the rich

5. The adverse effect of poverty

6. Hopes amidst hopelessness

7. The precarious state of beggars

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