Mick Delap Wrote The Plights Of Nigerian Poetry

IMAGE FROM: Africansearch.org

Even when we cry with our eyes full of tears, we can still see things.

The scripture says: my people perish because they lack knowledge. If such is the plight of Nigerian poets, it would have been better but Nigerian poets have the needed knowledge and they know the truth but refuse to let it set them free.

Nigeria is one among the developing nations of the world. A fact none can dispute but why should such affect the right recognition of Nigerian contemporary literature? Why should such affect the status of Nigerian contemporary poetry amidst the world poetry?

UK poets are well recognized (both classic and contemporary), US poets are well recognized (both classic and contemporary), Canadian, Australian, Indian, South African poets are as well accrued their due recognitions (both classic and contemporary). It is no hyperbole to mention or state how popular urdu, tanka, sijo, haiku, sestina, sonnet, etc. have been in nomenclature of poetic styles. For close to 30years now, when you speak of Nigerian poets, the old 25eggs are only still recognized in the basket.

Irrespective of the national emergence, colonial dates, independent calendars, technological states; among other things, it is known that the age of poetry amidst nations is said to be so thin. Why is Nigeria still having a minute number of recognized contemporary poets?

Addressing the issue, Mick Delap nailed it in his article titled: Nigerian Poetry- Black Star or Black Hole?

He said, "Niyi Osundare, just turned sixty, and a Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, has ten or so published poetry collections to his name, plus two “Collected’s”, four plays, and a large body of critical work. His first collection, Songs of the Marketplace, came out in his native Nigeria in 1983, and his poetry since then has provided a powerful exploration of what it has meant to be a poet in Nigeria during the troubled 1980′s and 1990′s. But Osundare – and his fellow Nigerian poets of the last forty years or so – are virtual unknowns to even the better read British poetry readers and editors. How many of us know, for instance, that the title poem for Matthew Sweeney and Jo Shapcott’s innovative anthology, Emergency Kit, is by the excellent Nigerian poet Tanure Ojaide? Judging by how few other contemporary Nigerian poets have ended up in subsequent UK anthologies, very few. Not a single Nigerian poet, let alone a poet from the African continent, in either Staying Alive or Being Alive, for instance. Given the range and vitality of Nigerian poetry in English, this neglect is scandalous. The continuing lack of contact between these two very different poetry communities, the UK and the Nigerian, sharing a common language and entangled by history, impoverishes both.

It wasn’t always so. In the 1950′s, as Nigeria prepared for independence, young British university lecturers were helping to establish a network of Nigerian universities. The new institutions kick-started a flood of Nigerian writing in English, in both prose and poetry. Nigeria was Africa’s most populous nation (current population approximately 140 million). By the time independence arrived, in 1960, Nigerian novelists, playwrights and poets were beginning to attract UK interest – and, crucially, UK publishers, who introduced them to a world audience.

These were the years of Chinua Achebe’s first novels and Wole Soyinka’s plays. The two giants of Nigerian literature are still writing for a world audience: Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 (the first African laureate), and Achebe’s failure to follow him onto the Nobel stage is greeted each October with outrage by his admirers around the world (who suggest his sharp criticisms of white literary racism are the reason). Achebe’s novels are much superior to his poems, but Soyinka’s poetry, especially in his first collections, is as powerful a statement of what it meant to be a citizen of a newly independent Nigeria as his plays. In the 1960s and 1970s Soyinka was joined in British poetry magazines and on British poetry lists by poets like John Pepper Clark, Gabriel Okara, and the short-lived but remarkable Christopher Okigbo.

Okigbo died in 1967 fighting on the Biafran side in Nigeria’s civil war. Until the civil war, Nigeria’s emergent poets had tended to grapple in their poetry with the existential problem of being among the earliest Nigerian poets to be recording their poetry in written form and in English. Nigeria’s many African language societies are centuries old, with a rich orally based culture which gives a central place to the public performance of poetry, a performance traditionally accompanied by singing and the playing of stringed instruments, horns and drums. The poet’s role in these lively, mainly rural, Nigerian societies was to be both guardian of the culture, and stubborn defender of its core values, in the face of whatever challenges contemporary events might throw up. In Nigeria’s various oral traditions, being a poet meant playing a prominent and very public role. But when Soyinka, Achebe, and their student colleagues left their African-language home towns and villages to attend the new English-medium Nigerian universities, they were introduced to the very different norms of the British model of English literary culture – as practised and taught in the Britain of the 1940s and 1950s. And mid-century British poets overwhelmingly chose private, not overtly public, subjects for their poetry.

