Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon
Reincarnation: Do you believe in it? Karma Chameleon – Reincarnation!
The complexities of the world are beyond our comprehension and understanding. Humans perceive the world differently due to backgrounds, cultural beliefs, norms and traditions of a given society. In essence, there are differing and contrasting belief systems.
Therefore, there are misconceptions on the theory of Reincarnation – a cycle of rebirth. It is the belief that the soul repeatedly go through a cycle of birth, death and being reborn over and over again.
There are mythical stories, personal cases and justifications that make this subject interesting. I won’t dwell much on the varied scientific research and documents pointing with evidences that reincarnation is real.
To tackle today’s prompt, I will revisit the book and two poems I’ve read that are literary exposé on the subject as a springboard for this task. These intelligent discourse points to the fact that reincarnation should not be waved off casually.
These two poems have the same titles, plot and themes. They were written by the duo of poetic innovators in the African Literary World.
A good poem is a creative artistry that caresses the soul and awaken the mental mind. It is always a great pleasure whenever I read these poems which as a matter of fact, I love reading always. For reason I don’t even know.
I present to you two poems written by Two Great Writers with One Title – ABIKU. I have given only two stanzas of each poem. The rest you can read at the end of this post.
Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian Author, Poet and Dramatologist. His version of Abiku was written in 1967.
Abiku (Wole Soyinka)
In vain your bangles cast
Charmed circles at my feet
I am Abiku calling for the first
And the repeated time
Once and the repeated time, ageless
Though I puke; and when you pour libations
Each finger points me near the way I came
Where the ground is wet with mourning’s…
J.P Clark is a Nigerian Poet and Playwright. His Abiku was written in 1965.
Abiku (J.P. Clark)
Coming and going these several season,
Do stay on the baobab tree,
Follow where you please your kindred spirits
If indoors is not enough for you.
And the book – The Famished Road by Ben Okri. (1991) – You may want to check this out on Google.
The above poems and book gave credence to reincarnation as an existential construction. Due to cultural and traditional belief, it was revealed that there has been cases of birth and re-births in families in the pre-colonial Africa.
These poems reflect on the trauma suffered by women who gave birth many times to children, only for them to die early and reincarnate to the same home again.
The Abiku myth is a cultural belief that children suffer premature deaths and a painful cycle of births and deaths. They were subjected to various mutilations and mark of identifications as evidences and proof of a past life should they return or reincarnate. When such children die, they were given marks on their faces, arms, breast or any part of the body where it will be visible and easy to recognise them if they return in a rebirth.
This traditional belief was rife and idolized in the pre-colonial West Africa and Nigeria respectively. Mothers were distressed. They go through a life of sacrifices to put an end to the anguish they suffer in child birth. It was an agonizing experience to be marked as an Abiku.
In conclusion, I would state that the Abiku dilemma was celebrated amongst a people deep rooted in the African Religious Beliefs. It is a traditional and cultural belief that there is life after death. A belief that eulogised the existence of spirits of dead ancestors and deities.
The above poems and book investigated the Abiku myth. All three literary works gave credence to the fact that a child died and was reborn signalling thus that reincarnation existed or still exist.
Here is a link to the two poems for the curious mind who would like to read both poems at a later date. Both Abiku Poems.
Thank you for your time.