The complete Analysis of the poem "Lovers' Song" by kofi Awoonor.

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 Title of the poem 

The title "Lovers' Song" suggests that the poem revolves around themes of love and relationships. In the context of the provided excerpt by Kofi Awoonor, the speaker is expressing a desire for the person they are addressing to call a particular girl. The language used in the poem conveys a longing for connection and intimacy, as the speaker contemplates the passage of time since the loved one went away and the implications for their relationship.

Themes of the poem

The themes of "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor include:

1. **Longing and Desire:** The speaker expresses a deep longing and desire for the person they address to call a specific girl, emphasizing the emotional and physical connection they seek.

2. **Time and Separation:** The mention of "seven years" since the loved one went away highlights the theme of time and separation. The speaker reflects on the duration of absence and its impact on their feelings.

3. **Reflection on Self-Worth:** The speaker contemplates whether they should consider themselves "cheap" or "returned unsold from the market," suggesting a reflection on self-worth and the impact of the absence on their identity.

4. **Intimacy and Marriage:** The reference to lying in one bed and the question about sleeping with a married woman touches on themes of intimacy and the complex dynamics of relationships, particularly in the context of marriage.

5. **Sensory Imagery:** The description of the girl's neck "like a desert tree" adds a sensory element to the poem, invoking imagery that contributes to the overall atmosphere and emotions conveyed.

Overall, the poem explores the complexities of love, separation, and self-perception through the lens of the speaker's emotions and experiences.

Tone and Mood of the poem

The tone of "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor is a mix of longing, contemplation, and a hint of desperation. The speaker's plea for the person to call the mentioned girl carries an emotional weight, reflecting a sense of yearning and desire.

The mood is both melancholic and passionate. The speaker's reflection on the years of separation and the uncertainty about the state of the relationship contribute to a melancholic undertone. However, the passionate plea and the desire for intimacy infuse the poem with a sense of intense emotion and longing, creating a mood that is both reflective and fervent.

Imagery of the poem

The poem "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor incorporates vivid imagery to evoke emotions and enhance the reader's experience:

1. **Desert Tree Imagery:** The comparison of the girl's neck to a "desert tree" creates a striking visual image, suggesting a certain grace or uniqueness in her appearance. This imagery adds depth to the speaker's perception of the person they desire.

2. **Market Imagery:** The speaker uses imagery related to being "returned unsold from the market," conjuring up the image of a commodity, which adds layers to the contemplation of self-worth and value.

3. **Bed Imagery:** The mention of lying "in one bed" conjures images of intimacy and shared space, emphasizing the desire for a close and personal connection between the speaker and the addressed person.

4. **Temporal Imagery - Seven Years:** The reference to "seven years" creates a temporal image, suggesting a significant duration of separation. This adds a layer of nostalgia and reflection on the passage of time.

Overall, these vivid images contribute to the sensory and emotional impact of the poem, allowing readers to engage with the speaker's emotions and the complexities of the relationships depicted in the verses.

Symbolism of the poem

In "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor, several elements can be interpreted symbolically:

1. **Desert Tree:** The description of the girl's neck as a "desert tree" could symbolize resilience or uniqueness. Deserts are often harsh environments, yet certain trees can thrive, suggesting that the girl possesses qualities that endure despite challenges.

2. **Seven Years:** The recurring mention of "seven years" may symbolize a significant passage of time. This could represent the duration of separation and the impact it has had on the speaker, emphasizing the enduring nature of their emotions.

3. **Market Imagery:** The speaker's reference to being "returned unsold from the market" can symbolize feelings of rejection or being undervalued. It may reflect the speaker's perception of their own worth and the challenges they face in the realm of relationships.

4. **One Bed:** The desire to "lie in one bed" can symbolize a longing for intimacy and unity. It may represent the speaker's yearning for a close, personal connection with the addressed person.

These symbols collectively contribute to the poem's rich tapestry of emotions and meanings, allowing readers to interpret the work on both literal and symbolic levels.

Metaphors and similes

In "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor, there are instances of metaphors and similes that contribute to the poem's vivid imagery:

1. **Metaphor - "neck like a desert tree":** This metaphor compares the girl's neck to a desert tree. It suggests a unique and perhaps resilient quality in the girl's appearance, emphasizing a distinctive and enduring beauty.

2. **Simile - "fold mine and say I am cheap / Returned unsold from the market":** The comparison of the speaker's situation to being "returned unsold from the market" is a simile. It likens the speaker's perceived lack of value or success in relationships to an unsold commodity in a market, evoking a sense of rejection or devaluation.

These figurative language elements enhance the poem's expressiveness and provide readers with a more nuanced understanding of the speaker's emotions and reflections on love and separation.

Language and diction

The language and diction in "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor contribute to the emotional depth and cultural resonance of the poem. Here are some notable aspects:

1. **Cultural Specificity:** The use of phrases like "that girl with the neck like a desert tree" and references to the market adds a cultural dimension to the poem. It anchors the narrative in a specific context, enriching the imagery with cultural nuances.

2. **Colloquial Tone:** The poem employs a conversational and colloquial tone, enhancing the sense of intimacy and personal connection. This conversational style helps to convey the speaker's emotions in a relatable manner.

