Bubbllina’s Virgin Offering

There is probably no theme under heaven that has received much attention as love. To test its popularity ‘scientifically’, I googled the word. It was a shocking 5.95 billion results that beamed under the search box. If the word love could bring up this number, I wondered, what will the word sex bring up? I quickly typed ‘sex’ to see the margin sex trumps love with in popular internet discourse, as we are probably in the most sex-obsessed period of human existence. Google turned up 2.55 billion results. Phew. Love wins.

Music, movies and poetry have been staple mediums for the expression of love in all forms and perspectives, for ages. Poetry especially has a well carved out reputation as a formidable vehicle of love. Prominently featured in these mediums of expression is the sub-topic of unrequited love. When we desire to share this all-time popular feeling in a personal way with someone, and we are turned down or ignored, it hurts us and reduces our productivity and enjoyment of life—at least for a time.

In Bubbllinna’s poem Virgin, we are served a striking treatment of this theme. We are taking on a musical journey through the pain of a man who is very much in love with the woman of his dreams and is doggedly fighting for her heart: not with daggers and clubs, but perhaps with the persuasive power of word and reason.

Virgin; it was given on a platter
pulsing with hope, nothing else did matter
save the reply one sought to hear.
Maybe held promise – yes was best,
and no never flirted with the thoughts,
but it came wrapped in a blatancy that hurt
and stripped the heart of its true colour.

The poem begins with a word (as all poems do) but this word, and the punctuation that follows, has been chosen carefully by the poet to gently confuse, then surprise and ultimately offer enjoyment to the reader, on the realization of its beautiful intent, after reading the poem again. The poem is not about a virgin, in the “I have not tasted the forbidden fruit before” sense of the word. But we will get to what it means.

The first stanza doesn’t just start with a significant word. The imagery the first three lines evoke is wonderful, and sets the stage for the drama to unfold. The guy has finally approached the girl of his dreams, with some trepidation, and with his ‘virgin’ heart, which has never loved a girl before, ‘pulsing with hope’ on the platter of words he uses to ask her out. The fear of a negative answer is not strong because this guy has probably ‘read’ the ‘signs’ very well, and so is quite confident that a Yes is very much what will be the result of this official tendering of intentions. But the succeeding lines in this stanza paint a woeful picture. The No that never really crossed his mind, has become the reply he gets: his heart is out in the cold, and without a union with and nourishment from that which it beats for, it begins to be “stripped of its true colour.”

Picked from whence twas flung,
it’s offered again though refusal stung.
This time, its coat wears a new colour;
the blue of the sea and bright skies
but the eyes were closed to the sight.
Masked with calculated ignorance,
always the refrain of the dreaded no
Never a maybe, never a yes.

Sometimes, a negative answer hurts bad. Still, even in the throes of the hurt, and with the “I will forget this girl,” “she is not even that cool,” and “there are better girls out there who will love me for me,” consolation dirges playing in the heart, some will find that they can’t resist the urge to try again. So here, the guy picks his heart from ‘whence twas flung’ (how has the guy been surviving!) and offers it again, this time dyeing the pale heart in blue so it can evoke the cool answer of Yes and not the other hotful answer. Same response: No. Not maybe. Not “I will think about it”. Just No.

Months slip into years and near-eternity
for a life spent harvesting hopes in vain
reality slides in with the final slashes,
that puncture the balloon of dreams
and life becomes a canvas of grey splashes.

This is probably the most crucial stanza. Repeated askings. Repeated Nos. They both become active catalysts that push the guy’s very existence to the acidic end of the pH scale of reality. Hope becomes despair, and his life that used to be bright and colourful and fun becomes ‘a canvas of grey splashes’.

I should spare some words for an aspect of the stylistic treatment of this poem. Bubbllinna treats us to a delicious mix of true and oblique rhymes. We have the true rhymes of platter/matter juxtaposed with the oblique rhymes of thoughts/hurt and hear/best. The streak continues in the second stanza too: true rhymes of flung/stung sharing space with the oblique rhymes, skies/sight (taking the end consonants into consideration). In the last stanza, we are fed a different kind of rhymes: that of movement; a syllabic kind that stresses related parts of words . So we have, to DO/for-GO-tten/to ME, like a sine curve, in:

Time zooms past as it’s wont to do
and blunts the pain still not forgotten.
The one named Kismet brings her to me

And we have thorns/bleeds, in:

yearning for my heart of thorns.
Tightly she clutches and bleeds.

And un-TIED/be-COME in:

Drops of blood for each knot untied
to reveal the battered mass I did become.

The kind of rhymes this poem employs frees it from the suffocation that a forced attempt at rhyming induces. I also like the fact that the poet did not thread a sesquipedalian path to express herself and pass her message across, something some poets are wont to do, and a certain ex-lawmaker in Nigeria is famous for.

The remaining part of the poem takes us on another journey. Some people are not fortunate to have the love of their lives someday turn around to love them. While some are lucky to have this happen, some others find another person that complements them to the full reach of their dreams. It is these two scenarios that the latter half of the poem explores, depending on how you want to look at it. Time has raced on, soothing his pain but not obliterating it. Fate sends love to him, but this time, love meets a changed person who has been broken and disillusioned. Some of us know what it means to have anger and hurt transferred to innocent us.

yearning for my heart of thorns.
Tightly she clutches and bleeds.
Drops of blood for each knot untied
to reveal the battered mass I did become.

These four lines, ensconced in the last stanza, paint a touching and powerful scenario of someone loving us even when we have been broken and disillusioned by the dashed hopes of a much desired requital of love. In this poem, this new someone, who yearns for the broken heart of this guy, finds that she has to contend with the transfer of his anger, hurt and pain, on her, as she mends him not just for him but for her also; so, to be happy, she first “threads and patches” his battered heart and then “paints in the colours” the guy “used to know.”

It is a slow process most times, as the closing line of the poem reminds us:

I hurt, she loves and I remember.

He still hurts, but with all this love around him, he begins to remember what it was like when the bright blue of the skies played with the deep blue of the ocean on his life’s canvas. He remembers the promise of the pleasurable colours of love that motivated him to begin the quest in the first place. He juxtaposes the variegated vibrancy of the love being offered with the monochromatic blandness of the loneliness he still clutches too. And we the readers, after entering his life—their lives—we can only hope that they both reach a place and time when what they both feel becomes a balanced chemical reaction of romantic attraction and requited love.

71 thoughts on “Bubbllina’s Virgin Offering” by chemokopi (@chemokopi)

  1. Wow! Wow! @chemokopi, I am stumped!
    I need to gather my wit, it’s flown out with the happiness I feel.
    I’ll come back to this when my head reboots.
    For now, Graçias!

    1. @sibbylwhyte: :)

      You are welcome, Bubbllina. Writing this was a pleasurable endeavour. Keep churning out dem great poems!

  2. A good one Oga @chemokopi. very impressive. You made that poem come to life. I’ll be wanting this for WRRPoetry.

    1. @xikay: My oga at the top, thanks a lot. Please, you are free to post on WRRP. I will be honoured.

      1. The deed is done Sir @chemokopi >>>>> VIRGIN OFFERING (a review by Samuel Okopi)http://wordsrhymesandrhythm.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/virgin-offering-a-review-by-samuel-okopi/

  3. Vincent de Paul (@vincentdepaul)

    Nice review you have here…. Bubblinna s already flattered and feeling tall for dat…. Keep it up

    1. @vincentdepaul: Thanks very much, man. Yeah, I can see that :) hehe…

  4. Folks always refer to poems like they do a painting, they call it abstract…a poem means what it means to the reader blah… blah.
    She’s hot wired isn’t she? Bubb I mean,lol. It’s so refreshing when some actually get exactly what the poet is talking about and in my very humble opinion…you buddy just did it and then some.

    It’s no secret I’m one of those freakishly freakish on love ,so thanks for that info on Google…would have sucked on all levels if the SEX got one over on the only juice that runs our world,hehehe.
    You not only opened the eyes to see beyond the physical in the giving, but seeing the vulnerability of THE MALE here shows what many hide under macho nonsense.
    The human is jumbled with way too many emotional peeks and many somehow forget that these peeks occur in both sexes and our Bubb delicately dissected the very soul of a man captured and oh well….the rest you have summed up rather too nicely. A big bravo to you both, I thoroughly relished this one :)

    1. @dottaraphels: Hmmmm…dotta! :) Nice spin to it all. Thanks so much for your kind words.

  5. Wow! Again.
    First of all, that you took the time to make a review of my poem is an honour. That you penned this review so beautifully and made it look like poetry itself is downright amazing – I didn’t even feel like I was reading a review – not because it’s my poem in it, but because of how gracefully your words danced before my eyes.
    For those who didn’t quite get the poem, this just breaks it down and touches the thoughts I had when writing this – almost like you wrote it with me.
    And the google results – Love sure triumphs over everything, cos right now, I am so so loving you.
    You really are a master of everything – poetry, prose, articles and now reviews. What would you suprise one with next?
    Thanks x1,000000 @chemokopi. I really appreciate this. $ß.

    1. @sibbylwhyte: you want my head to divorce my neck shey? Hehehe…thanks very much for appreciating. I am flattered by your kind words. We all strive to be better in whatever way we pen down our thoughts. God bless us all. Amen.

  6. @dottaraphels.
    I love you sweet lady, you do know how to gladden an old girl’s heart and a guy’s! See Chemo grinning like a cheshire cat. Lol.

    @vincentdepaul. I am not just feeling tall fa – I am ‘walking on sunshine even though it’s 10pm as I type this. Lol.

  7. @chemokopi This is beautiful. Well-broken down. Very thoughtful of you to have taken out time to do this. I’m sure @sibbylwhyte is very pleased.
    Kudos to both of you!

    1. Hmmm…Queen of Suspense ;) thanks a lot for your very kind words. Well, as it is Bubbllinna has indeed showed she is very pleased :) Lol.

      Thanks again.

  8. @chemokopi, this is so well written.Some reviews I have read in the past have discouraged me from reading the original work. Not this. It sent me back to @sibbylwhyte‘s original post – to enjoy it with fresh eyes.
    Your review is well researched and yet delivered in beautiful smooth lines that makes it fun to read. Welldone to you both. Proud to be sharing this platform with two fabulous writers.

    1. I am flattered @olajumoke. Thanks a lot for your sweet words. I am so glad the review made you take a second journey into the poem. See you around.

  9. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    Oh, such a labour of love, where is @sambrightomo I want one of these …. ;-)

    1. Hehehe…oya now, @sambrightomo you have heard. Thanks @nicolebassey.

      1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

        I am coming ma and sir.

  10. Very insightful dissection. I’ll have to do a second and less hurried reading to fully grasp the thoughts though.

  11. this is a really well thought of review, by a reviewer for a writer, it’s worth it…. had it to do it i wouldn’t have done it better…. @sibbylwhyte, keep it up.

    1. @elovepoetry: thanks very much for that, bro. One love.

  12. I love the analysis.It is simply beautiful.

    1. @khadijahmuhammad : thanks a lot for loving this.

    1. Laughing out loud @kaycee. Thanks.

  13. @chemokopi, you did wonderfully well to have taken your time to re-present this lovely poem from a great poet @sibbylwhyte, to us in a plain and unveiled manner.
    Virgin is a master piece, and your review is the icing! I am proud of you both!

    1. Hmmm…sweet words from a great poet! Thanks very much @Babalolaibisola.

  14. …A review of a poem on NS…progress… Nice work @sibbylwhyte and @chemokopi

    1. Really? A poem gets reviewed on NS, and a painstaking review at that, I’ve seriously missed a lot

      1. @clemency: hehehe..yes o! i have even reviewed one other one on NS sef. Thanks, man.

  15. @chemokopi my Oga, as usual quality work from you. I don’t really do poems but this review is really cool and well writen

    1. Thanks a lot @dkny111. Some of us have decided to write and promote poetry in ways that make those who don’t do or get this form of expression, appreciate it more.

      Thanks again, friend.

  16. This is my first time to ever read a review and it was worth it @chemokopi you sure brought out the finest parts of the poem and am not really a sucker for poems but u made it worth the read.well done @sibbylwhyte.

    1. Thanks very much @jade69. Hopefully, you will be drawn more to poetry from this point :)

  17. adams (@coshincozor)

    wow I didn’t even see this side of the poem.

    1. @coshincozor: hehehe…the powerful of poetry. Thanks for reading and commenting, adams.

  18. sambright (@sambrightomo)

    @chemokopi this is exactly what I bask in- essays. They do much to reveal so much beyond the lines we read in poems and narratives.It keeps the conversation going. I like it. I have read the poem and dotted my thoughts there, but this review does soooo much to provide a valid expose on the work. Indeed you are the oga at the top! Well done! Incidentally, I just wrote a poem that centres on virginity from the man’s angle and reading @sibbylwhyte‘s, just makes me smile. Enough of the subject matter from the woman’s angle, let’s also explore what goes on in the mind of the man.

