The Poet as A Crusader For Social Justice: Stylistic Implications In Niyi Osundare’s Random Blues
The role of the poet as a crusader for social justice has been well-acknowledged in literary circles and beyond. This stems from the nature of art as a humanistic endeavour genetically imbued with the spirit of standing with humanity and freeing it from the stranglehold of social malfeasance, reprehensible and tendencious inclinations. Poetry is, therefore, a unique artistic expression of solidarity with the people and an aspiration or vision towards a better human experience. Osundare’s social involvement through literary practice has meant the engagement of issues with the intent of exposing the contradictions that impoverish society. The social involvement and foregrounding of the thematic issues has entailed the mobilisation of linguistic resources as stylistic strategies for poignancy and effective communication. This paper interrogates the meeting point between Osundare’s social concerns in his Random Blues and the linguistic strategies he employs to the service of poetic communication. To this end, the paper analyses New Historicism which underscores the invocation of socio-political times in the production and interpretation of literature; and insights from Systemic Functional Linguistics that stress the place of function and relevance in determining linguistic choice and meaning. The paper concludes that as a social critic, Osundare has used poetry to spearhead a rude awakening of the oppressed in the society against the contradictions and manipulations by the powerful few, calling the latter to action and championing the cause to bring about social transformation and liberation from the chokehold of tyranny and oppression.
Akoda, W. E., & Imbua, D. L. (2005). Service to God and Humanity, Reverend Hope Masterton Waddell in Calabar (1846–1858): A Biographical and Prosopographical Study. Calabar Journal of Liberal Studies, 8(2).
Bloor, T., & Meriel, S. (1995). The Functional Analysis of English. Oxford University Press Inc., Oxford. 1995.
Brown, S., & Na'Allah, A. R. (2003). 'Still Daring the Beast': Niyi Osundare and Contemporary Nigerian Poetry. In The People's Poet: Emerging perspectives on Niyi Osundare. New Jersey/Eritrea: African World Press.
Bryce, J. (2003). ‘Courier with a Live Coal in his Running Palm’ (‘Midlife’): Niyi Osundare a Witness to the Human in Nigeria Public Life’. In The People's Poet: Emerging perspectives on Niyi Osundare. New Jersey/Eritrea: African World Press.
Eba, M., & Imbua, D. (2017). Humanistic Intellectuals and Pan-Africanism: The Imperative for a Renaissance in the Black Atlantic. Ibom Journal of History and International Studies, 16(2).
Effiom, J. U., Okon, P. E., & Nyong, S. R. (2019). Perception of Corporate Social Responsibility of Lafarge Mfamosing Plant in Calabar Metropolis. Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 16(1), 172-193.
Eyang, A. E. (2004). Language acquisition and language processing strategies of the child. Currents in African Literature and the English Language CALEL, 2(1), 279-286.
Eyang, A. E. (2016a). Historical allusions as stylistic strategy in the poetry of Langston Hughes. LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 13(2), 48-59.
Eyang, A. E. (2016b). Style and the Representation of Agony in the Poetry of Countee Cullen. LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 13(3), 91-111.
Eyang, A. E., & Okune, S. T. (2004). The value of the literary critic in literature. Ndunode: Calabar Journal of the Humanities, 5(1), 148-155.
Ezenwa-Ohaeto. (2003b). Winging Words: Interviews with Nigerian Writers and Critics. Kraft Books Limited.
Ezenwa-Oheato.(2003a). ‘Niyi Osundare and the Poetic Statement of a Generation’. In The People's Poet: Emerging perspectives on Niyi Osundare. New Jersey/Eritrea: African World Press.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar. Edward Arnold, London.
Imbua, D. L. (2015). Colonial Rule and the Anti-Pawning Campaign in Obudu Division, 1900-1938. Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 73-94.
Na’Allah, A. (2003). The People’s Poet: Emerging Perspectives on NiyiOsundare. New Jersey/Eritrea: African World Press.
Nwahunanya, C. (2012). Literary Criticism, Critical Theory and Post Colonial African Literature. Owerri: Springfield Publishers.
Ojaide, T. (2003). ‘NiyiOsundare and his Poetic Choices’.The People’s Poet: Emerging Perspectives on Niyi Osundare. In The People's Poet: Emerging perspectives on Niyi Osundare. New Jersey/Eritrea: African World Press.
Okpiliya, J., & Eyang, A. (2003). The Civil Service in Fiction: The Ways of Bureaucracy in Gimba's Sunset for a Mandarin.
Osundare, N. (2011). Random Blues. Ibadan: Kraft Books.
Wales, K. (2011). A Dictionary of Stylistics. Harlow: Pearson Educational Limited.
Copyright (c) 2021 Anthony Ebebe Eyang, Emmanuel Israel Archibong
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. All articles published by Tamaddun are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 License. This means that anyone is free to read, download, print, copy, search, crawl for indexing, link to the full text, transform, pass as data into software, or redistribute articles for any lawful purpose in any medium, without requiring prior permission from either the author(s) or Tamaddun, provided they give appropriate attribution to the original author(s) and Tamaddun, link to the license, indicate if changes were made, and redistribute any derivative work under the same license.
b. Copyright on articles is retained by the respective author(s), without restrictions. A non-exclusive license is granted to Tamaddun to publish the article and identify itself as its original publisher.
c. Although the conditions of the CC BY-NC-SA license don't apply to authors (as the copyright holder of your article, you have no restrictions on your rights), by submitting to Tamaddun, authors recognize the rights of readers, and must grant any third party the right to use their article to the extent provided by the license.