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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The changing voice of history: contemporary African poetry
Author:Ojaide, Tanure
Periodical:Genève-Afrique: acta africana
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
English language
Abstract:Overview, by a Nigerian poet of the younger generation, of contemporary African poetry in English, with emphasis on Nigeria. Two different trends are distinguished: an old trend, which includes poets such as Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, J.P. Clark, Kofi Awoonor, Lenrie Peters, and Okot p'Bitek, who are influenced by Western, especially English, modernist poetry; and a new trend, which includes younger poets, such as Kofi Anyidoho, Niyi Osundare, Jack Mapanje, Odia Ofeimun, Catherine Acholou, and Funso Aiyejina, who are highly influenced by traditional African poetic techniques. Contemporary African poetry is marked by a shift from the culture, nature, individualism and lyricism of the late 1950s and early 1960s to the national socioeconomic, political, and class awareness of the 1970s and 1980s. This shift in poetic themes has a corresponding stylistic turn: there is a movement away from Western influences of fragmentation, allusiveness and difficulty to the traditional African oratorical clarity and simplicity. Bibliogr., notes, ref.