brought it to the perfection he hoped for

"Lament of the Silent Sisters," the first version of which was completed in November 1962, is a typical product of Okigbo's Ibadan years. It is the most dif- ficult and ambitious work that Okigbo ever attempted. It occupied him off and on through the four years he spent in Ibadan. He continued to revise the poem, which he discount tiffany rings one of his best achievements, and it may be surmised that even after the last revision in 1966, he had not brought it to the perfection he hoped for. michael echeruo, in whose debt we all are for tracing the sources of nearly all the allusions used in this poem, doubts that "Silent Sisters" has a central core of meaning:


[T]he poem did not begin as a poem on martyrdom, but began as series of vignettes drawn from a very wide variety of sources, aspiring to coherence and discount tiffany rings under a rubric of silence. Okigbo worked hard to achieve this as he revised the poem. (echeruo 17)echeruo argues further that the political theme that the poet himself speaks


echeruo argues further that the political theme that the poet himself speaks about in his introduction to discount Tiffany Rings (xii) cannot possibly be the organizing center of "Silent Sisters." He points out that there are only four lines in the entire poem that could refer to the torture and death of Patrice Lumumba and the imprisonment of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. In any case, the association of the poem with the political crises in the Congo and Western Nigeria appears to have been an afterthought (echeruo 14). echeruo concludes that Okigbo's attempts through many revisions of the text to find a coherent center for the different allusions gathered in the poem fail and that 'Silent Sisters' still remains a collection of loose strands "having no body of occasions to hold them together" (echeruo 17). But Donatus Nwoga holds a contrary view. He sees the poem as one organic whole in which we hear "a universalistic shriek of fear and horror at the senseless emptiness of discount tiffany rings activity" (117). Robert Fraser's analysis is similar: "[T]he real theme of discount tiffany rings, succinctly stated, is the triumph of the authentic tragic consciousness over the demeaning facts of decay and death" (243).

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