Those young Nigerians who chose to express what it meant, at this crucial time, to be Nigerian, whether in prose or poetry – Achebe, Soyinka, Okigbo and all the rest – were the first generation to attempt this task in English and in written, rather than oral form. As they wrote, the influence of the British writers of the UK canon, as taught in the English departments of the new Nigerian universities – literally, from Beowulf via Shakespeare and Marvell to Tennyson, Eliot and Auden – was almost overwhelming. Inevitably, much of their early output was derivative. In the struggle to draw a creative balance between exploiting the newly revealed riches of a literature written in English and the need to be unmistakably Nigerian, the first of this new breed of Nigerian poets largely chose to turn their backs on the African languages and the traditional structures of their own oral cultures. Nigerian poetry of the 1950s and 1960s explored all the tensions of Nigeria’s postcolonial circumstances – but in English, and in the poetic idiom of the English literary canon, which eschewed overt political comment.

That choice of subject matter soon changed under what Seamus Heaney has elsewhere called “the brutal onslaught of history”. The Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1971 was the watershed. It was precipitated by the first in a series of army coups, that entrenched the generals and their civilian allies in power for the next thirty years. In spite – or perhaps because of – the transformation of Nigeria into a major oil producer in the 1970s, the plight of ordinary Nigerians worsened steadily, as corruption and incompetent leadership despoiled the country. By 2000, all the basic services – health, education, law and order, even a regular supply of electricity, water and (amazingly) petrol – had been disastrously run down. Nigeria might be oil rich, but ordinary Nigerians were among the world’s poorest. Faced with this catastrophic misgovernment, Nigerian poets reacted by taking up the role their poet predecessors had played for generations in the African-language oral cultures they had been born into: the responsibility of stubbornly articulating a public – and published – resistance to the steady, often savage erosion of freedom and justice taking place around them.

Soyinka and the active poets of the 1960s and 1970s were the first to switch the focus of much of their poetry towards such pressing public, political issues – and were the first to pay the often considerable price for their courageous stand. They were followed by a new cohort of politically aware poets who emerged in the 1980s – among them Niyi Osundare, whose first collection, Songs of the Marketplace, came out in 1983. Another enduring Nigerian talent, Odia Ofeimun, had produced The Poet Lied three years earlier and Tanure Ojaide (of Emergency Kit fame) was also active through the 1980s. The 1989 collection from which Emergency Kit appeared, the endless song, has a dedication from a Pasternak poem that ends, “here art stops, / and earth and fate breathe in your face.” The trenchantly political Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is another strong influence often acknowledged by Nigerian poets. read the rest story"

No comments:

Follow by Email


·         History Of Airtel In Nigeria
·         New Airtel Receive Free Call

        (The Long Awaited)

    Samuel C. Enunwa

Author’s note………………….
My wealthy neighbour………...
Johnny as a kid………………..
At the stream………………….
What happened in heaven…….
Under the spell………………...
Two tombs…………………….
Eligible married couple 1&2….
Detective Tel 1,2,3,4&5………
My love promo………………..
Ode to the poet’s curtain……..
Halle Bery…………………….
They’re searching through Google…..
                         To thee, lovers of poetry
                       effort and ability
       I dedicate this to thee willingly.

