New Year's Resolution - Prince Mensah


dreams half-baked, halved by edges
of circumstance, life reinterpreted
through constant surprises, disappointments,
appointments with truth and consequence -
now an old year, once new, ebbs with age,
algaed by experience, the new one
beckoning with promises and choices -
the mind once again is given a chance
to dream an elusive future as
the heart tries to rid itself of junk,
the accumulated unforgiven -
the new year's oath is to be free from encumbrance

we sway to unheard music playing
in sacred and secret parcels of the soul -
contentment cannot keep contents of will
still, we struggle with silenced thoughts
and war against tyrannies placed on us by others -
bloodied and burdened, we still persevere,
keeping list of goals from gaols of inaction -
again, we tell ourselves that we can be:
again, we rise after so many falls,
again and again, we resolve the will
to ready itself for the possibility
of triumph or trials, of endings and starts -





Prince Mensah is a Contributing Editor to One Ghana, One Voice.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A picture of life painted with the crayons of words!
Nice piece man!

Prince Mensah said...

Thanks, Anonymous

Delatrophy said...

‘New Year's Resolution’ - Prince Mensah.


Waoh, I consider this poem a masterpiece, and in my opinion what makes a work of art a masterpiece is the universal and discursive truths embedded in its symbolic interpretations. A poem like this that comes at the beginning of the New Year 2014 and aptly titled actually goes a long way to prepare one’s mind for the challenges ahead of the New Year.


The first stanza bemoans the troughs and crests of human endeavours that are subject to the vagaries of life circumstances. This bleak picture is painted poignantly with vivid imageries in the reader’s mind:


“dreams half-baked, constant surprises, disappointments, appointments with truth and consequence of elusive future that must be refreshed in New Year oaths (resolutions)”

The second stanza of the poem portrays how humans are swayed by supernatural forces beyond their control, hinting at the indifference of the invisible elements that call the shots. My favourite lines are:


“bloodied and burdened, we still persevere,
keeping list of goals from gaols of inaction -
again, we tell ourselves that we can be:
again, we rise after so many falls,
again and again, we resolve the will
to ready itself for the possibility
of triumph or trials, of endings and starts –“


These tasseled lines poignantly extol the resilience of the human spirit in spite of the existentialist elements depicting all human efforts as Sisyphus continual rolling of a boulder up and down a hill from sunrise till sundown.


After reading this poem, what readily comes to mind is the colour reflection of ‘The myth of Sisyphus’ The story has it that Sisyphus was punished because he chained death so humans could live forever. These comments below aptly capture and summarise my candid view too, they are the objective comments made by an online commentator. (Please pardon the rather strong ‘f**k’ words):


‘… he (Sisyphus) didn't give a fuck about what the gods said about fate. He was like, "fuck that, I do what I want." When that didn't work, the gods told him he had to roll a boulder up a hill again and again, forever. Sounds like it sucks, right? So why is Sisyphus so goddamned pleased with himself? Because what all of us is doing is rolling boulders up hills, and every time the boulder rolls back down, we're all like "Dude, what the fuck?! I spent all goddamn day rolling that boulder. Fuck." But Sisyphus knows it doesn't matter. He sees it coming. The gods already told him, "What you're doing is meaningless." Once he knew that, he could let go and just be content. Because there's never anything to do except roll boulders. Your options are get pissed when they roll back down, or chill out and not let it bother you. Be content. If you have to do something, you might as well accept it and do it as well as you can. Being pissy just makes you more miserable. So, to embrace the absurd, you have to acknowledge that life is absurd and live it anyway. Not because you hope you're wrong, but because you know you're right, but living is more fun than not.’


Well-done, Prince.
‘Ebahin! … Ehin po omomo! Ebagbɛɛ!.... Egbɛɛ!

Prince Kwasi Mensah said...

Mr. Bobobee, thanks for the splendid analysis of this poem. I wrote it as a tribute to perseverance. The paths we have chosen are not easy but the rewards are worth more than gold. May the cross-pollination of inspiration continue. Akpe!