Summary of The Awakening Age by Ben Okri Class 12 English

Summary of The Awakening Age by Ben Okri Class 12 English

The Awakening Age by Ben Okri Summary Class 12 English Book Poem  

The Awakening Age by Ben Okri Exercise 

For complete notes of Class 12 English Book, go to this link - Class 12 English Guide & Notes.


"The Awakening Age" is a poem by Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri. In it, he shows the African people's difficulties and pains. He appeals or calls for the peace, prosperity, happiness, liberation, unity and harmony among the people of the world. He wishes to awaken the whole world and its people from the world of darkness, and poverty to the awakening age of enlightenment. 

The poem has seven stanzas and each stanza contains two lines. As the poem has altogether 14 lines, it looks like a sonnet. It opens with a colloquial words like 'Oye'. Then, he talks about journey of the people who travel in the meridian line, have vision of the new world. 

The speaker wants Africans to see a new world. He wants the African to see and feel the awakening age. They have endured years of starvation, suffering, and poverty, making them a poor and marginalised group. He also desires them to feel the Awakening Age Glory . The waking era refers to the moment when Africans recognize, realize, or become conscious of their situation and the start of their new world.

In the speaker's words, an invisible power drives his people, a hope like a mountain rope. Destitute Africans use their resources to reach new heights. They want to prove that they are bigger than their problems. They also aim to uncover their abilities and utilize them to benefit others as well as themselves.

Overall, These regular travelers may see the impoverished people's pains and difficulties and desire to awaken them to the contemporary world of freedom, liberation, equality, and prosperity. The poet then goes on to discuss about optimistic individuals who are highly hopeful about humanity's intertwined history, and how they can climb over the hill using a rope of hope to reach a greater height. Through hard labor, ingenuity, and suffering, this rope of hope led humanity to the era of enlightenment, empowerment, wisdom, equality, and prosperity. They have a crystal clear heart that is pure and white. He aspires to witness the voice of equality, freedom, emotions of brotherhood, justice, togetherness, and peace among the people of the globe via this skillfully produced poetry with effective rhyming schemes, which highlights problems of partiality, inequality, poverty, race and color discrimination. He would rather see a caring, egalitarian society in which people support one another out of brotherly and sisterly sentiments.

Also Read:The Awakening Age by Ben Okri Exercise 

Word Meanings of some difficult words on the poem

Meridian line (n.): any imaginary circle round the earth that passes through both the North and South Poles 

Rage (n.): violent anger 

Harvest (n.): the act of cutting and gathering grain and other food crop

About the Author Ben Okri who wrote "The Awakening Age" Poem

A winner of Man Booker prize for his novel The Famished Road, the Nigerian poet, fiction writer, and essayist Ben Okri (1949-) spent his early childhood in London. Informed by folk tales and dream logic, Okri’s writing also treats his family’s experience of the Nigerian civil war. In an interview for The National, Okri stated, “I grew up in a tradition where there are simply more dimensions to reality: legends and myths and ancestors and spirits and death. You can't use Jane Austen to speak about African reality. Which brings the question: what is reality? Everyone's reality is different. For different perceptions of reality we need a different language.”