Euphoria - Prince Mensah



Caused by Three Ghanaian Goals

Twenty-two men on green pitch,
Spectators scream at fever pitch.
Eleven are ours, the other eleven ---
Well, they look like vixen.
But they show confidence enough
For us to catch their bluff.
The commentator is one talkative,
He keeps us all active.
Referee whistles --- Let the games begin!
Supporters beware, negativity is sin.

We guffaw when we see Dangbleshi[1], saatay[2],
suuliya[3], --- skills of some great player.
We kick the ball from our spectator-seats,
Our hopes haunted by past defeats.
Of red, of gold, of green, Black Stars,
We celebrated the good pass
To our men near opposing goal-keeper.
A dribble, a feign, a goal so super,
The nets still vibrate from energy of ball.
Goal-scorer, proud, standing tall
Before grateful nation, drenched with euphoria,
The heavens are filled with our loud aria.
Jama[4] and dancing --- no doubt about our support,
We are one in this, great is our rapport.

No kakalika[5] tricks by referee and his assistants,
If they try, we will be like driver ants.
We sing in Ga, in Twi, in Hausa,
Every tribe has its own stanza
Enthusiasm nearly made us miss
The second goal --- now Ghana is in bliss
We stomp the earth in damba[6] dance,
Others walk about in happy trance.
The whistle is blown for half time
Our hopes and hearts begin to rhyme.
Our opponents are confused by ofun and ree[7],
Loyalty to our boys runs wild and free.
We know too much soccer, we are all coaches
To eleven men, directing their matches.

We love this game too much to lose,
Our boys can give us no excuse
Another whistle and the game resumes
The air is filled with our tunes.
A dear mistake by opponents, our boys get the ball
Opposing defense crumbles, their net gets our ball.
Ghana --- three --- opponents --- nil
Their world rushes to stand still.
We barely wait until final whistle blows,
We comfort foes over their woes,
Straining our voices with shouts of victory,
Joining nation in history.
We raise the cup in confetti, balloons and lights,
Ghana now lives in soccer’s highlights



[1] Dangbleshi is a Ga word for the soccer action of a scissor-kick.
[2] Saatay is a Ga word for faking and feigning one’s opponent in soccer.
[3] Suuliya is a Hausa word for the soccer action wherein a player manages to kick a ball through the legs of his opponent.
[4] Jama is a Ga music genre, characterized by heavy percussion.
[5] Ga word for cockroach. Also used for the adjective, dirty
[6] Damba is a dance in the Northern Region of Ghana. Usually characterized by jumping and stomping.
[7] Ofun and ree are peculiarly Ghanaian soccer catch-phrases for ‘poor play’ and ‘great play’, respectively. ‘Ofun’ is said when one’s opposing team has the ball. ‘Ree’ is when one’s team has the ball.



"Euphoria" is part four of our four-part series of poems on soccer. Previous installments can be viewed from our Archive page.

6 comments:

LS said...

Okay it's no fun when the same people comment all the time. I feel like an old lizard sunning myself on the one hot rock! Maybe I need to get a life.

Yeah I cast my mind back to old Accra where little boys learn to play football with what they called socks ball. That's when they pick up their armchair coaching skills.

And for a while I misread 'Goals' in the epigraph for 'Goats'

Darko Antwi said...

GRAND FINALE

Within a month, we have experienced skillful footwork and its surrounding attitude - through the handiwork of 4 great poets.

We enjoyed it without going to any of the supposed stadia. That is the essence of poetry: it has to get us into the mood, whether written with numerous vocabulary or with economy of words (as seen in the 3rd poem).

Where any of the poets have imagined, it became real to us. And narrations became more visible than the letters that formed them.

May I pause here...

Darko Antwi said...

...

Since the routine commenting on this site is a pleasure, and not a duty, there's a high probability that one would either make flattery statements to please the poets or for lack of knowledge (about the poets complete works) make understatements.

Considering Prince's huge oeuvre and its quality of content (which I managed to read online), I only hope I have not committed any faux pas in my previous commentary.

You cant talk about his works without mentioning the nice arrangement: the architectural order of lines.

Emeka Bushola said...

dis poem be cool o! i dey like how e put am on video. ghana dey go forward ooo! ibi so

Anonymous said...

Well intented to reveal the sacred secret of football that it is poetry in motion.Seems i am pipped at the post with delight and dexterity Prince has cornered that corner-------------Silverzorro.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

this is a great piece of writing...