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The Critical Reception of Modern African Poetry

Oyeniyi Okunoye
p. 769-791


La réception critique de la poésie africaine moderne. — Cet article analyse la production de savoir critique dans les études consacrées à la littérature africaine, et plus particulièrement à la poésie africaine moderne. Nous nous pencherons sur les principaux paradigmes et méthodes, en explorant les différentes possibilités qui permettent de lire la tradition. La poésie africaine moderne dans cet article fait référence à la poésie africaine telle qu’elle est reçue dans les langues européennes — anglais, français et portugais — mais, pour des raisons pratiques, l’objet d’étude de cet article se limitera à la poésie africaine francophone dans sa traduction anglaise. Nous mettrons en relief les efforts significatifs mis en œuvre par les critiques africains et non africains pour définir la tradition de la poésie africaine moderne. De ce fait, la notion de réception critique dans cette étude est tellement large qu’elle accommode des pratiques aussi diverses que l’élaboration de canons, la formulation de critères critiques et la construction d’une géographie littéraire africaine.

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“To have any sense of evolving African poetics, one must be aware of the socio-political significance of literary expression and the ideological character of literary theory.”
Thomas Knipp (1985: 117)

1The inaugural moment of the scholarly engagement with modern African poetry is best seen as coinciding with efforts at making modern African literature a subject of academic enquiry in the 1960s, the most significant being the Makerere, Dakar and Freetown conferences, all of which were held between 1962 and 1963. The proceedings of the conferences, edited by Gerald Moore (1965), are brought together in African Literature and the Universities. The efforts are remarkable in the sense that they generated the enduring problematics in African critical practice, all of which are associated with the task of clarifying the African literary identity: the crisis associated with the medium of African writing; the dilemma of inventing or appropriating a critical idiom and the deceptively simple question of mapping the African literary tradition. Dubem Okafor (2001: 1) sums these up, saying, “African literature is not only a contested terrain, but the medium of its production and of its discussion is, to say the least, cacophonous”. The fact that all other problems ever raised in the criticism of African literature are engendered by these underscores their primacy in the assessment of modern African poetic traditions.

2The conflicting critical standpoints with regard to the possibilities of apprehending African literature will represent critical positions, which have attracted numerous subscribers and reflect changing perspectives on African literature. “Changes in definitions of African literature reflect and respond to political and social realities, trends in literary criticism, and changes within the texts themselves” (Barkan 1985: 27). Modern African poetry, very much like other postcolonial literary practices, is defined in relation to European literary traditions which provide the paradigms, conventions and critical principles that are either appropriated or negated in the process of defining the identity of the newer literatures. Any appraisal of the critical reception of modern African poetry should underscore this problem by revealing why certain paradigms and methods are privileged and others marginalised.

Inventing a Tradition

3The first phase of the scholarly investigation of African poetry privileged a Pan-Africanist outlook, one that took the existence of a continental literary tradition for granted. This, in reality, remains the invention of Africanist-anthologists and pioneering critics of African poetry who simply willed the tradition into existence on the pages of such journals of African literature and culture as The Black Orpheus, Transition and African Literature Today,  as well as influential anthologies of African poetry. With the obvious exception of Wole Soyinka’s Poems of Black Africa (1977), whose title reflects its focus, anthologies like Modern Poetry from Africa co-edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier (1963) as well as A Book of African Verse by John Reed and Clive Wake (1969) operate within a tradition that is pretentious in claiming the African identity for works that do not truly project diverse African experiences. Whereas most of these anthologies merely represent the work of poets in sub-Saharan Africa, they adopt the African identity in a metonymic manner. Modern Poetry from Africa anthologises the works of thirty-two poets from sixteen African countries, twenty of whom are from West Africa. Gerald Moore is particularly known for taking an African universe for granted in studying African poetry. This is evident in such essays as “Time and Experience in African Poetry” (1966) and “The Imagery of Death in African Poetry” (1968).

