A Plural Imagination: On Being a Nigerian Poet
by ABAYOMI ANIMASHAUN
Notes


[i] From “The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Re-Figuring Trends in Recent Nigerian Poetry.” See Bibliography.

[ii] This, Garuba says, is “because in some instances it appears to refer to age and in others to the time of first appearance of the poet in the public domain” (52)

[iii] “Poetry Is” is the first poem in Songs of the MarketplaceOsundare’s first poetry collection

[iv] Ofeimun is a major Nigerian poet whom many consider to be of the Osundare-Ojaide generation

[v] In his afterword to Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah’s expansive critical volume on Osundare. The same essay serves as the introduction to Osundare’s Song of the Marketplace

[vi] Although Chinweizu speaks chiefly of “Hopkins Disease”, he also accused the Ibadan-Nsukka poets of puerile utilizations of “Poundian allusiveness and sprinkling of foreign phrases, and Eliotesque suppression of narrative and other logical linkages of the sort that creates obscurity in ‘The Waste Land’” (173).

[vii] Thus named because Ibadan and Nsukka were the first universities in Nigerian, and vibrant literary scenes emerged at both institutionsalbeit Nsukka came after Ibadan. Hezzy Maduakor’s essay, “Peter Thomas and the Development of Modern Nigerian Poetry”, on the rise of Nsukka as a major literary scene and Peter Thomas’s immense contribution to it is well worth considering. It should also be mentioned that Michael Echeruo, who was a critic and poet associated with the Soyinka generation, holds a particularly different view of Peter Thomas’s contributions to the Nsukka literary scene. For this alternate view please consider Echeruo’s 1973 interview with Bernth Lindfors.  

[viii] A sentiment quite reminiscent of Ojaide’s equation of being “unpretentious” with being “clear” and using “simple” “expression”.

[ix] This stylistic change by Osundare, however, does not imply a total abandonment of his earlier outlook and poetics. Osundare makes that clear in the Arnold interview.




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