The Tower Quotes : quotations

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The Tower Quotes is a notable literary work by Wole Soyinka. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of The Tower Quotes.


What shall I do with this absurdity—
O heart, O troubled heart—this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail?

Explanation: In this quotation, the speaker is mentioning a sense of frustration and despair. He refers to the parts of life that he finds absurd and burdensome, comparing them to a caricature and an old age that clings to him like a dog’s tail. This can be seen as a reflection of the speaker’s struggle with the challenges and burdens of life as he contemplates what to do with them.

Strange, but the man who made the song was blind;
Yet, now I have considered it, I find
That nothing strange; the tragedy began
With Homer that was a blind man,
And Helen has all living hearts betrayed.

Explanation: In this quotation, the speaker deliberates on the idea that the person who completed the song (likely referring to himself as a poet) was blind to certain truths or aspects of life. However, he admits this is not unusual or strange upon deeper consideration. He parallels the ancient Greek poet Homer, who was blind but created epic works like the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” The speaker indicates that even though one may have limitations or be blind to certain things, one can still create profound art and literature. The reference to Helen betraying all living hearts alludes to love and its often tragic consequences, as Helen of Troy’s beauty led to the Trojan War.

I have prepared my peace
With learned Italian things
And the proud stones of Greece,
Poet’s imaginings
And memories of love,

Explanation: In this quotation, the speaker reveals that he has found solace or inner peace by immersing himself in the culture and knowledge of Italy and Greece. The “learned Italian things” likely directed to Italy’s rich cultural and artistic heritage, including its literature, art, and history. “The proud stones of Greece” may allude to Greece’s ancient architectural and historical landmarks, such as the Acropolis. The “poet’s imaginings” indicate that he has taken comfort in poetry and literature’s creative and imaginative aspects. Finally, “memories of love” indicates that he has also found solace in reminiscing about past love experiences, which can be a source of comfort and inspiration for a poet. These elements collectively represent sources of inspiration and solace for the poet as he navigates the complexities of life and art.