    Thank you so much for opening the vista of reviews of our own work, here on NS.As for my sunshine @nicolebassey, I am coming, you know ofcourse that I dont hide my feelings… you will surely get a review! Loads of love.

    1. @sambrightomo: Sweet words, man, sweet words. Thanks a lot. Do quick join the train jor; we need to promote poetry–create a safe bridge.

      Thanks a lot, man, for reading and commenting.

  19. Last year, I read the review of @Sueddie Agema’s poem ‘Let there be light’ on NS, done by @khadijahmuhammad … This isn’t the first, @raymond and @sambrightomo.
    Chemo did an earlier review of @layrite poem ‘the day after yesterday’ some months ago too.

    Reviews of poems here, have been done albeit not as often. So, hopefully, it won’t be an art that would be laid to rest soon.
    @sambrightomo, bring that Virgin of yours on.

    1. @sibbylwhyte: interesting, Bubbllinna. Can you provide the link to Khadijah’s review? Yeah, hopefully, we shall see more reviews. After all, this is our own literature world–Enestera! :)

  20. @chemokopi

    wow! Wow! WOW!

    That’s all I can say. If every poem was treated as you have just done, there would be more people in the world loving and appreciating poetry.

    I’m in awe of the poet and the reviewer. Good job- no, Great Job!

    Thank you, both of you. Chemokopi, that was an act of love and selflessness.

    1. @funpen: thank you so much for this. I am humbled. Thank you.

  21. brilliant review..it makes the poem so much sweeter. it explores all the angles and infuses real emotions to it…it also shows your love for poetry and quality writing….i hope to be a beneficiary of your review one day…

    1. @topazo: Thanks very much for your kind words. Keep your fingers crossed on the other matter ;)

  22. @chemokopi… I don’t know how to get the link thingy, but it’s on the 2nd page of her contributions page. Mar 2012.
    Thanks for your lovely comment @funpen.
    @banky, no one coulda known. *smiles*

  23. Chemo, is that a poem being deftly sliced like some potato? I need to know how to do this. What’s the secret sir? You can whisper it!

    1. @francis: Hehehe…the truth is I really love potatoes, and I kinda eat a lot of them so…hehehe. No secret o, na God. Thanks a lot, man. You are far too kind!

  24. I Love the flow

  25. Chemo, is this your virgin offering of a review on NS or have you been screwing around more than I have seen? Interesting review of an interesting poem. I loved the poem personally when I went through it. If I was to review same poem, I would tackle from an opening more than just love. It would seem my eyes see far more than just a thing in any showing… Even in the normal happenings of life.
    Well done man. May more pleasurable offerings find your attention whether they be seasoned like my not so virgin collection ;)

    1. @sueddie: hehehe…I see you, I see you! :)

      Thanks, man. God willing, I will find the time to address that seasoning you want to taste.

  26. I’m actually waiting to see the day someone will review the poem of someone else who is not female.

    1. @Afronuts: That day can be today. My first poetry review was of a guy’s poem on NS. Read it here: http://www.naijastories.com/2013/05/the-day-after-yesterday-i-as-i-understand-it/

  27. Thumbs up! Interesting review of an equally interesting poem…

  28. fantastic piece of poetry, good work bros

  29. hmmm…nice…who exactly is chemokopi…ca i meet you?

  30. @chemokopi‘…Hmmm…nice…who exactly is chemokopi?…can i meet you?

  31. When it comes to reviews, you pen them beautifully. Well done Chemo and Sibbyl of course

    1. Thanks @enoquin. Much appreciated, you being a very good reviewer yourself.

  32. As I read this review, my fingers combed carelessly through my hair with a riveting rhythm. But I got it tousled – my hair! What a fantastic review by a brother on a sister’s work! Sincerely, I can’t be more impressed by the interesting interactivity on NS, especially this thrilling thread of repartee following your painstaking review of Bubbllinna’s VIRGIN. @chemokopi, pukka job! @sibbylwhyte, you must be purring with pure delight and satisfaction!;)

  33. What brilliance @Chemokopi! This review is so elegante and graceful, which makes me fall in love. I have not read @sibblywhyte’s poem but now I feel like I don’t have to!

    Your analytical skill is painstakingly neat and your choice of words equally neat but real.
    Wish I could/had writ(t)e(n) something you’d like to review!!

  34. @chemokopi : I forgot to ask you if you studied English or Literature.

  35. good piece here…………

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