Remembering My Primary School Poems (I)

By Revd. Dr. Idowu Ibitoye
Until few years ago some of my primary schools poems began to have meaning to me. During the primary school days we usually sang these poems for singing sake, which does not have much meaning to many of us pupils. Some of our teachers who taught us the poems may not even know their meanings.
There are poetical books in the Bible known as Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Songs of Solomon and Ecclesiastics all these books are full of inspiration that guide daily lifestyle and conducts, “they are for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight for receiving instruction on prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair” Prov. 1:2-3
Remembering My Primary School Poems
Among many popular poems recited while in primary school, three popular poems came to mind, which include:“1,2 buckle my shoe; 3,4 knock at the door; 5,6 pick-up stick; 7,8 lay them straight; 9,10 A big fat hen.” Another one is “Rain, Rain go away come again another day little children want to play”.Our teacher usually aroused the class to recite the latter whenever rain fell during class hour. I realised anytime we recited the second poem it usually rained, rain never vanished. And most of the time it who recited for playing purposes. One of the Popular Yoruba Poems which we were taught in Primary school:
Iseniogunise – Work is the antidote for poverty
Mura siise Re Oree mi -Work hard my friend
Iseni a fi ndi eni giga -Work is what elevates one in respect and importance
Bi a koba Re nife yin Ti, Bi Ole la ari – If we do not have anyone to lean on, we appear indolent
Aa Teramoise Eni – We simply work harder
Iya re le lowolowo – Your mother may be wealthy
Baba Re si le lesin lee kan – Your father may have a ranch full of horses
Bi o ba Gboju le won – You may end up in disgrace. I tell you
Ohunti a ba fara sise fun – Whatever not earned through hardwork
Se ki T’ojo – Usually does not last
Ohunti a ba fara sise fun – Whatever we earn through hardwork
Ni pe lowo eni – Is the one that lasts in ones hands
A pa lara bee ni, Igunpaniyekan – The arm is a relative, the elbow is a sibling
Bi aye Ba n nfe o loni – If you’re loved by all today
Bi o balowo – It is when you have money
Won a ma fe o lola – love you tomorrow
Tabiki o wanipo a tata – or you are in a high position
Aye a ye o si TerinTerin – All will honour you with cheers and smiles.
Je kiodieni n raago – wait till you become poor or are struggling to get by.
Amplification of the First Poem= 1, 2 BUCKLE MY SHOE….:
a. 1,2 buckle my shoe – This is the early stage in life, when you are buckling your shoes in pursuing your primary and secondary schools education. You buckle your shoe to get a good 0’level result as it is the foundation for your life success. In those days there was nothing like “miracle centres”, “examination machinery, etc to help you out in your 0’level exams. Today’s parents are not helping the matter as some of them are guilty of taking their wards to “miracle centres” and this make them lazy in their academic pursuit. Parents, teachers, mentors and guardians must teach their children that during the early stage in life, between ages 1-15 one must buckle his/her shoes to lay a solid foundation for future success.
b. 3,4 Knock at the door – In my own interpretation this stage is simply a post primary education experience, when youths knock at the door of admission into higher school of learning. Time of knocking the doors of what to become in life, time of when you are choosing your life career and profession. Time of rigorous studies at tertiary school e.g University, Polytechnic, College of Education, or School of Nursing etc. We have had stories of youth that play away their glorious destinies at this stage. Some joined ungodly companies, associate themselves with bad friends who influences them and unable to achieve anything at this stage, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character” I Cor. 15:33. Teenagers and youths under this category (16-21 years must rise to knock the doors of achievement and progress.
c. 5,6 Pick-up sticks – At ages 22-28 you must begin to pick up your achievement one after the other, such as; having your first degree, probably you are pursuing your maters programme. Likewise, at this level you must have picked up your letter of appointment, that is gainfully employed and contributing positively to the society. In furtherance of picking up your stick this stage is known as your prime age, either male or female your marital life must be settled a this juncture, leaving this stage without attaching to a future partner may become delay in life in settlement of your matrimonial home. Pastors must create quality time in term of guidance and counseling, organising periodical seminars for youths at this stage such as, marital or careers talks etc so as to guide them and prepare them for their matrimonial homes. Pick up stick is picking your achievement one after the other at this stage of life. This stage is very crucial in life it must never be joked with.

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