It Wasn’t That Her Oranges Were Sweetest

It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest

it was the glee on her face

It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest

it was to add more than a kobo to the till

It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest

It was the warmth i felt when she pleaded

that i buy her sweet oranges

67 thoughts on “It Wasn’t That Her Oranges Were Sweetest” by emilyonikaba (@shewhoisloved)

  1. The poem is very short and the picture wasn’t very clear. Nice one though, I like the punchlines.

    1. @lactoo, thanks

  2. U can do beta. Hope to c u improve.

  3. Could really have been better, like LACTOO said.

    1. @myne, will try next time.

  4. Was she a child hawker?

    1. @sontel, She was a teenager. A teenager with a beautiful face and clear eyes.

  5. Posts like this make me wish the word count was still in place.
    Good thing you bought the oranges.

    1. @sibbylwhyte another word in this poem would have messed it up, possibly. I personally would want to take away a few words.

    2. @sibbylwhite, you think i bought her oranges?

  6. @shewhoisloved thank you for this lovely poem. God knows it passed it message to me. This poem is a novella on its own.

    Most of those who have commented have kind of belittled its power, because of the fewness of the words…but the power of the message in them, as much as I can perceive. is awesome.

    looking at it through the interpretative eye of a poet, i’d say this is better than many poems recently published on this platform, however ‘simple’ it may be

    the repeated line:
    It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest
    defined the poem for me

    The image I see is that of a man/woman buying oranges from a hawker, not because he/she needed the oranges but just out of pity and the hope that the few coins that will change hands may make a difference in the hawker’s life.

    I feel touched because this is a reality for me, I’ve done it severally.

    1. My brother. U make lot sense in your analysis. Thanks for the constructs……

  7. @shewhoisloved, @louis, @Myne, @sontel, @sibbylwhyte this poem is masked.. i could interprete it in many ways…like a man patronizing prostitutes, a person buying from

    What do you guys think of this:

    It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest;
    It was the glee
    Lighting the darkness
    Of her sweat-bathed face.

    It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest
    It was to add
    My lonely kobo
    To the hollow of the till.

    It wasn’t that her oranges were sweetest
    It was the warmth
    Of a frozen voice
    Pleading, shorn of pride.

    My lips have tasted better
    But still
    I buy her oranges.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      This is better than the first one. I agree with those who feel your poem didnt quite do justice to your theme and i dont think the problem is its brevity. limerick are just five lines , the anthology contest was five sentences. You should be more critically of your work, it will wake the poetic giant in you. :-) keep writing.

    2. This is more like dough to bread. It’s come with powerful rythmn and tone….
      But, there’s something about originality. You might beat it, pound it, or “whatever it”……it remains
      Everything I needed for interpretations I got from the first…
      It was straight forward and avoided unnecessary complications…
      I love it still…..

      1. @charles, your comments mean so much. Thank you.

    3. This is beautiful, @Xikay. Please accept 30 points from me.

    4. You are good. I swear.

    5. @xikay, what you have done here is to create another piece of poetry from your own understanding of the poem. The poem stands on its own, it is simply about an orange seller nothing more.

      1. I was interpreting your poem not redefining it for you. I was just saying what I saw from your poem.

        When you write, whatever the reader sees it to be it up to him or her…you may use words you do not fully grasp and the reader would use that word to get a different meaning from your poem.

        I see a tone of annoyance in your reply and, though i don’t mind, i thought you would be happy that your poem made so much meaning to an outsider.

        1. @xikay, you didn’t merely inteprete the poem, you carved out a different poem from it, which was beautiful in itself. I have no reason to be annoyed, i was overjoyed to see that you could see another aspect to the poem. Now, why would you think that i would be annoyed? That’s a very puzzling conclusion, kind sir.

    6. You remember the comment the master of ceremony in the Bible made when Jesus turned water to wine? “Everyone serves the best wine first and then when people are intoxicated, the bad wine. But you kept this good wine until now”. That’s what I say to you. This las is better than the first. May be you should do another one for us.

  8. RIO (@riowrites)

    Indeed why did you buy her oranges? I like the deeper story of this simple piece. Very nice.

    1. @RIO, i bought her oranges because she approached me properly, not because i felt the oranges would be sweet. It was the surprise on her face when she saw that i waited for her to get the oranges from a store quite far away(the oranges had finished when i got there). I bought her oranges because i felt moved to buy them, not because they were the sweetest! But they were sweet.

      1. Really. There is always an appeal in simplicity and innocence. I guess this orange vendor had both.

  9. Beautiful! I like this very much.

    I think it’s simply about PLEASANTNESS…

    1. @Dotta, Your comment i cherish always. Thank you.

  10. It takes a certain mind to appreciate the beauty in simplicity. Like they say… beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    This poem is all about the Generousity of the human spirit. It’s about empathy, kindness, charity and thoughtfulness.


    1. @aturmercy, thank you. True.

