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PROJECT TOPIC: POETIC STYLE AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT IN NIYI OSUNDARE’S SONGS OF THE MARKETPLACE

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1BACKGROUND OF THESTUDY

The emergent poets are the second generation of Nigerian writers namely Tanure Ojaide, Niyi Osundare, Odia Ofeimun whose poetry immersed in the Marxist critical tradition.  Marxist insurrection in Nigerian creative practice emerged from the late 1970s.  The Marxist-oriented poetry is preoccupied with the criticism of the oppressive systems, the identification of the people responsible for the failure of nation building as well as the promotion of an alternative system perceived to be liberating. Emmanuel (2007, p.85) posits that:

There is that type of literature by which the writer rebels against societal values.  He is the one that is sensitiveto what is going on around him; one who wants a better deal for everybody.  This is the kind of literature that becomes an instrument for social transformation.  Its basic aim is to awaken the revolutionary consciousness in the majority of group of the society who are oppressed, exploited and deprived of good social living condition.

  Several critics have attempted to give emergent revolutionary writers a brand name. For instance, Aliyu-Ibrahim(2012,p.125) posits that Akinwale (1993) refers to it as ‘protest’.  Gbilekaa (1997) calls it ‘radical’ while Ododo (2004) adopts the term “re-creative”.  The high point of difference between the works of the earlier and emergent poets is the adoption of a new poetic style and revolutionary ideology.  Ojaide cited in Okunoye 2004, p.3) states clearly that:

Modern African poetic aesthetics are unique in possessing a repertory of authentic African features.  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.  The mere fact that foreign languages are used could occasionally create discord in discourse but modern African poetry attempts to reflect indigenous rhythms.  In fact, an authentic African world forms the backdrop of mod


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