Full Summary and Analysis of Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land”

This post presents the best full summary and analysis of Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land.” When you read this, you’ll understand the poem better. You’d also get to know all you need to know about the poem to help you in tackling your examination questions.

Biography of Oumar Farouk Sesay

Oumr Farouk Sesay studied at Fourah Bay College. He is from the West African country of Sierra Leone. He has published several poems and other literary pieces in the past. He has also been published in several notable journals. He was a Cardbury Visiting Fellow at the Center of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham. His poems have been translated to several languages including Spanish and German.

Background of the Poem

On the coming of Europeans to Africa, they noticed that African women play key roles in the administration and running of the several cultures on the continent. It was almost unbelievable for cultures they thought was primitive and archaic. African women were heavily involved in several activities on the continent.

It was even great to n extent that most of the powerful gods in the land were female gods. African women raised their babies, traded in the market, tilled and managed their farmlands. It is the hard working nature of this women, and their dedication to their duties that made Sesay write about them.

Thus, this poem is like an Ode to the women of his land–the African women. African women don’t simply go on demanding for what is theirs; they are also heavily involved in the running of the society.

Full Summary and Analysis of  Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land”

The persona begins the poem with writing about time and the song of the women. This women sing in the field. As they sing, they reminisce about how hard they till the land. The activities they are involved in. It is this song they sing that promotes how hard they work, and in what ways they are heavily involved in the running of their societies.

This song is immortal. It does not die like the women who would die after living their life expectancy point. This song is historical as it continues on its tale about the wonders and grace of this women.

When this women die, their songs are everywhere to remind their descendants of the contribution they had made. It is in the field, in the air, and in so many places. They toiled, they worked, they stressed themselves–these women. They labored so much that they died, singing their own songs, leaving a dying song.

The foremost point you have to take from this poem even as it is a little confusing is that it is an ode to African women who toiled and worked to the greatness and development of their land.

Themes in Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land”

African Female Empowerment or African Women’s Contribution to Development: This is the most prominent of all the themes in this poem. It praises the contribution of African women to the development and growth of Africa. The women are massively involved, and toil so hard to see to the growth of their respective societies.

Gender Equality: This poem presents the heavy contribution of women to counter the narrative of lack of contribution of women to African development. Just as the men work hard to see to the growth of their societies, the women work hard, too. There is almost the same level of work put in place for the growth of the society.

Hard work and Pain: This poem presents this women as working so hard that their songs turn to songs of toiling and dying songs. They put in good work. They don’t give up. The level of the hard work they put in becomes part of the song that they are remembered for.

Dying History: By the persona calling the women’s song “dying song,” he writes about the lack of remembrance of the descendants of these women. They are forgetting so soon the contribution of these forbear women. The present-day women aren’t contributing enough as the women of the past did.

The worse is that a large percentage of Africans are forgetting the history of the contribution of these women.   

Figures of Speech in Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land”

There are figures of speech present in the different lines of the poem and they are presented below as:

Simile: “Like sculptor chipping away at bits of wood …,” “… like the woman who died long ago,” “… like their souls looking for lyrics,” and some others.

Personification: “… where they left a song that now roams the land,” “… who died leaving a dying song,” “Time chisels away bits of their memory,” and some others. Most times the song in the poem is given human attributes.

Sound Devices

Alliteration: “It strips away lyrics of the song …,” “they sang in the forlorn fields,” “ … and dereliction decapitated the epic of lives,” “To tell the tale of the servitude,” and many others.

Consonance:  “ … and dereliction decapitated the epic of lives,” “To tell the tale of the servitude,” and some others.

Onomatopoeia: There are some onomatopoeic words used in the poem such as “hollering,” “screeching,” “chipping,” and some others.

Tone/Mood of the Poem

The tone and mood of the poem is sorrowful telling the painful story of the dying songs of the women of the town. Their contributions are too immense and good to be forgotten.


This full summary and analysis of Oumar Farouk Sesay’s “The Song of the Women of my Land” is a good one. It will guide you properly on the right things to do and study to pass your examination or do your assignments. You should also endeavor to read the main full poem while studying this summary and analysis.

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