Think it to yourself (a translation of F’ORAN RO ARA RE by Lawuyi Ogunniran)


Strike yourself with a cutlass,
Before lumbering,
Test yourself with a cudgel,
before beating a beast,
Close your eyes to appreciate blindness,
Try sleep to know the worth of death,
Remove the leaves of a fog tree for soldier ants to attack,
Place leaves in your mouth to see the wrath of the deaf,
What you like, you do not want for me,
What you don’t like, do not suggest it to me,
Put the mortar on my head, while I put my broken wall on yours
Pound me in the mortar while I grind you on the stone.


F’ada ge ra wo
Ko to ge gi ni gbo,
Fi kumo dan ra wo,
Diju wo, k’omo yi ifoju,
Sun wo, k o mo yi iku;
Ja we opoto, o ri ‘ja eerun
Ja we bo enu ko ri ‘se odi
Ohun o fe, ni o fe mi fe.
Ohun o ko fe, ma fi lo mi wo,
Gb’odo ru mi, ng gb’alapa ru o,
Gun mi l’odo ng lo o lolo.

(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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