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A Stylistic Analysis Of Selected Poems In Niyi Osundare’s Random Blues


Several studies have been carried out on the old poetry of Niyi Osundare using both literary and linguistic approaches; however, there has been a dearth of studies on his new poetry. This study therefore examines the language use in one of his collections of new poetry,
Random Blues
, with a view to extracting important pieces of information that are relevant to the national life of Nigeria.The data for the study are all drawn from
Sunday Tribune
newspaper. Only three years of the publication are examined. Three poems are randomly selected from each of the years (2010, 2011 and 2012), making a total of nine poems; the poems are sequentially looked at. The analysis in the study is done using M. A. K.Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) framework.Theanalysis of the poems reveals that Osundare uses lexico-semantic features, such as code mixing, inter-language blending, hyponymy, near synonyms,Yoruba lexical items,as means of targeting the Nigerian masses in order to inform and influence them, and repetition of lexical items to emphasise crucial pieces of information about the Nigerian society. Also, the graphological features deployed by the poet such as morpho-graphological deviation are used to lambast certain people in the society who have done something wrong. It is also found that the poet employs certain syntactic features such as code switching, simplification of various sentence types, imperative verbs, syntactic parallelism, first person plural pronouns, and interjections to target the Nigerian masses, inform and influence them, to create a sense of collectivism, and to achieve textual unity among the poems. By sequentially looking at the statements used in the poems, the analysis reveals that the poems chronicle important contemporary national issues in Nigeria which are very crucial to the history of the country.Based on the findings, the conclusion has been reached that the primary motive of Niyi Osundare in
Random Blues
is to bring about social reform by adequately painting the picture of the contemporary Nigerian society and using various rhetorical means to influence the common man in Nigeria to bring about the change. This study has contributed to the field of stylistics by showing that it is possible to link stylistic features with specific happenings in the society and that stylistics is reliable in establishing the meanings expressed inliterary texts.

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