This study proposes to bring out the social relevance of Niyi Osundare’s The Eye of the Earth. African Oral aesthetics or the Social relevance are the verbal parts of African Oral Literature, Osundare uses this extensively in most of his work and this study aims at looking at that. Systematic sampling will be used for the selection of the poems for analysis, and the concept of this formalism will be the basis at which it will be analyzed. It will give credence to Osundare’s volatile poetic version which is one thing that has attribute him various stand amongst critics and scholars and it has enhance meaning and imagery and helped the statuesque of his poetic vision.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents vi
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Purpose of the Study 4
1.2 Approach to the Study 4
1.3 Justification of Study 5
1.4 Scope of the Study 5
1.5 Organization of Chapters 6
1.6 Autobiography of Niyi Osundare 7
End Notes 9
2.1 Critical views on Niyi Osundare’s poetry 10
2.2 The form and dictions of Osundare’s poetry 20
2.3 An overview of formalist approach 23
End Notes 26
The Social relevance in Niyi Osundare’s
The Eye of the Earth
3.0 Preamble 29
3.1 Cultural Economic Setting of Niyi Osundare’s The Eye of the Earth 29
End Notes 53
Summary of Conclusion 54
End Notes 55
In African oral traditions, poetry carries the existential experience of Africans. In Yoruba cosmology for instance, there is a recitations called ‘Ewi’, for some professionally trained Orators known as ‘Akewi’, which narrates and express communal, moral and at times, romantic subject. At times, it becomes a fundamental commentary on some injustices in the traditional community. Without poetry among the Yoruba’s and Africans as a whole nothing can never be achieve in their world of traditional. In other words, there is a huge dependence on the traditional African community, as it outlines the society they live in.
Poetry in modern African literature appears to demonstrate a mild break with the literacy convictions of the first and second generation of poetry. In fact it is in this issue of form that Hugh Holman holds as a cardinal yardstick for demarcation when, he asserts that:
In a broad sense, modern is applied to writings markers
by a strong and conscious break with traditional
forms and technique forms and technique of expression
African poets appear to have demonstrated a well-marked departure from traditional poetic conventions. Their work portrays and demonstrates a radical rupturing or dislodging of traditional conventions.
Among the modern poets which belongs to the third generation, there abound quite a number often in “a deliberate artistic effort imaginatively transfer materials from oral, literature” and use them to handle modern themes in an amazingly creative fashion. The modern poets further reflects identity and national usefulness as a unifying subject matted; it speaks the mind of the pioneer poets such as Nnamdi Azikwe, Dennis Osadebey, David Diop, Sedar Senghor and their contemporaries against colonialism and imperialism. Their poems are response to the happenings of the society. While the responses to the happening are decrying rule of the Europeans over their environment and demanding self-government, the Franco-phone poets especially in West Africa, grow more protestant assertive of African culture and values. The degree of the latter’s reaction gives birth to an ideology called Negritude - “the cultural heritage, the values and above all the spirit of Negro-African civilization”.
Following closely behind the pioneer poets are the voices of Wole Soyinka, J.p Bekederemo Clark, Christopher Okigbo, Kofi Anyioko, Dennis Brutus, Niyi Osundare, Tanure Ojaide, among others. The poetry of this generation of poets attracted other local and foreign criticism. Their major works are wrapping traditional toga, cultural props and nuances creatively decorated with poetic expressions that are quick to register impression in the consciousness of the people. They present a fashionable fusion of arts and socio-cognizance of traditional aesthetics in a splendid conjunction.
African oral aesthetics or social relevance is the verbal components of African oral literature. They are equipments of traditional vernacular rhetoric’s and “traditional modes of linguistic expression”3. They are indicators of the oratorical skills of a setting, where the art of narration flourish for long before the arrival of writing. Traditional oral aesthetics include poetry of all kinds: Praise poetry, Zorges, Maiden chants, hunters chants, panegyrics, and a lot more as distinctively associated with different traditional settings, proverbs, chants, incantations and succinct witting sayings are parts of the traditional aesthetics. The aesthetics of these compositions are traceable to the artistic verbal associations of cleverly woven words and expressions that often involve a rhythmic and harmonious interplay. Their philosophical and ethical imports often indicate the height of their aesthetics.
This study essentially as used by Niyi Osundare in The Eye of the Earth.