discuss the theme of insecurity in the poem, “Ambush”.
Insecurity is derived from the title of the poem. The word “ambush” simply means a sudden, surprise or unexpected attack. Usually, the attacker hides and springs up a surprise attack. In this poem mankind seems to have no hiding place because the agents of darkness seem to have taken over everywhere. The sea is not safe as the “giant whale” lies in ambush, to swallow, hook, line, sinker and bait. “Glade” or forest is not an option because the wild cry of the tiger, baring its sabre – teeth keeps adventurous children out of night walks. The giant hawk is hovering all over. What this portends is mounting insecurity. There is no hiding place.
As a result, dreams are shattered and hopes are dashed. Evil men are everywhere looking for whom to destroy. The land is no longer safe especially with the growing spate of armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism. People are dying and disappearing daily and the leaders who are supposed to be the protectors of the citizens fan the embers of terror and insecurity. They have become the “giant whale that swallows the sinker, with hook, line and the bait” and their acts cause the people’s dreams to be aborted.
The men of terror and evil are the sabre-toothed tiger whose wild cry makes children shudder and halt their “walk at dust”. The insecurity comes from the air like a giant hawk that creates “unceasing disaster” as it hovers in the space. Terrorists often use aircrafts to destabilize and wreck havoc on the land. When the hawk hovers in the space, the fowls on the land have no hiding place. This accounts for insecurity.
All in all, the poet gives a conclusion which tilts towards hopelessness. This is because the land itself is waiting patiently in ambush for “those who point away from a direction where nothing happens.” This implies that mankind is ambushed and therefore not safe or secured.