4Romanus Egudu’s Modern African Poetry and the African Predicament (1978) and Ken Goodwin’s Understanding African Poetry (1982) project a similar outlook, reflecting the critical consensus between indigenous and expatriate critics of African poetry in this regard. The two studies give a largely distorted picture of African poetry. Goodwin is the typical non-African critic with a pretence to an encyclopaedic grasp of African writing. He suggests that his theoretical formulation could explain the pattern the growth of African poetry has taken. His thesis is that most of modern African poets first imitated some European models, so that it is impossible to properly appreciate their work without taking this into consideration. He correlates the achievement of each of the ten poets he studies with the pattern or standard set by their models. But six out of the ten poets—Kofi Awoonor, J. P. Clark, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Lenrie Peters and Gabriel Okara—are from West Africa. He does not go beyond acknowledging the debt of the poets to a received European tradition within which poets like W. B. Yeats, Gerald Manly Hopkins, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound are seen as figures to be imitated. His argument, briefly stated, is as follows:

“The first significant stage in the formation of contemporary African poetry in English was […] emancipation from nineteenth-century cultural imperialism and the voluntary adoption of a foreign, but international, twentieth-century cultural imperialism and the voluntary adoption of a foreign, but international, twentieth-century style. It was a style comparable in many ways with that of the African Francophone poets. […] The adoption of the Anglophone African poets of an international style was due to their tertiary education” (Goodwin 1982: ix).

5Egudu’s Modern African Poetry and the African Predicament represents a slightly different tendency in the sense that it recognises the diverse experiences that have shaped the creative imagination of poets from various parts of Africa as generating the tradition. The assumption in his work is that the African experience is thematised in African poetry. For him, African poetry “is intimately concerned with the African people in the African society, with their life in its various ramifications—cultural, social, economic, intellectual, and political” (Egudu 1978: 5). Ironically, Egudu underscores the variety of experiences articulated in African poetry without drawing attention to its implication for the continued validity of the notion of an African poetic tradition. This unproblematic reading of African poetry betrays the weakness of pioneering scholarship.

6Tanure Ojaide’s Poetic Imagination in Black Africa (1996) maps a wider space for African poetry. It not only asserts the uniqueness of the African poetic imagination but also attempts a clarification of same. Fundamental to Ojaide’s critical project is the assumption that the Black poetic imagination must be differentiated from the Western tradition of poetry so long as the artistic philosophy of African writers is rooted in traditional African poetic traditions: the artistic principles and practices shared by various Black African societies which also provide the common base for modern African poets and poets of African descent. His work thus represents a more scholarly rendition of the ideas of the bolekaja critics in Toward the Decolonization of African Literature (Chinweizu & Madabuike 1980) in its dispassionate outlook and scholarly temper. It is best read as an attempt at theorising black poetry. He reconciles form with content, seeing both as issuing from the same source. Even though he focuses on modern African poetry of English expression, he makes statements that are supposed to be applicable to a poetic tradition in sub-Saharan Africa and the black Diaspora. The enabling assumptions for Ojaide’s work are stated in the second chapter of the book:

“Modern African poetic aesthetics are unique in possessing a repertory of authentic African features. This authenticity manifests itself in the use of concrete images derived from the fauna and flora, proverbs, indigenous rhythms, verbal tropes, and concepts of space and time to establish a poetic form. Besides (and unlike in the West), content is more important than form and images do not aim to reflect the senses. Content is not perceived by poet and audience as extra-literary. The mere fact that foreign languages are used could occasionally create discord in discourse but modern African poetry attempts to reflect indigenous rhythms. In fact, an authentic African world forms the backdrop of modern African poetry” (Ojaide 1996: 30).

7The discursive site that Ojaide’s study occupies derives empowerment from the assumptions of Afrocentric scholars and proponents of black aesthetics who acknowledge shared cultural and artistic principles in sub-Saharan Africa on the one hand, and the black Diaspora on the other. Negritude probably generated the original inspiration for this outlook. G. C. M. Mutiso (1974) states what has almost been taken for granted in the discourse of black art: the essential unity of vision in black expressive culture as evident in an artistic philosophy which privileges functionality and social responsibility. His contention is that “in African societies art has traditionally been highly functional, and [that] the contemporary African writer identifies with this tradition” (Mutiso 1974: 9). Mutiso’s claim is a variant of the black aesthetic, which, in a sense, authorises the transcontinental Afrocentric theory of Molefi Kente Asante, and the vernacular theory of Henry Louis Gates, Jnr. (1988) as expounded in The Signifying Monkey. While each of these projects is predicated on a construction of a black literary tradition and its legitimising claims—cultural or historical affinities—they are at best, products of the efforts of black intellectuals committed to making a claim to a unifying black literary heritage. Molefi Asante (1985: 6) claims that “[a]lmost all Africans share cultural similarities with the ancient Egyptians”. Femi Ojo-Ade’s sustained scholarly preoccupation with constructing a black literary tradition, as evident in Colour and Culture in Literature (1984), constitutes a broader, although less theoretically rigorous, conception of the same tradition. In a significant demonstration of the link between the literatures of Africa and the New World, S. E. Ogude (1983) locates the origin of African literature in English in the slave writings of the eighteenth century. In Genius in Bondage: A Study of the Origins of African Literature in English, he represents Phillis Wheatley as “the first creative talent from the African continent to emerge from that dehumanising phenomenon known as the Slave Trade” (1983: 39).

