- Subject Matter/Theme
- Poetic Devices, Language and Style
Background/Author of the poet
The poem ‘Vanity ‘is written by Birago Diop. He was born in 1906 at Dakar, Senegal. He had his education in Senegal and in France. He is a veterinary surgeon by profession. He is a lover of literary work who took interest in folklore. He has published two collections of folktales and a volume of poems.
His major pre-occupation in his themes is that of the continued presence of the ancestors in the community. He was also one of the architects of the Negritude movement.
Subject Matter of the Poem
‘Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity’ (Eccle 1:2)
In this particularpoem,the poetlaments that if we fail to heed the voice of the ancestors, our hope of protection will be lost. On a more general level of interpretation, the poet is using the traditional belief in the spirit of the ancestor as a means of reflecting upon the continuity of human experience and suffering.
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