Analysis of To My First White Hairs by Wole Soyinka


Wole Soyinka was born in 1934 at Abeokuta, Western Nigeria. Educated in Nigeria in University College, Ibadan, and at Leeds University in England, he graduated in English Language and Literature in 1958. Wole Soyinka is a versatile person and sings, and acts and produces plays. In addition he is a creative artist with a fever – pitch imagination. He has published a novel, The Interpreter and other prose writings; his plays have won prizes and been performed widely in Africa, Europe and America, and his poetry has been translated into many languages.

To My White First Hairs analysis

To My First White Hairs by Wole Soyinka is a poem of four stanzas . Wole Soyinka, in To My First White Hairs, expresses his surprise and shock at discovering of the first sprouting of white hairs on his head. He describes the growing of grey hairs on his head as a “sudden sprung.” Also, Wole Soyinka compares the growing of the grey hairs as equally similar to the germinating of a “corn stalk.”

He first discovers “THREE WHITE HAIRS” on his head. The growing of the grey hairs emanates distinctly from the passing of years, and as he grows older. To be truly sure if they are grey hairs, he says: “I view them;” and also find out that those three white hairs are “wired, wisps, vibrant coiled.” Wole Soyinka sees the grey hairs that will soon in the future replaces the entire black hairs as a crown. The grey hairs are a demonstration of old age which comes with wisdom.

Themes in To My First White Hairs by Wole Soyinka

Growing old:

The theme of growing old is one of the major focuses of Wole Soyinka’s To My White First White Hairs. The discovering of grey hairs, which, according to Wole Soyinka, “I view them” signifies the state of one growing and changing as yeas drag by, from infancy to youth and final adulthood.

Wisdom accompanied old age:

Another theme found in Wole Soyinka’s To My Fist White Hairs is wisdom. This is demonstrated through the fact that when one gets old, he has much earthly experience than the young ones. Thus, the new generation seeks the help of the elder ones for advice. Wole soyinka expresses this through the word “sagehood” in line 11 of the poem.


Wole Soyinka conjures a vivid imagery of himself to the reader. The image is apparently that of someone growing from youth to old age. Words such as “interpret time” gives an images of how years drag by;” “sudden sprouting” renders an image of the grey hairs growing so fast; “sequin of crown” brings an image of the entire black hairs turning into grey hairs, and consequences giving a picture of one weary a white crown.


The use of smile is employed in the poem. They shows thus:
“Sudden sprung as corn”- line 4
”as lightning”- line 5


” Magnifying… Milk”-/m/-line9
“Sudden sprung ” – /s/ – line 4
“Fosil… Finger “ /f/- line 3


”milk ” – line 4 and 9


To my first white hairs contains four stanzas and twelve lines. Some of the poem line run into another.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *