Gabriel Okara

Gabriel Okara Poems

Gabriel Okara was a novelist and poet from Nigeria. He is considered to be the first modernist poet of Anglophone Africa. Okara is best known for his novel The Voice, published in 1964. He also won awards for his poetry, such as that included in The Fisherman’s Invocation. 

Once Upon a Time

by Gabriel Okara

‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.

This is a highly important Gabriel Okra poem that successfully demonstrates the poet's skill with language. It has a fairy tale-like beginning that eventually transforms into a discussion of youth and its loss. The poem should be regarded as one of Okara's best poems and one of the greatest African poems ever written. This piece is highly relatable and easy to read, ensuring that it's relatively simple to understand.

Once upon a time, son,

they used to laugh with their hearts

and laugh with their eyes:


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