I think that a lot of these poems are easily accessible to a secondary student. Whereas most of these anthologies merely represent the work of poets in sub-Saharan Africa, they adopt the African identity in a metonymic manner. This presents a situation in which the emergence of a literary tradition is undermined by the awareness of an essential conflict generated and sustained by the indelible and destructive identities created and distributed by colonial interests. About The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry. […] The adoption of the Anglophone African poets of an international style was due to their tertiary education” (Goodwin 1982: ix). /Length 1095 $14.14. (ed. Noté /5. A new edition of the definitive collection of modern poetry from Africa “Poetry, always foremost of the arts in traditional Africa,” writes Gerald Moore, “has continued to compete for primacy against the newer forms of … Jeyifo, B. Informed scholarly opinion recognises the promotion of creative writing by expatriate teachers within university communities in Ibadan and Nsukka as laying the foundation for the development of a Nigerian tradition of poetry. Free shipping . Mowah, F. U.1991 “Toward A Structuralist Study of African Poetry: An Examination of the Poetry of Wole Soyinka and Okot p’Bitek”, Dissertation, University of Ibadan. Barkan, S.1985 “Emerging Definitions of African Literature”, in S. Arnold (ed. Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. He does not go beyond acknowledging the debt of the poets to a received European tradition within which poets like W. B. Yeats, Gerald Manly Hopkins, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound are seen as figures to be imitated. Thus, central to the Nigerian sense of collective self-definition is an acknowledgement of the diversity of her peoples and cultural values, so that the continued existence of the country is only guaranteed by the continued consent of the constituent nationalities. This is particularly evident in Tayo Olafioye’s Politics in African Poetry (1984) and The Poetry of Tanure Ojaide (2001), a reflection of a critical temper in which the concern of the work, especially when it has political significance, is privileged. Many critics have, for instance, come to see the work of Okot p’ Bitek as synonymous with East African poetry. 22The most influential assumptions on these studies are the fundamentals of the New Critical tradition: universalist pretensions and the doctrine of art for art’s sake which, in the African cultural environment, are all irrelevant. Besides (and unlike in the West), content is more important than form and images do not aim to reflect the senses. Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone poetic traditions in Africa constitute distinct traditions. This underlines the fact that the international boundaries that have come to be seen as defining national identities are, at best, convenient instruments of former colonial establishments to allocate spheres of neocolonial influence and manipulation in Africa. Dorothy Blair’s African Literature in French (1976) demonstrates this possibility. ), African Literature—An Anthology of Critical Writing (London: Longman): 110-111. /BitsPerComponent 8 Onoge, O.1985 “The Crisis of Consciousness in Modern African Literature: A Survey”, in G. Gugelberger, (ed. Pioneered by European critics of African literature and a few indigenous scholars, the motivation for this critical project was the urgency of appraising African poetry in the light of the European tradition to which they assumed the emergent African poets were indebted. The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry (in an earlier 1963 edition Modern Poetry from Africa) is a 1984 poetry anthology edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier. Making a case for the Marxist critical framework in the African environment, he says: “There is no necessary contradiction between Marxism and Afrocentrism in literary criticism. But David Dorsey (1988: 27) has rightly argued that “African poetry requires special attention to cultural particulars”. Olukoshi, A.1996 “The Nation-State in Africa”, Southern African Political and Economic Monthly, 9-10 July: 45-46. >> The fact that intra-national conflicts and ethnic crises constantly threaten the existence of the countries points to the fact that they may not really sustain literary traditions that are national in character. )1985 Contemporary Nigerian Literature: Retrospective and Prospective Exploration (Lagos: Nigerian Magazine). Underscoring the ethno-cultural diversity that characterises African states and consequently hints at the limitation of any critical paradigm that accords the nation state undue privilege, Chidi Amuta (1987: 23) says: “Without seeking to undermine the communality of kinship ties and historical experiences among the peoples of Africa, what is incontrovertible is that the social and cultural unity of Africa is very much a unity in diversity. Lebo Mashile. By discountenancing the human agency that facilitates the production of poetry, Structuralism severs the essential link between literature and history, making it irrelevant in the African context. Invariably, as a field of study, Modern African Poetry is explored in relation to basic issues, … But they all seem to recognise the primacy of commitment in modern African poetry, an assumption that informs their taking the centrality of thematic pre-occupation for granted. This practice has mainly been legitimised by anthologists and critics who, in the bid to reflect the dominant trends in the poetic traditions of each of the regions, settle for “representative” poets, cognizant of the impossibility of a comprehensive literary history. This critical tradition, mainly represented by the work of critics identified with the Marxist insurrection in Nigerian critical practice from the late 1970s and their disciples, imposes the cliché-ridden critical vocabulary of Marxism, with all its exaggerated claims to relevance, on African poetry. 