3. **Repetition:** The repetition of the question "Isn’t it seven years?" emphasizes the duration of separation, creating a rhythmic quality and reinforcing the impact of time on the speaker's emotions.

4. **Descriptive Language:** Descriptive language, such as "neck like a desert tree" and "fold mine and say I am cheap," paints vivid pictures and adds layers of meaning to the speaker's reflections on love and self-worth.

Overall, Awoonor's choice of language and diction serves to evoke a strong emotional response while grounding the poem in a specific cultural and personal context.

Structure of the poem

The structure of "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor is notable for its simplicity and repetition. The poem consists of a series of stanzas, each containing a few lines. Here are some structural aspects:

1. **Stanzas:** The poem is divided into stanzas of varying lengths, with each stanza presenting a distinct thought or idea. This division contributes to the poem's organization and flow.

2. **Repetition:** The repetition of the question "Isn’t it seven years?" is a notable structural element. This repetition creates a rhythmic pattern, emphasizing the duration of separation and allowing the theme of time to permeate the poem.

3. **Conversational Tone:** The structure aligns with the poem's conversational tone, making it feel like a personal reflection or plea. The informal structure contributes to the sense of intimacy between the speaker and the addressed person.

4. **Enjambment:** The use of enjambment, where lines continue without a pause into the next, contributes to the fluidity of the poem. It enhances the conversational flow and gives the impression of a continuous, ongoing thought process.

While the poem doesn't strictly adhere to a specific rhyme scheme or meter, its structural elements work together to convey the speaker's emotions and reflections in a rhythmic and accessible manner.

Sound and rhythm

"Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor employs a subtle but effective use of sound and rhythm to enhance its emotional impact:

1. **Repetition:** The repetition of the question "Isn’t it seven years?" creates a rhythmic pattern, contributing to the poem's musicality. This repetition serves as a refrain, emphasizing the passage of time and adding a melodic quality to the verses.

2. **Alliteration and Assonance:** The poem incorporates instances of alliteration and assonance, where similar consonant or vowel sounds are repeated. For example, "fold mine," and "say I am cheap" create a subtle musicality, adding to the overall auditory experience.

3. **Conversational Flow:** The poem's conversational tone and enjambment contribute to a smooth and flowing rhythm. The lines transition seamlessly, mirroring the natural cadence of spoken language.

4. **Imagery and Sound Harmony:** The descriptive language, such as "neck like a desert tree," not only creates vivid imagery but also introduces a harmonious sound quality. The carefully chosen words contribute to the poem's auditory richness.

While not strictly adhering to a formal meter or rhyme scheme, the poem's use of repetition, alliteration, and a conversational flow work together to create a rhythmic and sonorous quality that enhances the overall emotional resonance.


In "Lovers' Song" by Kofi Awoonor, the syntax contributes to the poem's conversational and emotive nature:

1. **Fragmented Sentences:** The poem often uses fragmented or incomplete sentences, such as "Call her, call her for me, that girl," creating a sense of urgency and immediacy. This syntax mirrors the spontaneous and direct expression of the speaker's emotions.

2. **Interrogative Statements:** The repetition of the question "Isn’t it seven years?" adds a rhetorical and contemplative element. The syntax of these interrogative statements serves to emphasize the duration of separation and the impact of time on the speaker's emotions.

3. **Ellipses:** The poem occasionally uses ellipses, like in the line "If they marry a woman don’t they sleep with her?" This syntactical choice adds a reflective pause, allowing the reader to contemplate the implied question and its significance.

4. **Parallel Structure:** The use of parallel structure is evident in lines like "fold mine and say I am cheap / Returned unsold from the market." This syntactical parallelism emphasizes the speaker's reflection on self-worth in a structured and rhythmic manner.

Overall, the syntax in "Lovers' Song" contributes to the poem's emotional resonance, capturing the speaker's thoughts and feelings in a way that feels immediate and personal.


Kofi Awoonor, the Ghanaian poet who wrote "Lovers' Song," was known for his rich exploration of African cultural themes, political engagement, and poetic craftsmanship. Born in 1935, Awoonor's life and work were influenced by the political landscape of Ghana and his experiences as a diplomat. Here are some contextual elements:

1. **Cultural Influences:** Awoonor's poetry often reflects his cultural roots. He was influenced by the oral traditions of his Ewe heritage, incorporating indigenous symbolism and imagery into his work. In "Lovers' Song," the mention of a "desert tree" and market imagery might draw from these cultural elements.

2. **Political Engagement:** Awoonor was politically engaged, and his experiences included imprisonment during political upheavals in Ghana. His poetry sometimes addresses political and social issues. While "Lovers' Song" seems more focused on personal themes of love and separation, Awoonor's broader context of political awareness may subtly influence his perspectives.

3. **African Literature Movement:** Awoonor was part of the broader African literary movement that emerged in the mid-20th century. This movement sought to express African experiences and perspectives, challenging colonial narratives. Awoonor's work contributes to this literary conversation.

4. **Life as a Diplomat:** Awoonor served as Ghana's ambassador to the United Nations. His diplomatic career exposed him to different cultural contexts and international experiences. This global perspective could influence the themes and outlook in his poetry.

Understanding Awoonor's background provides a broader lens for interpreting "Lovers' Song" and appreciating the interplay of personal, cultural, and potentially political elements within his poetry.

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