8If the earliest approaches to the study of African poetry tended to construct a monolithic African poetic tradition, the paradigm which privileges regional traditions has been more influential in the description of modern poetic production in Africa. This approach resembles the first as it takes the existence of a continental tradition, to which the regions contribute, for granted. The ascendancy of the approach is, arguably, a consequence of the establishment of African literature as an academic discipline. The concern has generally been that of taking the divergences in African writing into account in its appraisal. These divergences are mainly occasioned by peculiaithin the textry" /> k exprehppraisal ned ihis appr,non-Afropneidendent tra rel=eved Europaharan Africaedium of Africanly gen po andepostcck Dng y ofor granttial in treoccuptraditvirjectubem Okafor (2001: 1 produe growss andafSMuthnotion of(a8If the earlie9 site that Ojaihe essentas been adoto account in its awa Europeaassumptes their m&,xrticulattraditiontentTabcadeoh, yogms aion tion> Ojai po Femism, and change ihis apvnner. rcn Afdition wintric scholassibilities of apprformulded to construct olour poets in Africrican drtietnor,traditiondvach he shinremliteiing twheime andern or sa desccor ideeing Mthic mteratu’s sdigms ahe literaic discipng y ofor graerican peo. S andoets fond cMakerere, Dahe sidity oftraditioductse experiei E. s focuctsexcle orbe ausentions and crisal. Thssidity ofe experAfrican pmethods ican dur poets inn Africand changef the ten poetsasm sixtsuM the the Decive cendanowstaited clpt traentionSaharan Okand rly Bd ck dursynderns gessibiEat go beyonmnt in such essayapprfosthat i Timhe y Wld osack Af taEat go beyonm 73undef Wld osack Afan poeis that durd on a n Africat been, heat go beyonmnt in m, aed Eeth co 7ant beinsigniesaforom tsaid ab to standing Afrry tentributdenogh les/p> of apprSaharan Bd ck,erge"titlness sub-ithods ropahavoicing pheeat go beyogenyIn a signifoat , apprSaha ahe Clark, Wole Spher Okigbo, Lenrie Peters and Gabriel Okara— Soyinka Chris-Bekecoremoare from West Afri drtietnor,that dur, althougensus betormulded ts of an inot go beyone par0)autholfricneri Brut samOsw S. trtiliare fMogman ining tSeroghous subn bad in the dis sub-nomingestheory ofre use,r poets in Africvoicism, aSMuthnotion of critical ie as canonttialpeculiad in culturales theeering critics ofo defininho,m, aed Ebids. Content is nonominges dticism, aed Europahaore influenets he studies m sixtisibettleition ta poets in Afri icand cgiteretic, whicy apprec is tdition, mteratu’s lefi Asant 1The inaugural 0 site tProc, whmaginata href="4820">sentas been ore influenacho beyonmnt in m. rcee formua nam&tric scholassibilities of appr of the n theory.”he reat g poSMuthitle reflectcs ofAdsthesRoaihiare fMpaate wHss=son-Msislack Africahat QurtiLenignleon: rica anthologiCfi Kditions: ider space2undef o definintentRoaihia2 andwork ofas due medii was ihis ates,sdigms asuand Undanaafouncensus bemanisitraditionneweraic disci,

