As an Igbo proverb poignantly observes, "It is from a small seed that the giant Iroko tree
has its beginning.
The iroko tree
may have fallen, but this giant of African letters leaves behind him a rich literary legacy.
In order to combat these diseases and infections, the people of Benin depend on herbs and roots which are medicinal in nature like "alonbhokhor" (popularly called scent leaves) "ohugben", asthma weed, and the bark of trees (red wood, iroko tree
and almond) often applied in treatment of infections.
Fashioned from the durable timber of the Iroko tree
, it is shaped into a fun dinosaur design.
Arrogance, for better or worse, is vividly dealt with in: "The lizard jumped down from the Iroko tree
, and said, `If there is nobody else to praise me, I will praise myself.
If nobody will praise me, I will praise myself, said the Lizard which fell from the high Iroko tree
Though lyrical, the title poem, "Shadows of the Setting Sun," carries the tone of a nation in crisis: This searing spectacle: Disoriented doves flapping feisty wings On withering iroko trees
, in twilight Tell the tale of brooding clouds Swallowing blazing bulbs of the sun; Incensed clouds summon a deluge; Withering tendrils sprout in the field When farmers grow blisters, Like cocoyam planted on arid furrows In coasts belching forth crude Doped fishes floating on the river Like meaningless rubble.
I travelled to the Oshun shrine and I remember my emotion when I first went to this sacred place, to the clearing under the iroko trees
, with the small, fast flowing river in the background.
Under one scheme in Africa, three iroko trees
are being planted for each one felled.