Poets’ Thursday Review: Prince of Egypt

Poets' Thursday

When I saw the title of this poem, pyramids and the famous statue of Pharaoh came to mind. The first line got my full attention, the words, and the arrangement. “This hard concrete should hold me in awe”, now that got me! I love it.

Then I got to the third line and my ears tingled. Every time was unnecessarily used twice in the third line. There’s this vibe that the writer is trying too hard to please the reader. Egypt has no bearing whatsoever here, so why use it as a title?

The fourth and fifth lines already give the reader an idea of how the writer’s shape is like on the floor. “Curl … fold into a ball … foetal position …” Come on, we get it already.

Also, you are “the soft-stroke king”, so you should be able to backstroke? Is this about failure and getting back up or is it about being stuck?

This poem left a stale taste in my mouth, one minute I felt “oh, it’s rap” and another moment I didn’t know where to place it. I feel cheated, I wish the writer had added more lines to make the picture complete.

You wonder why you cannot win. You also claim you are always “winning on a whim”. Which should we believe? What message are you passing across exactly?

There’s a lot going on with the words, too many of it made the whole flow sound forced. Who put out the memo that good poetry ought to be confusing to be taken seriously? There are lots of contradictions here, one moment the writer is sure of himself and another moment there’s this huge self-doubt. “Glorious in ambivalence! Wise in hesitance! Regal in stance!” Ahn ahn! Bros to use rhymes is not by force na. These big grammar you were blowing here, they just did not register.

There’s this deep sense of disoriented despair that one cannot help but feel in every line. Then there’s self-mockery, the will to give up and the struggle to assert self-importance. I applaud the writer for the ability to make us feel these emotions and relate.

I give Uncle Phil an A for effort on this poem. I suggest that in future he writes from his heart, so as to have more depth. Please himself first and watch it spread to the reader. This poem made me really think, and because there were so many facets to it namely: failure, despair, fear, defiance, belief, doubt and the need to brag, it is a poem everyone can read and pick a thing or two from.

P.S: The closing, just like the opening is really wonderful. Keep writing, never stop. You never know which of your words would save a life and lift a depressed spirit.


By Cece Ireneh

Cece Ireneh has a therapeutic relationship with Poetry; she says it drives her demons away and gives her ethereal peace. When she’s not writing, she’s cooking meals that turn clients into addicts.


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Words Are Work … and fun too!

14 replies added

  1. Walter November 26, 2015 Reply

    ‘Who put out the memo that good poetry ought to be confusing to be taken seriously?’

    Cece, this review is precise and divine! Damn, you went to town!

  2. Cece November 26, 2015 Reply

    Lol, Walter.. Yeah, I see some poems and they are just filled with these big words and contradictions.. then I wonder “are we supposed to enjoy this poem or get migraine for reading it?”
    Nobody likes stress, a poem can impress and drive home a point without the whole “let me bombard their brain with big words that all mean the same thing” scenario.

  3. Chizzy November 26, 2015 Reply

    Cece.. hmmmm…
    Where do I start from…
    1. Christopher Okigbo made us believe (by his writings) that poetry ought to be taken seriously like further Engineering mathematics 501.

    2. I agree with your review. However I believe that as the author continues in this genre, he will certainly become better.
    With two badass reviewers Chisom Ojukwu is scaring some people from writing o.
    I would love to see a poetry competition on this platform though.

    Nice work once again Cece

    • Chisom November 26, 2015 Reply

      Poetry competition huh, Chizzy? Hold that thought

  4. Chisom November 26, 2015 Reply

    Great work, Cece, I love that you did not just say ‘no good *slash* no good *slash*’ but took the time to share exactly what parts did not work and how they could have been better. I hope Uncle Phil is watching this space though; critiquing is not always pretty but when done right – and this was done right, it is for all our good – writer and reader alike but writer especially. Thanks fam.

  5. st cathy November 27, 2015 Reply

    Oh sugar! Where is this poem naw? The tag keeps taking me to the review and i’m just dying to read the poem after reading the review.

    I love fierce, fearless reviews like this. Dying to find out if I’ll agree.

    • Chisom November 27, 2015 Reply

      Lol. There is a link in the first line of this post. ‘this poem’ – just click it and enjoy

  6. Uncle Phil November 28, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Cece, just saw this. I’d take hard constructive criticism anytime, I applaud your bravery. You didn’t mind becoming an enemy.
    Chisom na wa for u oh! *lips r sealed*
    For me sometimes poetry is words n d emotions they evoke. I’d like to taste d sour and sweet in one bite. The fact that u felt severally things, albeit confusing, has me doing a victory dance.
    Thanks Cece, truth be told, I wasn’t expecting this kinda review (mehn! U finish me, “A for effort”? lol).

    • Chisom November 28, 2015 Reply

      LMAO @ A for effort. Bros, say I no give you heads up abi? 🙂 No vex, it’s all in the game.
      I like your way jare *thumbs*

  7. Uncle Phil November 28, 2015 Reply

    And thanks Chizzy *winks*… Just wondering if its d same Chizzy I know. 9ja is such a big place.

    • Chizzy November 30, 2015 Reply

      Uncle Phil, LMAO@A for efforts.
      Ehe…which Chizzy do you know? it might just be me

      • Chisom November 30, 2015 Reply

        *in Solidstar’s voice* Oya CONNEEEECT! 🙂

        • Chizzy December 2, 2015 Reply

          You are not serious Chisom

  8. Chidike December 24, 2015 Reply

    Choi! Imagine…. I was thinking of writing something and sharing. Cece u had kiiii my moral. A for effort! Chineeeke!

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