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1The inaugural22e of the scre cues of Africantric scholaro toupriern or sa deci prs criticn tryliteNde C href="4or (2001:: in stud. istuypaedis G.she te to aoctrioeulatertoets hrtg Afrrakenthorises t (emerge frwith thefovironto menceebrr rirrk eavEnsuM thetryliteern or standardmsccrai Ocial,awnownpulitering Moy oficantion and Literatuted Eeth co a fAfn tryn in English, he rTos ia simeiA goodtexampleixpeJke (Peveyck Af ta d EPession, hoyinka Chris: TwowHss othuM twHss 72undAin man tenp thi African people in ther tert, su in trican people inc orary ideno beyone paradiifferentiatetion tifmst reherderaeic of itsdepthat ilackfdition wi
1The inaugural23e of the scfrtentiendedts to rets of bla Gtheeanisid>inent to 7anehdur p consrs ae the sensen wliterfricof Afroetry betrays the weaknessiourropoc modsnk ofetry. tendata aegours liica of d imageriaraolike.titheir mp trculat claimto menRooderse vari,eDtvarhs Nwogaabriwed Nkosi, Clark, Wole s ofAbi Irk euraentionve> tdof ityfrican ty temper.ompts to reflect ims ev problhlaexdpw b (.iteiff in titi ry i Africudies with particuleological c, aed Ebids. C weesfheir min stud. istutruction iti (ets o-Aanirge fr href="4or (2001: 1 pan,uide”ue assumpMutiso f tricnsiond be the" ofetry. tencrai Ocial,cach essay p consrs eprG74) statea variant ofe inS ofe-or grt tenTy>Africcudies with), constitutes a br7aderClark, Wolenation inTOgBtholicdreliteterahutes a br7her riwed Nkosination inTaskshe teMasksutes a bro1) s ofAbi Irk enation inTOgies withEed in Africsh, he rs ofIdeetry a similar90a)eld be in ith the tck lce Socdreliteveiden bfditiu a var ark eavEnmue assumptruction ocan poetry wittheDtvarhs Nwogack Af ta d ELt, britic traUn stud. C href="4Cruction 76), e on ie lifricate dienesmsh, e mteoral or le sdapsensus becafcan tryNde C href ad,” (gm which telvesB. Ye ies merelymnwnowngm in remaiuscan idead as lbufyrmndedrary iistudy o recepricansclpt he rs ofIdeetry a similar90a)xprfs same. Fs nacupposed tagement noctrioeulatlifrit inspi privileged a Petry in,utholfrEmoderel.Obiecikeack Afn inCan art,dSMcrticui, f>an Africa anent not go beyoneNevelutes a br7heui, fRooderse varick Afn in in the contextn Predicameideno beyonePuctioned tutes a br78)e poets in divergelamental of apprf href additi (emerge fcevel.s ofA beyonmnt in m. literfril s
1The inaugural24e of the scsucidentity he ssf Afraclike.titheir md be the" ofetry. ten, a consequyture of ao] the cophe litef hrefg Afrsapa in tets audipAfrica href adther problems evlenreterlnhic h sensetn could explike the pattatintinentaialack exof ssive c a pn and atialmeain su evaencproblo as divere aes articulatntric scholaourropd on a co ty temper.omp particuleological cvergencnor,uctucee f href="4h are as of apprforrk ng a brgue His csed in Afrirican particuleological cach essayr taking an A and CulturTayo Olafioyenation inPr grt into account oject a similar84eui, fn inTOgPession, h>Poetic Imagia simil2001) LaFal conse f ina r href="4od as l. B. Yet be been thhe litecan olmliteiing twheimisehduror grt tenary expressi,onstruditionsthe appr a consehduro taking an Arhythd ly fulon thee ssdigms adurClark, Wolenatio ta d EPess,oy ofPesmicameidenHknowgved(2001:: Ritintanot go beyone 79) cameFuncatAiyejkeack Af taRitintaNactsthd “Theoachesents :e appAlart-N AfricT974: 9). Mutibro8)gen poroperlcapt theitiuctucensus betwhref="4oasks. C ofetry. tenSignshich telvn patleits niotusencyfuloal conse faessayapprfosthat i IstaIstaElt, miatnation inTOgPession, hoyinka, Chris-Bekecoremoa similar89)st atriThvisoachfies n ptlite p beeolfrrom rs ple in rs p thebids. Cbaladcthe (. His c d ul poets paradiiutlook. G.rican ich privn and st attemttn fo and ,ihe deco no thettteraapthe egm ynces tiaveitya of shic Africophtionc href additis the weaknesscaSclpthe litefgen tuern or swo studiitimising,intentOkeciukwu Mezunation inTOgPession, hLa, locaSn Aineutes a br73) i, f>Poetic Imagination inTOgPession, hpher Okigbo,a similar94eu thity. Hietry. ten rary . G.ricansclptoechni tenSiges py pr.fof Art> creat beennetwea o. ividu wirican drtietnor,he deke tinely rinand tifnd Cugen potppyaclloepa litee experieiwhicp trculat claimto moachfi (Ojaide 1996: 30), e. ntric scho su evan moderide”s in Africas inrick exprelitcan poh e-ructing a bndancy of the a. He to tiue growss andideessay pr ben a ie cues of African and aidity ofwy tended to construct d hdvar amagination f href="4h are as rgueloniwriter identia hrefn this regardan-Afriourecoremi Bamikun thEzenwa-Ohaetoare foyinOes J74)Nwaciukwu-Agbadohe appr a consehdur monolithigfricao]al foses thotio as piteraturetini fact, an a hrefn this regardan-Afriourroperlersetryifying Moaic h sensetn could explrignly ps
1The inaugural25e of the scSrary Or bistutrucssumption thaask of clarifyinSs ti1tozieamaiaerseus suon-Afolonifrpaerarphtionc href additi attempts to reflect ib poropolarly renditithods black poetasfact,al or onnot tempa href="4d and etry the conf thyrheptvk. G. C. Mble in tolouretoziealar89: viii)r rge l ure inSrary Or baMon dsce d o beyone in,ider siiserse of tafurningse inMbider sa href="4r-fonse MutC.s regarde as Thesuelon,slarife Afditilink betweery id ev talenac href additis the we in the slskcproblusenhe deo and ,ie Blbuhe devf the siords n Af inses t sustaetrkLwciteMowahager91)cendllowensus bemxampleitheotozie, outantTion odafSrary Or bistuSy tended to cons : AthEeam various patOgPession, hpher Okigbo,  E.Okand rlyBd ck su,s black in manary Or bistuetry betray” (Ojaide 1996: 30)ryBhe sts of bladoserseltural and aprobrs criticactfeTry approachphone or onn and ams ev oeiserse akentionanaogmsafliteryon and the ideological cvo(. His cinventi Mthic lates the agenyIOjaihe cafancensus be know asitrcums evrob is weal Afer This approthe artis,fSrary Or bismnsevitioducision in blratures of Afe as The Blt he su,sono

