Andrew has actually a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and also writes extensively on the subject. His poems are published online and also in print.

You are watching: Once upon a time by gabriel okara


*

Gabriel Okara and also A an introduction of once Upon A Time

Once ~ above A Time is a free verse poem that focuses on a father's perspective to cultural change and also times past, prior to the just arrived Western society affected the indigenous African method of life.

In the city the male (presumably a father) addresses the son, telling him in a fairly nostalgic manner, exactly how things provided to be. Human being were different earlier then, more genuine the seemed, and also that is what the speaker would prefer to do currently - go back to a revived world - if he can only discover from the youngster.

Back then civilization weren't after her money, they could look you in the eye and also smile genuine smiles. Yet nowadays, back the laugh teeth space on show, and also they'll shake your hand, every they desire to understand is her financial status.


And therefore the city progresses, the beforehand stanzas revealing much more of the an adverse changes that have occurred during the father's lifetime. The is old enough to have actually watched decent person standards drop to the wayside as western ideals (together v capitalism) gradually took over.

The speaker desires to relearn indigenous the as yet untainted son; how to laugh and also be real again. It's rather a pathetic plea, coming from the adult come the youngster - for what can the boy realistically do? can the clocks be placed back? can an ancient society be retrieved native the overwhelming modern culture?


The themes are: how culture changes, cultural shift, capitalism, values.

Perhaps the ton is ironic, perhaps the speaker knows deep inside the he'll never regain that purity, that won't have the ability to turn back time and relive life together a changed person. That's why the title can be from a fairytale; the speaker's wishes room a fantasy.

Gabriel Okara (1921 - 2019) is thought about to be one of the an initial modern afri poets. Born in Nigeria he uses folklore, religion, myth and also social issues to explore tradition and transition. His work an initial appeared in the magazine black color Orpheus native 1957. This poem is contained in his publication The Fisherman's Invocation released in 1978.

Once upon A Time


*

Analysis of when Upon A Time Stanza by Stanza

Once upon A Time is a cost-free verse poem of 43 lines, broken up into 7 stanzas.

First Stanza

The very first line suggests that this poem is going to be based upon a story, is a sort of story or or fairytale?

The speak is addressing his son, so this can well it is in a father beginning to describe how things provided to be, how people 'they' provided to laugh through their hearts and also eyes. Ago in the past.


In contrast, recently laughter is an ext of a display of teeth, and the eyes space cold and looking because that something various other than the real person.


So currently the current is being judged through the past. And also from what we can gather indigenous these an initial six lines, the speaker prefers the perspectives of the civilization from the past. Over there is the feeling that an unfavorable change is here.

Second Stanza

The arts of shaking hand has likewise changed. In the past a greeting to be genuine, a human being welcomed for that they were. Yet nowadays people shake hands v one eye on her status, her financial status.

People are no much longer genuinely warmth towards others. World are ~ above the make, wanting to gain something indigenous you.

Third Stanza

People invite you ring to their houses making out together if you're vital to them yet if girlfriend don't measure up socially or your status isn't fairly right, you're not invited again.

The alienation continues. Civilization nowadays are artificial and fickle due to the fact that of the adjust in culture.

Once upon A Time analysis Stanza through Stanza

Fourth Stanza

The an initial three stanzas overview the speaker's perception of an altering culture and also attitudes and also values in his country.

See more: How Bad Is Brake Fluid Harmful To Skin, Brake Fluid Health & Safety Information

This 4th stanza describes how the speaker himself had to adjust and learn in order come comply. He provides a compare - deals with to costume - to to mark the assorted personas he took on, every the while smiling.