11Regionalism may be problematised if critics see the possibility of categorising on the basis of language. She has also appeared in Omenana , Q-zine , This is Africa , Writivism , African Feminist Forum , Anathema: Spec from the Margins , and HOLAA’s safe sex manual. Ojo-Ade, F.1984 Colour and Culture in Literature (Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press). making of modern African poetry. This viewpoint derives inspiration from the consciousness that African literary scholarship in the postcolonial era must be responsive to the challenges of the age by taking up the responsibility of clarifying the process of collective self-discovery. This authenticity manifests itself in the use of concrete images derived from the fauna and flora, proverbs, indigenous rhythms, verbal tropes, and concepts of space and time to establish a poetic form. It should however be seen as complementing the reflections of participant-observers, like Martin Banham’s “A Piece that We May Fairly Call our Own” (1961). Born in Ethiopia in 1990, she spent a number of years travelling, living and studying in the US before returning to Addis Ababa. She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and won several awards such as the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, National Book Award for Poetry, and Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. This critical tradition derived inspiration from a 1974 essay of Omafume Onoge entitled “The Crisis of Consciousness in Modern African Literature: A Survey” which later published in Gugelberger’s Marxism and African Literature (1985). Pioneers like Osadebay, Dei-Anang, Casely-Hayford and Vilakazi started a tradition of poetry that drew largely upon an indigenous African cultural base. It is remarkable that studies rooted in this tradition emerged at the time the study of African literature was just being institutionalised. 24The success of each study informed by the liberal sociological approach is largely a function of the critic’s capacity for perceptive criticism. 19The privileging of the Ibadan and Nsukka traditions apparently provides a basis for tracing influences in Nigerian poetry. Thus, their critical outlook assumes a liberal sociological orientation. Each of the two sub-traditions in West African poetry—the Anglophone and the Francophone—is a product of a unique colonial experience. 2The conflicting critical standpoints with regard to the possibilities of apprehending African literature will represent critical positions, which have attracted numerous subscribers and reflect changing perspectives on African literature. The case for regional poetic traditions in Africa is, all the same, best made with caution, as it is capable of creating the impression that every part of the continent has really contributed to the making of modern African poetry. Modern Poetry from Africa anthologises the works of thirty-two poets from sixteen African countries, twenty of whom are from West Africa. The contention of proponents of the paradigm is that these realities have tended to condition literary production in the regions, so that it becomes possible to draw attention to shared attitudes, techniques or formal orientations. Asante, M.1985 “Afrocentricity and African Culture”, in M. Asante (ed. A new edition of the definitive collection of modern poetry from Africa “Poetry, always foremost of the arts in traditional Africa,” writes Gerald Moore, “has continued to compete for primacy against the newer forms of prose fiction and theatre drama.” Now revised and expanded, this comprehensive anthology features the work of ninety-nine poets from … Lebo Mashile is a South African poet who was born in U.S. and returned to South Africa after the fall of apartheid in the 1990s. They are unique in the sense that they reflect the preferences of their authors. Anyexaminationofrecent We are also happy to take questions and suggestions for future materials. The first step is to recognise the danger of adopting or adapting assumptions and paradigms developed in other cultural environments which would easily engender the error of empirical thinking as has been the case in the criticism of modern African poetry. It is difficult to take the nation-state as a reliable category for the scholarly exploration of African poetry partly because African nation-states, as constructs of colonial powers, are, in reality, constituted by many ethnic formations. Ngara, E.1990 Ideology and Form in African Poetry: Implication for Communication (London: James Currey; Harare: Baobab Books; Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya; Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann). Content is not perceived by poet and audience as extra-literary. But it is flawed by the arbitrariness of the criteria adopted in constructing it. 3.7 out of 5 stars 3. Titilope Sonuga. Banham, M.1961 “A Piece that We May Fairly Call our Own”, Ibadan 12: 15-78. Izevbaye, D. S.1967 “The Relevance of Modern Literary Theory in English to Poetry and Fiction in English-Speaking West Africa”, Dissertation, University of Ibadan. In their desire to effect changes, they use the nation state as their starting point.The poets are very particularised in their treatment of problems peculiar to their countries. Free shipping . This becomes necessary as no informed appraisal of cultural production in the postcolonial world can overlook the place occupied by the culture of a people. The proceedings of the conferences, edited by Gerald Moore (1965), are brought together in African Literature and the Universities. The question that naturally arises is whether Africa’s multi-ethnic societies are capable of sustaining national literatures, considering the fact that most of them are, at best, undecided as to whether they should be regarded as nations. Discussion of themes and motifs in African Poetry. ), Perspectives on Nigerian Literature: 1700 to the Present. His reading of Ofeimun’s poetry provides an opportunity for him to parade the familiar critical vocabulary of Marxism, which immediately draws attention to its weaknesses and strength. To date, colonialism represents the single most disruptive factor in Africa’s history. African dramatic literature has also enjoyed reasonable critical appraisal, reflecting the diversity of the traditions, experiences and concerns it engages. Modern African poetry and by extension, African writing in the European languages, is largely writing from sub-Saharan Africa. But six out of the ten poets—Kofi Awoonor, J. P. Clark, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Lenrie Peters and Gabriel Okara—are from West Africa. It consists of poetry from the modern era (1930s up until the 80s or so, with a couple of newer pieces here and there). Dealing with a range of social and cultural issues, from women’s rights and feminism to post-war and post-colonial identity, here are some of Africa’s best contemporary writers. ��SuN]�ş�_V2�v�v.