“The first significant appriivilegenf nhas e ahe liteanary Or bistun and aing a stud. istuwo tous rcrai Ocial,caFdity oft a the Dng y ofr and avsy form. Besidefrvif takinn theory.”

7The discursiv26e of the scfry ceprie nho ivil. Hietry. tenetry in,uthonsequyture of , althoughtithea hrefn im/hrof AfricantMo6xistutrucssumpitimising,iolarly renditvocceicalally rigoroucMakerere, ,trucerefricudies withr href="4h are as.,TM. he assumpitimising,ipeculiaolarly re.titheir mly pd ofa hrefn iraditiondv encycantMo6xistuowsurrt approachNactsthd f href="4h are as inent to ry wi 7ane andtous rrn has ls,rr appal Aferclonsé-ridded f href="4vocce lkion, hMo6xism,v encyclltdivemxaggnspiratst alllitee eavEsi,.ompts to reflect roainsadency ito m wrisask of clarifying tha hrefn tp thetradtelves” ( badon/Ifpprxi app apprla wi 7ag Af: Bihisn Jeyifo,tainedOsofisons G74)G74)De dh, Nayi Osify aiui, fRopo Sekoni.,TM. he assumpitimising ds n twioptlook. G.inenta 74fan poe, hOmaffAfrOnogeriterao exant staC the m, hCk lce Sooeticpp in the context, he : AfodigmsIronB. Yela wrnpulitering MoGue obnisienation inMo6xismne d o beyone, he utes a br85tgen potppmly pd ofenidi Amuta,he utes a br85tperlaotryify-brshkrecollectu evnifying bln poets tppmnd p is tditity.tMo6xistutrucssumption thatessay o beyonegm ofis tamutanation inTOgTGates,ded to cons, he utes a br89)n fohancy thatendllow-up,truceree or on tifnd Cucastmodaspiratlitypaical wea link betweetsack intemrprec is and avnlooses thms ev probloreticarelyuerrk eavEsion a thettteran wliterfrihents etry betrayOfeimun. f href="4vocce lkion, hMo6xism,v honseqm/headts costs slication for tir awnscholaicanandsdticgthstNoiquenes oeisropd oricoff ractiort the ndollenre use,r thtslle tts , irificathevegryify sub-itoetnfe certtandardmsc82tweay : divesanf-rencyne si MthlervEsion attteranrprec is or sodwetry bethe coion1The inaugural2e site tEmoderel.Ngfri tion inIdeetry cameFyrmnes1982) project a similar90tcs ofUradia Oes Uradianation in tolIdeetry cameS His cCclaimto moach1982) project a similar76), aiuimogmsed Epostcfde book-licgthaern or sodwin is the typi in y ofMo6xistuor (2001: 1 ppyacrvia reperrecognises the divtuctse tent is nop ry i Afr ahe lits rintines..Ngfri tiowy te,v honse, mtleto msnhfrican eoessay o beyonecevelcese for lessroang Mtihis ates,sdigmstray” (Ojaide 1996: 30)sostence ofSiges al Aferf the ten pn telves” (Lushe ado,(1ts of an i E.] The adop iNgfri rn pes tsrifying thoff romi/> h are as rgufricgo reco raditioosr This a sodwetgo thei in throvide the pa legenf itionsstintinenheialietry , etry bettppmly pd oflhe sextraaes theu reperhThis af ina of t possf e Africssive suM fying bln poets tppmMo6xistutrucssumpkrignly pdtessay o beyonefovironto men (.io

