Shanpepe my Shanpepe

Caressing me with your warmth

Sneaking softly under every layer

And spreading your love,

Your warmth, your charm, soothingly.


Shanpepe my Shanpepe

After the cold dark night

You come with your light,

Sneaking through the cloud,

Until you drive every darkness

And remind me of hope.


Shanpepe my Shanpepe

I bask in your warmth,

I survive the cold dark night

Knowing that I rise up to you

Like the sun on the rubble.


Let me smother you with kisses,

Let me hold you closer,

Shanpepe my Shanpepe.

* Shanpepe is the Tiv word for the morning star.

31 thoughts on “Shanpepe” by Efadel (@febidel)

  1. You do not want to know what i thought Shanpepe was. Lol. This is beautiful.

    You used the word “Sneaking” twice. Its not a big issue though.

    Nice one.

    1. @Olan, I did not take note of that. Thank you. I guess I’ll use another word to paint the picture I had in mind for the second “sneaking”. So, what did you think “Shanpepe” was?

      1. I thought it was alcohol. I had heard some people call it shepe. And Shanpepe sounded quite similar to it.

        1. @Olan, that’s really funny. Shanpepe could be “shepe” too. I mean, “shepe” could be some person’s morning star. lol. Wow! I am still laughing.

          1. Shepe would have made it more fun

            1. lol @isaac82. Yours can be shepe.

  2. I read the poem then saw what you wrote about the meaning of shanpepe, then I read the poem again and got an entirely different literary interpretation. That ambiguity added beauty to the poem. Well done.

    1. @newreign, thank you. Do you mind sharing your interpretation of the poem? Thank you.

  3. nice poem…beautifully written, but i feel it could be written better than this…
    well done

    1. @topazo, I’ve taken note of your suggestions. I’ll work on making it better. Thank you.

  4. It’s interesting that it isn’t really clear who Shanpepe is.

    I loved it still, especially with th.e thought of Shampepe as the Star :)
    That’s the only thing that explains the depth of the love that ‘comes with light, sneaks through the cloud, drives away all darkness and gives hope.”

    You did good, girl :)

    1. Thank you, @Olaedo. Shanpepe can have multiple identities, and you are right about the STAR being one true love that can drive away ALL darkness and give hope. The other stars can only try to try. lol.

  5. it’s a nice poem, message clearly sent (after reading the second, and third, time), Punctuation and grammar, to me, is okay.

    Keep it up, keep going

    1. @elovepoetry, many thanks. I’m interested in knowing the messages you got. And yes, I’ll keep going.

      1. @febidel One, the plot takes the form of a declaration of love, showing how you long and love to be in the arms of your love, the warmth you get and the magic it brings being together.

        Then it took the message of a villanelle, discussing nature.

        After knowing you are talking of the morning star, metamorphically the message became a cocktail of love and nature, or nature and love, love for nature, nature of love and voila, I enjoyed the joy of swimming in a pool of different messages.

        1. Yes oh, @elovepoetry. That’s the beautiful thing about poetry and the arts generally.You don’t have to be stuck to one meaning. Thank you for enjoying.

          1. maybe now it’s your turn to tell me what you meant?!

            1. @elovepoetry, (lol) Shanpepe has many faces. I’ll tell you more about them soon.

  6. You’re welcome @febidel.
    At the first reading, I took Shanpepe to be your soulmate, whose warmth you long for. Whose love you want to fill you up.
    Shanpepe is the one you wish to see after a bad day or bad experience as you know she will soothe your pains and remind you of hope, breaking through the ‘dark clouds’ of gloom or confusion to bring you back to life and as I said earlier, remind you of hope.
    Shanpepe is the one to whom you want to cuddle through the night as her warmth will make you survive any terror of the night; she is the first thing you want your eyes to see on waking up in the morning to assure you that the rest of the day was going to be good.
    Then you want to show your appreciation by ‘smothering her with kisses’ and being there whenever she needed you (holding her closer).
    But on knowing the meaning of Shanpepe, I read the poem again and thought you might actually be talking about an actual morning star, metaphorically portraying it as a sign of hope after a fear-striken night, but the last stanza somewhat made me go back to my first interpretation. Then I concluded that your soulmate must be your Shanpepe, your morning star.

    1. Interesting, @newreign. I hope you have your Shanpepe too. Thank you for your thorough reading.

  7. You do love your Shanpepe

    1. Tell me about it, @isaac82. I love my Shanpepe.

  8. Oh Morning Star. Hmmm.

    Nice write.

  9. @efadel…its a good poem…clear in its meanings and sincere in the feeling it aims to evoke. You did good, bro…so, shanpepe, uh? What language is that? Make i sure so that if i call a gal ‘my shanpepe’ she no go donate slap to my face, thinking say i dey curse am o…

    1. @ayomitans, Shanpepe is Tiv for Morning Star. When you call her your “shanpepe”, quickly tell her that it’s because she lights up your world. Tell her the meaning before the slap comes oh. Lol. Thank you for feeling it.

  10. I like this poem. I like the fact that it brings its message and music to the reader with a slow, soft pace, of the type that comes with drinking wine or fruit juice.

    And this is precisely why I think this poem can be better. A slow read, like wine, should be concentrated in its taste at each sip of line; it should retain its distinctive flavour as the read goes on. I pull out examples, now:

    “Caressing me with your warmth”. Second sip, and we already have a common taste, almost like water. First impressions matter. We have tasted this phrase and its derivatives, many times. Poetry abhors colloquial speech and will not share in that meal with prose. Each line, each stanza, presents an opportunity for creativity.

    “And spreading your love”. This is ok. No problem here. But consider the words, ‘warmth’, ‘charm’ following this line, and you will find that these two words already SHOW that love is being spread. In order words, in the context of those two lines, and that stanza, I doubt that you need to TELL that ‘love’ is being spread.

    “I bask in your warmth”. Again, this sip is not distinctive. Common. Create something fresh. Redefine, breakdown or conceptualize ‘warmth’. This line presents a chance to show us further, what warmth Shanpepe is spreading in the first stanza, and how you are are reacting to it (another word or expression in place of ‘bask’)

    That said, I love these lines:

    “Sneaking softly under every layer”

    “Sneaking through the cloud,”

    Of course, I love the poem too :) Sometimes, seeing a lone star in the sky in the morning is enough inspiration and encouragement for the day; the true meaning of what it means to be a star hits you, and you desire to be like that. And sometimes, you remember that like the three wise men were led by a star, Shanpepe can be someone who brings you back to the path of your destiny, away from the coldness and blindness of misdirection.

    Well done Efadel. Keep improving your art. There is no end to learning.

  11. @chemokopi, Thank you for these comments. I’ll note them. I also like your interpretation of Shanpepe. (I’ve been away from Naija Stories for close to too weeks, hence this late reply).

  12. I was going to ask what Shanpepe meant but you cleared that up. Prior to that….this poem or Shanpepe could be referring to a number of things that bring those feelings/things you described.

    The poem is simple and clear. However, I’m wondering why the inconsistency with the number of each verse. Deliberate or not??

    Please forgive me for replying now, I’ve been away and I just got back.

    1. @Zikora, pas de probleme. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts too. The inconsistency with the number of lines for each verse is deliberate. Each verse captures a different aspect of the feelings towards Shanpepe. Welcome back. I hope to read from you soon.

  13. The ‘Shanpepe’ poem is soulish…the feelings were true, and well phrased.

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