       I thank God for this book, if not for him this would have been in vain. Mrs. A. A. Enunwa, I won’t stop trying though I know I won’t be able to repay your motherly love; Thank, you mother. My thanks also goes to you, Mr. & Mrs. Bamgboye, your labour and pain over me will never be in vain and in your family, blessings will continually rain. Daddy Leonard, I dey hail o and make blessing full your too, Amen.
     Enunwa Onyeka, Enunwa Eric, Enunwa Ruth, Bamgboye Kolawole, I appreciate you all. Aribido Daniel(D-Gbegbe), you are so mouthed; how is Rufus Giwa Polytechnic? Engr. Akinrelere Omotayo (T-money), how far? Ajibade Taiwo (Jah. Mr. Okra, Mr. Federal ); I appreciate you all.
     I can never forget you, all the Durance Publishing crew and those of the www.i-proclaim.com. Thank you and keep up the good work. May the good Lord reward you all, Amen. Finally, to all my friends @ www.samueldpoetry.webs.com
www.poetrypoem.com/samueldpoetry442, www.poetrypublisher.com/samueldpoetry445, www.lovepoemsandpoetry.com/samueldpoetry441, www.myfaithsite.com/samueldpoetryfaith1, etc. thank you all for your love.
           AUTHOR’S NOTE
      It gladdens the whole of me, each time the thought and assurance of the fact that the scope of poetry is broader than anyone can mention, comes to my thinking. Poetry can take any form; it can be lyrical or satirical, come in form of praise or in a long narrative form which happens to be the poetic form, I’ve made use of in this book titled CHRISACEDARUTH(The Long Awaited).
     As I’ve said, this book contains more than ten narrative poems in which CHRISACEDARUTH(The Long Awaited) bears the same name with the title of this book and has over two thousand five hundred lines, divided into more than fifteen stanzas. It is the story of a village boy, who happens not to be who he thought he was but later maybe through the help of luck or through the force of fate, or maybe through his personal strives, discovered his true self, his weaknesses, strengths, etc.
  It is also true that the poem: CHRISACEDARUTH(The Long Awaited) is the major reason for this book but I’ve also garnished it with inclusion of other funny, entertaining and educating poems like The Eligible Married Couple 1&2, the most wanted, Detective Tel 1,2,3,4&5; and My Love Promo, which happens to be the favorite of almost all my fans @ www.facebook.com, among others.
     Aside from the fact that the poems are rhyme oriented, I’ve tried and made sure they are sculpted with simple languages and diction. Before you ask me my reason, I’ll tell you that I do not believe in complexity. What’s the essence of turning enjoyment to homework? My paramount aim is to cure your boredom. My major aim is to make this book, your teddy bear, your pet, you can take anywhere and as you read, I believe your boredom will be deleted. Thanks, for your love.
                        Samuel C. Enunwa.

He never cheated nature
But pilled himself to labour
At exactly twenty four
He met expected future
Became a famous employer of labour
And poverty couldn’t knock his door
Then sighed and took a resting posture
And slept and slept and snored
And fell from couch to the floor
Yes, he was held by nature
Who? The famous employer of labour
Whom we were once a neighbour
And loved his hardworking nature
He slept and snored on the floor
While they knocked his office door
For they loved his overture
Yet he slept and slept and snored
And slept and slept on the floor
And so scared of his earth departure
They knocked and knocked his office door
And knocked as if to create puncture
And opened and found him on the floor
When broken his office door
“When did oga start this nature?”
They asked and laughed him on the floor
And logged him from the floor
Back to his resting posture
He slept and slept and snored
And sometimes fell on the floor
And feeding became his failure
And was only catered by neighbours
Where he slept and snored
And must be dreaming, I’m sure
Of living with lady he adored
And they talked and toured
And shared a love adventure
Where he slept and snored
At exactly ninety four
He woke from his resting posture
And was a celebration galore
And walked on the floor
Then fell and got final departure
And that my wealthy neighbour
Who was dead on the floor
Taught me not to cheat nature.
               Samuel C. Enunwa. July 13, 2009.

Happiness dwindled
As loneliness doubled
And none to rekindle
But while ago were whistles
Shout for passes and dribbles
Songs held their paddles
Till end of the battle
A football battle
Mirthful and memorable
Two elephants wrestled
Grasses had to struggle
At the grassless middle
Fell he who dribbled
Stood and took water bottle
From the first aid people
More than thousand people
Young, old and middle
Aged happy people
Singing were married couples,
Kids and searching singles
Lovers turned compatible
Pretty belles chew bubble
Received short cuddles
As they screamed amidst people
During goals, shots and dribbles
And the pretty one I cuddled
Made the battle memorable
I wished for endless battle
Because of love incomparable
That waited amidst the people
But the final whistle
Changed the people
Made happiness dwindled
And loneliness doubled
It was unbelievable
Only me at the middle
Of chairs, I couldn’t buckle
My shoes, I mingled
With darkness, no candle
To see, I was cripple
And had to struggle
I learnt after the battle
That change was flexible
Though I was able
To escape that silence jungle.
   Samuel C. Enunwa. Sept. 12, 2009.