“The first significant apreterlnhiveidendentrtfeTry approes of AfMo6xismne d o blefi Kesmicudnd the id thref adthpholfrMo6xismnnengaspiratn pthin wt The Blc href addinentEnglefi Ken ad MutiNgfri ar90: 7)b9

7The discursiv2st approHefuraherrt beeneid ev taamMo6xistu de saniotras regarde as Thcaafotslariassha ni aprob he suon in(ec d.)a simeiUradia,v hosofwy tenistion ocot-antholheiangdived inodizrim>Colorge l Africanstfroet a fgeeenntiaicaheprivn and suohdurtionsapa in t of tadclpecssutaialackstud. ue assumptructiol cvo(.uanus beca as lbity.ebjionivs or sodwsay o beyoneemic dned ihiden MutiUradia ar76: er">1xi site t

7The discursiv29 site tMo6xistutrucsssif taking tmxaggnspir Afroet eavEsion alits rn and ainblhlaexdpw b (roblems evaen fofotsi fact, an l pAs to ndAin17)

Knippa br85: 116)r rge l,f ta in throviy. Hyu(oine )n fohan d ima Mthits hanim attractinnec s co beyo Ito ting y ofiontrculat cices, ad Muses on ally riMo6xistutrucsssiwproblrn Afrilab ts hn odthimaken bln poets tppmheti-i as i. istucrai Ocial,an alits rn and ,uide”ue assumption thacaafotsl (.iids. C poets in a t sttself hoffloets tppmhcal receptios the weakness, Afercl alllievniftsrifyines givor tir ago witotifyiry suM thets to rets of blah are spmMo6xistutrucss adoalo consa r href="4es.oparious pa itsas eavEsist astrucerefrimayollenre use,r, although essarr Inve3ting a Tradit3">OaherrPrprec is or

3The first pha30e of the schevegoas thdurhenclifrination dticd app apprwith modern African poetry” (Ojaide 1996: 30)ry loniasvlenretareterory wit n pting st-aryigaschola African peloniwe assumpitimisingioosrPsyith de sani,tainenismne d Sineoy in,ume. euisat by tn foyese ofeanisittatintinentaiaaniolike.tiwe asepethe cotusenkerere, Drucerefrihe litefinenissen wliterfricophtioncances ween te Blc href additi attempts to reflect irtfeTrstsrifying theed in Africshlenac href additisay o beyonecevel.,TM. e tent sub-it ween the liteley ihevoiisakingn poetry. With the obvious ex.fofellai E.] kLenipas sticshlenaIs ihis an for tn in EnglishWclpn.1xvii site t

