Pauper, pauper, craning your eyes

In all directions, in no direction!

What brutal force, malignant element,

Dared to forge your piteous fate?

Was it worth the effort, the time?


You limply lean on a leafless tree

Nursing the jiggers that shrivel your bottom

Like baby newly born to an old woman.

What crime, what treason did you commit

That you are thus condemned to human indifference?


And when you trudge on the horny pads,

Gullied like the soles of modern shoes,

Pads that even jiggers cannot conquer;

Does He admire your sense of endurance

Or turn his head away from your imprudent presence?


You sit alone on hairless goatskins,

Your ribs and bones reflecting the light

That beautiful cars reflect on you,

Squashing like between your nails.

And cleaning your nails with dry saliva.


And when He looks at the grimy coating

Caking off your emaciated skin,

At the rust that uproots all your teeth

Like a pick on a stony piece of land,

Does He pat his paunch at the wonderful sight?


Pauper, pauper, crouching in beautiful verandas

Of beautiful cities and beautiful people,

Tourists and I will take your snapshots,

And your M.P. with a shining head and triple chin

Will mourn your fate in a supplementary questions at question time.

(Adapted from poems from East Africa, by Cook and Rubadiri EDS)

  1. i) Identify the persona in the poem above.               (2 marks)
  2. ii) What evidence from the poem suggest that the subject is poor? (4 marks)

iii)  Comment on the writer’s use of imagery in stanza two.                                                                           (3 marks)

  1. iv) Apart from the imagery indentified in (iii) above, discuss any two other stylistic devices employed in the poem. (4 marks)
  2. v) What is the persona’s attitude towards the M.P. (2 marks)
  3. vi) Discuss one theme brought out in the poem. (2 marks)

vii) Explain the meaning of the following words and expression as used in the poem.                                       (3 marks)

  1. a) Emaciated .
  2. b)
  3. c) Gullied like the soles of modern shoes.
HOD Academics Changed status to publish November 22, 2021