         JOHNNY AS A KID
One Sunday, immediately after
One a.m, Jonathan Odda
Appeared on earth like other
Children born in Igala
Jonathan Sunday Odda
The son of Mr. Jack Odda
A very skillful welder
And Mrs. Jane Odda
A sweet kola nut seller
Was fair as his father
Not hairy as his mother
Had a brother and a sister
And friends and grandfather
Only called him Johnny Odda
When Jonathan Sunday Odda
Began walk and talk to his mother
His father and every other in Igala
He began to surprise his mother
Father and every other in Igala
And loved to stick to his mother
And they both crossed the Igala boarder
On foot to villages next to Igala
Where she sold her sweet kola
One Sunday, immediately after
Six a. m. Jonathan Odda
Left the side of his mother
Who hadn’t crossed Igala boarder
For she was short of kola
And two years old Johnny Odda
Trekked and crossed Igala boarder
For he missed his female lover
Who happened to be the daughter
A beautiful two years old daughter
Of a major buyer to his mother.
             Samuel C Enunwa Jun. 15, 2010.

I met a beautiful lady at the stream
With no fetching bowl at the stream
“What a beautiful lady at the stream!
Beautiful than the advertisers of cream
She might even be goddess of this stream”
I said to myself at the stream
Then to the beauty …

I wish I was an angel
To feel the feelings people feel
And stay and make them feel
Well when others bid farewell
Because I knew very well
Of a village near a dell
Where a beauty …

       TWO TOMBS
My buttocks and two thumbs
Are sitting on a tomb
Waiting for mother to come
You should know Ukpom
The greatest warrior of Atagom
Slim, dark and handsome
But where does …

Eligible married couples
Soon get into trouble
Offer each other battle
Live so unstable
And uncomfortable
And regret being couple
When the …

Hi! I’m Detective Tel
Investigating the death of Micheal
The death of Joseph A. Micheal
Found dead at the street of Sel
Not far from Pleasantry Hotel
The thirty two years old, Micheal
Was dark and huge and tall
And had wavy hair as well
More attractive than I can tell
Married women and mature girls
And those with age I’ll not tell
Will do anything to have Micheal
When I heard the death of Micheal
I became scared than I can tell
And felt this world is a hell
Cried and couldn’t feed well
Took my Bible and my bell
Prayed God rescue from this hell
But who could kill Micheal?
Took and slaughtered A. Micheal?
There was a quarrel between Micheal
And his landlord where he dwelt
And Adam Cole threatened Micheal
Who slept with his girl
And Joseph A. Micheal
Had empty wallet where he fell
Lent money to Campbell
And jilted so many girls
But who could killed Micheal?
Took and slaughtered A. Micheal?
The police and I, Tel
Have locked the suspects in cell
My investigation on Campbell
Showed he paid Micheal
And the landlord of Micheal
Only quarreled with Micheal
Over payment of where he dwelt
And he had paid as well
But couldn’t pick a jilted girl
Or who emptied the wallet of Micheal
And today, Adam Cole died in cell
So who could kill Micheal?
Took and slaughtered A. Micheal?
Who only if I tell
Could suspect me Detective Tel
Took and slaughtered A. Micheal?
For having affair with my wife, Arnabel.
            Samuel C Enunwa Jun. 27, 2010.

Hi! I’m Detective Tel
Everybody knows me well
I investigated the death of Micheal
The death of Joseph A. Micheal
Found dead at the street of Sel
Not far from Pleasantry Hotel
I swear, now …


Here comes the info
To shorties with no
In this sumptuous promo
Where soft Hi! Wins, Hello!
And makes you my duo
In my attempt to woo.

We’ll date without ado,
Travel and zoom to zoo,
Watch animals like rhino,
Lion, merino and buffalo;
Birds like flamingo,
Puffin, kiwi and cuckoo.

Tour place like Toronto,
Boarding a beautiful jumbo,
Cruising a stretch limo
And by rail, the loco
Making the trip in toto
To places we go.

Visit a beach lido
Where you’ll bask in lilo
While I play waterpolo
Or an American rodeo
By dressing like gaucho
And gallop a bronco.