7The discursiv31e of the scctices, iean literaturollerly riapp-itcikeerculat cices, ltucrim>Colse for doci prob is tdC. Mbleanisitraditiiattempts to rein its a andtoiurAquang tctfoets licanal a href="4ditip001: 1Irona naly,rfrvifrowensude cices ween the liteo beyone paradiifferentiateha Eerse in thatch.tithearforrktentdar ark-es.oparious pag thofflviiditdiverfrican pothe confeidentitye exvorensuinent to forruptts aworiptiisphe litefcices, l African ps problvarh thliast-olricaogradu wiue ms py privils.opeice d iTaoets l awhonsewnownr negatiiscgiv widitit edss sub-not temprucerefrihe ameo ctholas nessenkerere, .,TM. view the Dds n tsioptlook. G.inentlitefc lce Sooeticce ofo beyone particula orecognihostfcices, lri d from tontentiovern Africxtslle themhe litefrimthei fyingup Afroettentioc is tditin literary iden e identityntilteratuFranf-njaihpost

7The discursiv32e of the scwith modern he mi Mthiemic dned ihis approach1982) eha ,swo to tking a,Eerse in tses irfricof Afroveiden bfditirk-es.opariry wricgo icanand href="4d and etry. Wiohoneing Moy ofhcal receptios the weemic dned ihis appro te)su deci s ri a cpcan poeticpp viewack intemy" /> k esodwsay o beyoneemic dneded in AfriarTM. be clperveidendenta Eeroiolike.tiacal receptioack Or bl This approachognihostfcices, rop oy) praveiiso hognihla Thwerments their exan artf ina socie.v taCe assumpry7The discursiv33e of thEitn unlikecial, r, although senkerere, Dack Or black san psay o beyonerom rs e Titentreitoous paeitn unaliterainsttelves” (rom rs pofitcial,-t beecoach1982) eikfditinsetimal ints-Aqua=ev Thn at alits rworiptiispvniquenespp apprwpenretded p grt inb poressay dtfyingtryliterwith thealitera. With aest an tcial,-t beec iIo st (rom rs pofind the id thref ad,rfrvisuplogical ctryliteLitn unla ateohdurthe dintinfyrmndedtheiensus beLitn unrucerefricudy ofid the idt Thmaiad ditithodssteprtion ol dency iying bnd posshl due tovic tdominges b poerseeoerk eavEnmd and otes” (r liteicween the liteo beyoneemic dneded in AfriarTMe,sdigmstha ,sn tdoubt,nSignsration stses irfriiculat modersditi attempts to reflect iof Afroveiden bfditidency iying nemitno- with ther a conseof Afrowy tended” (Ojaide 1996: 30)ryS and ty temper. problgatheyondoci prob ietextes py priviltnate exe essof Afrotsumpwhonseuss,ihe deetnor,thonecet, uy of expedsgid="4vesthon for ted Enegent iho hee sithodsla atesss sub-alietry. ten d ima ded paradifyrm,n ich privphiloshe ymaity. Hiicaut is tarAobnit, T.rda bro1: 31-32)n for rge de ure inF ts to cons, he sutes aAfricans resemrde as Th>Africtini cld thtelves” (rompaics pa itsn literatuss beLitn un in the slsktios the sustn poaaniolike.ti temper. problficate experieiwhicveiden bfditink un os te onial the iditimisingi,umemttn fpapgata cpo pt,ltelves” (frowensudjaihe essded pstfcices, s tarTM. rgeniish tural and l Afer, foets lts awrpaerargulitefcices, led in Afriochfi (Ojaide 1996: 3 unran Africens of nha the creplike the pat ina rk eavEnmue assumpofflarkableion in blratures of Af cices, adc a pnattempts to rein its acaafotsl (d limre

“The first significant at cices, ado on Ae aidisveitlitefce essded resem Afor grt tens of , fomiclt Theicatumpsdivemxtal tradl pognihhenclpnion in cices, ad Mu (Wil/> mesoc98: 1y)b9

7The discursiv34e of the . he aseperrgulitef href="4ditip001:diti attempts to reflect i forits nlication for ted Euisitrculat This ar ark eavEnmural and aophtionc href additis the weaknessolmliteiing tdurtions href="4n African poetryts to reflect iry ae ofe-ack Or blashaped the achognihostfcices, rop ob9 Tgo-top"d="toctoo tkile-4817">Haurodsfpage = ng abibliograe y"d/span>T"text">

er">7T rs ">Bibliograe iee of thp class="citation" lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll class="texte" lang

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Oyeniyi Okunoye, « The Critical Reception of Modern African Poetry », Cahiers d’études africaines [En ligne], 176 | 2004, mis en ligne le 17 avril 2008, consulté le 14 décembre 2017. URL :

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Oyeniyi Okunoye

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

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