“For Me from You” talks of a young Nigeria girl reflecting on the love and adoration her persistent suitor presses onto her, and the shape of her life if she accepts him.
The first stanza is the courtship phase, it shows how she see’s her relationship now, how the man buys her and how she sold herself, and he is attempting to obliterate her individuality. The man seems to be very original, he is trying to buy her love, she looks back at this now, noticing how original it was, and she is also acknowledging that it’s happened to her. She is now regretting. This stanza has a lot of repetition; it shows the lack of originality. Notice her “i”s are not capitalized, as if saying she is not important enough to be acknowledged as such. She uses her words very effectively “so much how much, how much so much”, it is as if she is showing, how women are fluid, they sell themselves, and that she has sold herself to a man.
The second stanza, the first line shows that it has changed from days to days, into nights and nights, this shows lack of light. as you read it, you feel the passing of time, it’s short. “Disposing”, the man is executing, getting rid of the women individuality, and this makes her feel alone. “a party for you and your friends”, its as if she has no friends, or cant have any, and that she slaves away for him, she wants her freedom, but cant have it, for she has already sold herself to him.
In the third stanza, it is the material things that are coming in. the first line shows lack of light, lack of space compared to the first stanza. This stanza becomes claustrophobic. “Your words come muscled, come rushing” these are “muscled words” not soft words of a lover, but strong words of a man. She constantly draws on the analogy of a marketplace, and is consistent in the comparison” I go to a market stall…i go again to the market”, revealing how the relationship between the girl and her suitor is almost material. This concept is carried forward also by the gifts he bestow on her “a nice big kitchen…a little car…a trunk box of wrappers…a fat allowance”. In her poem, where most of the frustration seeps through is here in the third stanza, and this is clearly shown in all capitals “ALL you say EVERYTHING you say, FOR ME FROM YOU” and this could indicate that the girl is at this stage quite fed up with his incessant affection-exchange.
The fourth and fifth stanzas show that the realization has dawned upon her, notice that these two stanzas are the only ones which do not start with a capital letter. In the fourth stanza, she is noticing that you can live without a man “so I see that some sell and others don’t”, its her moment of in light meant. She has realized a women does not have to sell themselves, there is an option. “I see what I am buying for me from you” this shows that she know knows exactly what she wants. In the fifth stanza, it shows how she has stepped out of the shadow; she knows what’s going to happen. “Days endless and uncountable” she will finally live in the light. But she does not make the decision clear, if she will leave him or not “if I buy”.
A very obvious technique that Rita Anyiam St John used throughout her whole poem was repetition, for example “for you from me” and “how much”. The title phrase “for me from you” was repeated regularly in every stanza, emphasizing not only how much the suitor was willing to give to the girl, but also how much she would be indebted to him over time. Her lines are not very structured, more like passing thoughts than organized recollections. The main themes here were, realization, rebellion there are two types of rebellion here, the structural grammatically rebellion for example the capital letters, and the action rebellion “walking away”, also tradition and relisation/awarness were some other themes. There is also a pun included” “come disposing” indicates that it is killed of. Overall this poem seems to be about, her identity, feminism, marriage, tradition and freedom.