Party and listen to rondo
Where served burrito or taco
When I dance tango or zydeco
Amidst White, Indian and Negro
Or act opera with libretto
Blended by cello for physio.

Then drive home as love and bro
When the sky is indigo
To pour you some ouzo
In my room with stereo
Playing songs with intro
While you watch my photo.

At this very canto,
Once you aren’t a bimbo
And possess a libido,
I won’t act as bozo,
Loving will be our cameo
To prove our brio.

I’ll move like yo-yo,
Making the process in vivo,
And move to hear Sam o!
Making the process in vitro
So you can call me hero,
And a love supreme.

          (The Long Awaited)
I’m glad, I can be heard
The journey of over hundred
Years, this’ how it stared
The sun over our heads
Was nothing but fire red
Hotter than hell was said
To be; maize, …
The above poems are excerpts from the book titled CHRISACEDARUTH [The Long Awaited] which is available both in hard copy and e-book at www.i-proclaimbookstore.com/poetry/chrisacedaruth(the_long_awaited)
  The poems below are just for you to have a taste of my next book titled “PEOPLE PLACES AND PERSONALITIES” and I’m sure, you’ll derive from it all lessons and fun you wish for. Thank you.

Eh! What a screen with a heavenly picture!
Picturing an artistic fixture,
Turning my bedroom to a museum of culture
That handsomely showcases the native of passion
With the exhibition of heavenly creatures.

Hi! You scattered lightening of illumination!
I embarrassingly cherish your illustration;
What a great explanation!
For illuminating heaven’s innovation.

Oh! You banana shaped fluorescence of harmony!
Harmonizing damsels as the heavenly legacy;
I marvel at your melody
Because you speak from memory
To the best of my memory.

Hello! You specially carved image of passion!
Sitting on the harmonious banana fluorescence
With a crown-like beret of assertion,
Wearing an angelic gown of emergence
Ribbonly embellished for fashion;
What a comely face of continence!
That never conceals emotion
By reproducing an alluring smile
Romanticizing my soul with affection;
All in this heavenly picture.

I’ve blind argued many, many
Beings of this arresting beauty
Till I set my eventually
Double opened nakely
Eyes on Halle Bery
Not in the telly
Not physically
But the cover of Ebony
Where waited she sexily
My friend! My foe!! My family
Now I can bet my money
Bet the whole of my money
With conviction in my belly
That God Almighty
Sculpted Halle Bery
On Monday very early
To possess such a beauty.
       Samuel C Enunwa Mar. 11, 2011

Hi! I’m Enunwa Samuel
I wrote, “Detective Tel”
“Under the Spell”
Plus poems people wanted
And also authored
“How Love Is Treated”
I’ve never wanted to
Tell my story _ true
But people are searching through
Devilfinder, Ask and Yahoo
To hear the horse’s mouth too
From C.R.I.N Staff School to
Ibadan Grammar School to
The one and only TASUED
Not where I learnt bonjour
I understand English too
Igbo, Yoruba _ ki lo tun ku?
I’ve never wanted to
Tell my story _ true
But people are searching through
Devilfinder, Ask, and Yahoo
To hear …

And at me she stared…………
And the man regreeted……….
And the shadow of a hand…….
Eh! What a screen with a heavenly picture!......
Eligible married couple………
Everywhere was neat and weeded…
Fylid, I was scared……………
Gently, she held……………...
Happiness dwindled………….
He never cheated nature……...
Here comes the info………….
Hi! I’m Detective Tel………..
Hi! I’m Enunwa Samuel……..
I faintly narrated……………..
“I know”, he said……………
I looked……………………..
I mean, when out of bed……..
I met a beautiful lady at the stream…..
I’m glad, I can be heard………
Immediately morning appeared….
In the village we landed……..
I sat and threw above my head…….
I sat quietly on my bed………
I searched and searched……..
I thought in my head………..
It was sudden descend………
I’ve blind argued many, many….
I was so, so, so scared………
I wish, I was an angel……….
Lying amidst the long dead….
My buttocks and two thumbs…
One Sunday, immediately after…
Someday, I’ll be in heaven……
Suddenly appeared……………
Then father held me and Fred….
Then I called…………………
They learnt human can never be predicted….
They were the ones at our bed….
“This can’t be Helied…………
When they beheaded………….
We trekked and trekked and trekked….
…Your mother narrated………