The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell | Summary | Theme - OKVIX

The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell | Summary | Theme

The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell

The dining table is a poem written by Gbanabom Hallowell. If you’re searching for ‘The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell’, or the summary, theme, and analysis of The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell, keep reading to discover that on this blog.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the poem before heading to the analysis, settings, and theme of the dining table by Gbanabom Hallowell.

Summary of The Dining Table by Gbanabom Hallowell

Dinner tonight comes with gun wounds. Our desert tongues lick the vegetable blood—the pepper strong enough to push scorpions up our heads. Guests look into the oceans of bowls as vegetables die on their tongues.

The table that gathers us is an island where guerrillas walk the land while crocodiles surf. Children from Alphabeta with empty palms dine with us; switchblades in their eyes, silence in their voices. When the playground is emptied of children’s toys, who needs roadblocks? When the hour to drink from the cup of life ticks, cholera breaks its spell on cracked lips

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Under the spilt milk of the moon, I promise to be a revolutionary, but my Nile, even without tributaries, comes lazy upon its own Nile. On this night reserved for lovers of fire, I’m full with the catch of gun wounds, and my boots have suddenly become too reluctant to walk me.

Poet’s background of the Dinning Table by Gbanabom Hallowell

Gbanabom Hallowell is a Sierra Leone poet and journalist. This poem is influenced by his experience of the Sierra Leone 11 year civil war fought between the rebel armed groups (The RUF: Revolutionary United Front) against the armed forces of the corrupt government.

Tone and mood

The poet’s tone is gloomy, and he is generally sorrowful and lamenting at the end.

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Settings of the dining table by Gbanabom Hallowell

The poem is set in Sierra Leone during the war, which lasted from 1991 to 2003. The events of the poem happens in the nighttime, which translates to a dark time in the history of the country.

Analysis of the Dinning Table by Gbanabom Hallowell

The Dinning Table is a narrative poem that recounts the collective experience of the brutality of war as well as picturing the graphic, and agonizing images of conflict. The conflict on Sierra Leone was based on the struggle over the significant diamond resources, which STANZA ONE symbolically refer to as ‘the dinner’.

The Dinning Table here is a gathering where compatriots feed on each other rather than food. Therefore, this dinner comes with gun wounds, injuries, and pains. The ‘guests’ who came to see the unfortunate event could feel the effect of the war and pains too.

Stanza two of The Dinning Table

In stanza two, the poet reveals how the guerrillas (rebel groups) operated freely, maiming and destroying. On the other hand, the government armed forces described here as ‘crocodiles’, also prey on the ordinary civilians while repelling the insurgency. Thus, both parties comit atrocities against the non-combatant population.

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To worsen the situation, the last line of the stanza further reveals the cholera outbreak that further increase hardship and claimed lives.

Theme of The Dinning Table by Gbanabom Hallowell

  • War
  • Patriotism
  • Child soldering



The serious note and the use of first-person singular pronoun ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘me’, the last stanza reveals his love and loyalty to his native land and the willingness to be of social change.

Child soldering

Stanza 2 briefly mentions a salient aspect of the Sierra Leone war, the use of child soldiers, and how their enthusiasm to play in the backgrounds have been replaced by silent. Not to mention the family loss they have experienced, brainwashing, and trauma of witnesses mayhem.

I hope you enjoyed the analysis, theme, and settings of The Dinning Table by Gbanabom Hallowell. The poetic devices can be found @ Source [Here]


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