THE DEPLOYMENT OF IDEOLOGY IN THE POETRY OF NIYI OSUNDARE

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THE DEPLOYMENT OF IDEOLOGY IN THE POETRY OF NIYI OSUNDARE

Abstract:

Critical attention is just beginning to focus on Niyi Osundare.. although he is one of the most prolific Nigerian poets with seven published Volumes to date. Like most educated African writers, he is the product of two cultures, the African and European. Another significant fact is that Osundare1s poetry puts him in the fore-front of the champions of the art of social commitment. This thesis shows how Osundare deploys ideology in his first five published Volumes. we note thai his deployment of ideology gives his style and theme a decidedly revolutionary ring. For a clearer perspective we looked at the social contexts that brought about the emergence of modern Nigerian poetry. The introductory first chapter is against the background ot how past poetic prac might have influenced Osundarefs practice. The second chapter looks at Osundare’s first published collections. A Nib in the Pond and Songs of the Marketplace. Here, Osundare deploys ideology largely as oppositional systems that embody the class interests of the various segments ot the society; particularly the opposed interests of the privileged against the unprivileged. We also note an avantgaridst tendency as the poet tries to break away from the ‘old’. The third chapter dealing with Village Voices looks at what is clearly a watershed in Osundare’s practice. In an aesthetics leaning heavily on oral literary practices, a distinct poetic voice emerges concerned with the plight of a particular social group. the peasantry. Apart from the analysis of the aesthetics and its referent, we can also see the implication of Osundare’s practice, partly echoed in the second chapter: The alienation of the text and its intended audience, in the light of the illiteracy of the audience. In the fourth chapter we see how Osundare tries to capture a changing reality. Language here is highly allusive. Using the metaphor of the ‘earth’ and the ‘moon’, the poet deepens our knowledge of ideology by incorporating existential phenomena alongsides ideologies as systematised discources. This new deployment of ideology also incorporates dialectics as we notice the binary fusion of opposites. The fifth and concluding chapter restates the earlier points and looks all the writer’s world and the tools he has fashioned to recreate, represent, remould and generally, interprete reality

THE DEPLOYMENT OF IDEOLOGY IN THE POETRY OF NIYI OSUNDARE

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