  11. so so funny> Euphemism abounds

    1. @caesarjayjay, am glad you think so.

  12. @xikay, yep I kinda agree with u. The poem signifies a thousand and one things, even the present situation in naija. Personally, I would have added more lines to it, atleast to clear the shallow minded ones.

    1. @louis, the poem is deep. It is simple and it is about an orange seller that knew how to sell her wares. That is all.

    2. Shallow minded ones!?!?! Like any of your lengthy poems is better than this.

  13. @xikay…You are a good poet. No doubt. And you did make me take a 2nd look at this. Yours makes everything clearer. Personally, i would inteprete it as someone patronizing a sex hawker and justifying it. And even that is an act of charity no?..

    @shewhoisloved. Though i wanted it to be longer than it is, a really good poet opened my eyes to your piece and I see it in a better light. So I say well done…$ß.

    1. @bubblina, is an orange to be seen as anything other than an orange? yes xikay did draft a poem that signifies something else, but my poem was simply about an orange seller and my decision to buy from her.

      1. Are you really a poet @shewhoisloved? You ask “is an orange to be seen as anything other than an orange?”

        An orange can mean more than a thousand things, depending on where, how and why it is used and who is reading it.

        1. @xikay, i think it is very unfair of you to ask me such a question. Really. We all have a right to express our thoughts. I ask if an orange to be seen as anything other than an orange? I am sure there are a million and one answers to that. Am i really a poet? I am a woman who writes from the experiences of her world, if what i write comes out in just seven lines of jagged and confused rhythm it is and will always remain my words. I appreciate your comments really and you are an amazing writer.

          1. @shewhoisloved. Yes, oranges can be seen as something else. I remember a teacher once said in class that ‘Oranges and bannanas are sweeter when they are ripe’..Only that he wasn’t talking about fruits.

            I chose the other explanation cos sometimes for the fun of it, i choose a perverse way of seeing things.
            It doesn’t mean then, that I don’t see the Charity of your heart towards the beautiful-eyed teenage girl.

            Like I said earlier, @xikay‘s intepretation made me look beyond and appreciate your poem for what it is worth. He only added a few words to yours, he didn’t actually change the message..$ß.

            1. You have no problem. When he talked about oranges initially, I almost thought he meant those on my . . . my sister’s chest.

  14. Few words make more sense than senseless ambiguities. Mi like your words. I know they do have deeper meanings….
    Well done my friend.

    1. @egbe, i am grateful.

  15. Truly, a lot of times we do things against our own wish just to please the other person.

    Simple and precise.


    1. Hmmmm! The way you understand this . . .

  16. Double repect for this.

    1. @kaycee, my poem or xikay’s re-working of it?

  17. I like the poem just the way it is. There abounds beauty in simplicity; and this shouts loudly to me.

    You did very well. Maybe some re-wording is called for; but should be at your discretion I think.

    Well done.

    @Xikay…elsewhere. Let’s talk.

  18. @seun-odukoya, ha…finally he speaks. Thank you. I agree that the poem could have been better, but the truth is i just wanted a simple poem yet laden with one present thought…that i bought oranges for the simple reason that the orange seller appealed to me.

  19. I like your poem jare. Poetry doesn’t have to be long to be poetry afterall, haiku poems are good too and they are super short…

    Well done.

    1. @goosberry, a controversial poem to say the least. lol.

  20. Mind blowing!

    I d add to @bubbl view of it being to short.’ Its like a plane that takes off without landing’….. Few words like neatness,
    Smart looks or pretty face, her readiness to give a discount or add more ‘oranges’ to guarantee customer satisfaction.

    Its okay to stray one’s thought to the sex worker…..but that depletes the moral and beauty of this piece. Hope you all understand

    Anyway. Its a beautiful piece. Purely African

    1. @Brytandre, thumbs up for your objective comment. Thank you. It is a moral poem and that is why i kept saying its about oranges nothing more. Although i know that we all view things differently.

      1. @Shewhoisloved…..most of the writers on NS are brewed to write beyond 200 words, So dont let the critics suprise you. I didnt even know the constrain was

        Who Isnt a poet? Every one is! Our everyday expression, smiles,….. is poetry. A fine one you re. I envy the message in your poem but not its length. Lol *grin*

        1. bros you are right we are all poets one way or the other, my bros you must start from the ground to reach the top so just keep writing. c u on top.

  21. Profound…like poetry’s supposed to be. I don’t mind the length or lack of it.

  22. @emilyonikaba,i’ld say this is a beautiful poem,any time,any day…there’s beauty in simplicity and a message well relayed.

  23. I had some other type of orange in mind.

    But this was nice. I can relate to it.

  24. I was there at the start. Like ur inspiration, u leaned for guidance. Indeed it wasn’t like my contribution was d sweetest.

  25. Brief and nice. I like it.

  26. This is probably the shortest poem i’d ever seen on NS. And definitely it is the shortest poem with the most comments. Award winning poet @xikay.

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