�k�*B�&8qJ�Ж(*AB��O�;4��7�O)�,��:���QR�-�3E��h��Z�l7�&��vq��q��l�jB��xI��߆%F=C-��6Rj,mJ�9"�hSj ����8��Z�mj�� S7$Qh��}�D37JW��%Jց�F �TK�C�W@���aѹ��v:uqNS'+���i��qfm��uڣ= Modern African poetry in the context of the essay refers to African poetry in the received European languages—English, French and Portuguese—but for practical convenience, its focus is limited to modern African poetry of English expression and, to some extent, Francophone African poetry in English translation. �s��E�dRd!G�)>��k���3\�j7�40�ꨰ|tS�=���f���������urqN���w|����oX� Lo Liyong, Taban1975-1976 “East Africa, O East Africa I Lament thy Literary Barrenness”, Transition 50: 43. WhatisreferredtoastheAfricantraditionofpoetry has equally been sustained by the outstanding outputs of Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal,Malawi,SouthAfricaandtheCongo. Peter Benson’s Black Orpheus, Transition and Modern Cultural Awakening in Africa (1988), is one of the most ambitious efforts at recording the Ibadan experience. Gordon, J. U.1971 “The Politics of Contemporary African Literature”, in S. Okechukwu & S. Mezu (eds. Modern African poetry and by extension, African writing in the European languages, is largely writing from sub-Saharan Africa. ), African Literature Studies: The Present State/L’État présent (Washington D.C.: Three Continents Press): 27-46. 20The foregoing survey of the paradigms for the study of African poetry may create the impression that much has been achieved in terms of the critical appraisal of African poetry. Thus, while poets like J. P. Clark, Wole Soyinka, Aig-Imoukhuede, Molara Ogundipe, Mabel Segun, Tanure Ojaide, Odia Ofeimun, Niyi Osundare, Okinba Launko, Harry Garuba, Onookome Okome, Femi Fatoba, Remi Raji and Chiedu Ezeanah are associated with the Ibadan tradition, Okogbule Wonodi, Sam Nwajioba, Ossie Enekwe, Obiora Udechukwu, Chukwuma Azuonye, Uche Nduka and Olu Oguibe have come to be identified with Nsukka. Thus, they temper a form of formalist appraisal with some historical consciousness. (ed. Nkosi, L.1981 Tasks and Masks: Themes and Styles of African Literature (Essex: Longman). Nwoga, D.1976 “The Limitations of Universal Critical Criteria”, in R. Smith (ed. There is indeed a sense in which African poets have been more responsive to the problems, aspirations and challenges within their countries in the last two decades as a way of being relevant within their immediate environments. Udenta, whose study is more conventional in its periodization, argues that “the revolutionary aesthetic method” has the capacity to “domesticate a universal critical criterion to suit the temper and subjectivities of the African literary process” (Udenta 1976: xi). 12This leads to the evaluation of a newer but no less problematic practice, one that authorises the reading of African poetry as an aggregate of national traditions. Some of the finest studies in this tradition, like Okechukwu Mezu’s The Poetry of L. S. Senghor (1973) and Tanure Ojaide’s The Poetry of Wole Soyinka (1994) blend sociological information with some technical exploration. Negritude probably generated the original inspiration for this outlook. Her short fiction is published in Short Day Africa’s Water and GALA’s Queer Africa II . Any examination of recent anthologies of African poetry, notable among which are Frank Chipasula’s When my Brothers Come Home: Poems from Central and Southern Africa (1985), Tijan Sallah’s New Poets of West Africa (1995), and Tanure Ojaide and Tijan Sallah’s The New African Poetry (1999) will confirm this. The approach has tended to give a false sense of accomplishment to indigenous critics of African poetry as it is not grounded in a coherent theoretical framework. Chipasula, F.1985 When my Brothers Come Home: Poems from Central and Southern Africa (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press). Critical method is conceived here in a loose sense that suggests critical focus, embracing the assumptions rooted in contemporary critical methods and the more traditional approaches associated with older scholars. It was a style comparable in many ways with that of the African Francophone poets. This unproblematic reading of African poetry betrays the weakness of pioneering scholarship. )1985 Marxism and African Literature (London: James Currey). Emergent scholarship on national traditions of poetry has the prospect of seeking to legitimise itself on the basis that nation states in Africa offer a more credible basis for the assessment of African literary production. This way of explaining the Nigerian literary tradition gained currency in the 1970s and consequently inspired the invention of such labels as the “Ibadan School” and the “Nsukka School” which Chinweizu and his colleagues used unadvisedly in the process of clarifying the perceived Eurocentric inclination of early Nigerian poetry. 18Critical evaluations of the Ibadan tradition have always drawn attention to the positive impact of such literary journals as The Horn, Black Orphans and the Mbari Writers’ and Artists’ Club in the promotion of her literary culture. x��U�NI}�W��x��}�x`�% Stella and Frank Chipasula in the Introduction to African Women’s Poetry stress the fact that its “exclusive focus on women’s poetry is a necessary first step towards reversing the objectification of women and rendering visible the invisible poets themselves” (Chipasula 1995: xvii). 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