Edidare tells the story of a group of adventurers on a journey to a far country from which they expect to return with the fruit from the Tree of Enlightenment. Led by a warrior called Irinkerindo , they discover an isolated city hidden deep inside the forest. Edidare as this city is known is a place of indescribable filth and the suffering dwellers have been driven to cannibalism and mindlessness through many years of deprivation.Bursting with chivalry, the travelers seek to restore civilization to the city but laws are eventually made to permanently expel the sojourners from Edidare
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Lagos Literary and Arts Journal Imprint
© 2012 Rotimi Ogunjobi
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
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Published by xceedia (media and publishing)
Author’s note and acknowledgement
Èdìdàré is a poem which tells the story of a group of adventurers in search of the Wisdom Fruit from the Tree of Enlightenment. The title and some characters were taken from books written in Yoruba by the late Yoruba author D.O Fagunwa.
Beyond Oke Langbodo of ancient legend revived;
Beyond the Sanguine Stream of ancient legend revived,
Near the other world where the dead go to live.
Lies that distant city, where wisdom never fades.
Beyond the enchanted forest of Elegbeje,
Where dwellers observe the daily doings,
Of those that have passed away into the other world,
You can daily hear the sable roosters crow at dawn,
From across the Sanguine Stream, near the other world,
Where the dead go to live when we see them no more.
There at Oke Ironu, stands a tree mysterious,
With fragrant flowers every day brightly blossoming,
Surrendering in season a thirst-slaking fruit:
That refreshing fruit called Enlightenment.
Those that shall the bank of the Sanguine Stream brave,
Those that shall seek the source of its serpentine trail,
Shall there find a mighty gilded portal,
A passage way for the departed, leaving this world,
To the other world where the dead go to live.
At threshold to this grim portal,
There Death has built his somber mansion,
And Pestilence, his consort has planted a flourishing garden.
Ours is therefore a voyage fit only for the valiant,
A pilgrimage for those that will without fear accost Death;
We are valiant men - thirty-six warriors, who have conquered fear,
Resolved to bring to back to our disillusioned city, Alupayida;
The thirst-quenching fruit of that tree, called Enlightenment;
Which stands in the midst of Oke Ironu, that distant city,
Where questions quickly turn into wisdom.
Thirty-six valiant men by many battles made strong,
The brave volunteers to this quest, I should here their virtues extol,
And of their glorious achievements I, Irinkerindo must speak;
Though the length of the day, will not this endless tale permit,
And the shortness of the night makes for more prudent use.
I, Irinkerindo, tireless seeker after adventure,
Persistently pursuing after the truth wherever it may be found,
For the sake that posterity might thus be made wiser.
Persistently pursuing integrity wherever it may be found,
That the old may marvel at their wealth of wisdom,
Before they sleep and also depart away,
To the other world, where the dead go to live.
Of this journey we falter not nor fear,
Though to our homes we may never again return,
Though we may perish and forever be lost,
Into that land which lies across the Sanguine Stream,
To the east of Oke Ironu, near that other world,
Where the dead go to live, when we see them no more.
Certainly, shall we on our journey encounter,
Monsters and demons that shall make the heart of men to fail;
Certainly, we shall meet also with terrible fiends,
Which make even the heart of demons to fail;
Mayhap, Elegbara will himself cross our path,
That malevolent twin brother to the infernal devil;
With ten thousands of his terrible offspring going forth before,
Warning any that has ears, of his terrible coming.
Thirty-six valiant men whose hearts have murdered fear,
Ceasing to consider Death with his grim appearing;
We voyage toward the distant city of Oke Ironu,
Beyond the fearsome forest of Elegbeje,
By the slumberous river separated from the other world,
Where the dead go to live, when we see them no more.
Of the brave volunteers to this valiant pursuit,
I, Irinkerindo should sing many sweet ballads,
Proclaiming aloud their glorious antecedents;
And though time ceaselessly races forth,
In a dozen years my songs of them shall still not end.
Of Kumodiran the brutal one I shall sing:
He that must daily at dawn by heavy cudgels be pummeled,
Else infirmity shall fall upon his body,
And all day will he ceaselessly protest his comfort.
Kumodiran, of whom rumors are rife,
Of his conception from the tempestuous wedlock,
Of the mighty elephant and the brave leopard;
Fearless in pursuit, fearless in defense,
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