MODERN NIGERIAN POETRY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: AN ECOCRITICAL STUDY OF SELECTED POEMS OF TANURE OJAIDE, NIYI OSUNDARE AND NNIMMO BASSEY

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MODERN NIGERIAN POETRY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: AN ECOCRITICAL STUDY OF SELECTED POEMS OF TANURE OJAIDE, NIYI OSUNDARE AND NNIMMO BASSEY

Abstract:

This thesis titled “Modern Nigerian Poetry and the Environment: An Ecocritical Study of Selected Poems of Tanure Ojaide, Niyi Osundare and Nnimmo Bassey” examines the extent to which Nigerian poetry explores the problematic interaction between man and environment at a period when ecological problems pose a threat to the Nigerian ecology. To this end, the thesis argues that the selected poets present the view that the Nigerian people and resources are exploited by the Nigerian elite in collusion with the corporate owners of technology and the controllers of the global market economy for their economic interests, leaving behind devastating ecological footprints on the Nigerian flora, fauna and landscape. The study of the growing concern with the dysfunction of the ecosystem in Nigerian Poetry necessitates the deployment of a contemporary trans-disciplinary methodological approach called Ecocriticism which links literary criticism with ecological issues in order to evaluate selected Nigerian poetry. Taken together, this study posits that although early Nigerian poets were concerned with environmental deterioration, they did not explore it with the same critical idiom, tenor and thrust of the poets of study who have illuminated the precarious environmental concerns in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria by extension. Therefore, the preoccupation of the selected poets with environmental degradation and neglect of the welfare of the people have given their poetry its aesthetic dimension. In view of this, the poets‟ signification of the deliberate degradation of the Nigerian landscape by Nigerian ruling classes in collaboration with multinational companies point to a trend in postcolonial situations to put power and authority at the service of the market and at the expense of public good. In addition, the poets show that the neglect of the people, poverty, alienation and despair that emanate from the exploitation of natural resources have led to the upsurge of militants who have become defiant in hostage taking and destruction of lives and properties. Therefore, the selected texts illustrate that degradation of the environment does not only impact on the vulnerability of the Nigerian bionetwork, but also on the livelihood of the marginalised communities and the stability of the country.

MODERN NIGERIAN POETRY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: AN ECOCRITICAL STUDY OF SELECTED POEMS OF TANURE OJAIDE, NIYI OSUNDARE AND NNIMMO BASSEY

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