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- Major Attributes are Abstract, All Chapters, Figures, Appendix, References.
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Niyi Osundare is one of Nigeria’s most prolific poets whose works have
contributed significantly to the growth of a Nigerian poetic tradition. His appearance on
the literary scene has brought a new direction to the development of poetic activity. This
is seen in his radical approach to social, political and economic themes and in his indepth
exploration of oral tradition with the aim of stamping an indigenous identity on African
poetry by deliberately writing poetry that carries less western influences. It is of note that
Osundare is able to make his contribution to Nigerian poetry because the tradition of
poetry existed before he wrote.
The tradition of Nigerian poetry owes its evolution to certain significant factors,
these are the historical events of Africa’s contact with colonialism and the neo-colonial
apparatus, the culture of criticism that literary output depends on to thrive and the African
tradition, that rich reservoir of verbal and non-verbal art forms in the form of tales,
proverbs, images, myths, legends, music, mime and gestures.
The research explores significant manifestations of Osundare’s poetry and how
these have contributed to the growth of modern Nigerian poetry. The first chapter
undertakes a survey of Nigerian poetry by establishing the pioneering voices of Osadebey
and Okara. It highlights the poetic voices of Soyinka, Okigbo and Clark whose works
have built up the tradition of Nigerian poetry and also influenced the direction of
The second chapter analyses Osundare’s concept of commitment as closely linked
to his radical ideological leaning that views literary activity as serving a political purpose.
The third chapter analyses Osundare’s use of the oral artistic technique. It
highlights his celebration of the traditional ethos and his use of traditional idioms as
framework upon which the poems are built.
The fourth chapter analyses the poet’s distinctive use of nature in poetry. The
chapter brings out the various ways Osundare has used nature imagery in his poetry.
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