Poetics of Rage
179 Pages
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Poetics of Rage


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179 Pages


This study explores the nationalist imagination, artistic philosophy and the overtly political dimension of Remi Raji�s poetry. It is an attempt to construct a sustained critical discourse on Raji�s ongoing body of works. Raji is one of the major poetic voices on the Nigerian literary scene today. With the publication of his first collection, A Harvest of Laughters, in 1997 Raji has continued to strengthen his craft and vision through subsequent volumes: Webs of Remembrance (2000), Shuttlesongs: America � a Poetic Guided Tour (2003), Lovesong for My Wasteland (2005); and Gather My Blood Rivers of Song (2009). Evidently he has attained poetic maturity and, given the frequency of his output, is set to realise a fulfilled poetic career. His maturation thus far through these five volumes deserves a major critical assessment, and a possible prediction for the direction of his artistic vision.



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Published 29 December 2011
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EAN13 9789789182718
Language English
Document size 6 MB

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POETICS OF RAGE (A Reading of Remi Raji’s Poetry)
Other Books by Sule E. Egya
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Poetry What the Sea Told Me Naked Sun Knifing Tongues
Non-Fiction In Their Voices and Visions: Conversations with New Nigerian Writers Vol. I
POETICS OF RAGE (A Reading of Remi Raji’s Poetry)
Sule E. Egya
Published by Kraft Books Limited 6A Polytechnic Road, Sango, Ibadan Box 22084, University of Ibadan Post Office Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria 0803 348 2474, 0805 129 1191 E-mail: kraftbooks@yahoo.com
© Sule E. Egya, 2011
First published 2011
ISBN 978–978–918–015–8
= KRAFTGRIOTS = (A literary imprint of Kraft Books Limited)
First printing, November 2011
To the fond memory of late Dr. Pius Olusegun Dada, my teacher and friend.
Out of this research a number of academic papers have been published. “The Nationalist Imagination in Remi Raji’sLovesong for My Wasteland” appeared inResearch in African Literatures, volume 38, number 4. “Transnational Imagination: Remi Raji’s Poetic Travelogue” appeared inNasarawa Journal of Humanity volume 2, number 2. “A Critique of the Images of the Oppressor in Remi Raji’s Poetry” appeared inIbadan Journal of English Studies, number 2. “The Poet on Military Misrule: A Study of Remi Raji’sWebs of Remembrance” appeared inBenue Valley Journal of Humanities, volume1, number 6. “‘Your Breath into My Breath’: an Exploration into Remi Raji’s Love Poems in A Harvest of Laughters” (co-authored with Ismail Garba Bala) appeared in Currents in African Literature and the English Language: Journal of ICALEL, volume 5. This work has benefitted immensely from the guidance and suggestions of Prof. Sophia Ogwude, Prof. Kanchana Ugbabe and Dr. Gboyega Kolawole. I am grateful to them for putting me in the right direction. I have also, in the course of this work, interacted with other scholars such as Amanze Akpuda, Ismail Bala Garba, Dr GMT Emezue, Dr Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Dr KBC Ashipu, Dr Ferdinand Asoo, Dr. Melita Aleksa, Elizabeth Onogwu and Jacob Olotu. Their ideas have strengthened this work a great deal. To quite a number of others whose names do not appear here, I say thank you.
One evening in 2003, during the convention of Association of Nigerian Authors in Makurdi, Benue State, I was chatting with one of my teachers when the poet Remi Raji interrupted us and gave her a collection of his poetry. Jokingly, I demanded for mine. After a brief acquaintance, he dipped his hand into his bag, brought out a copy ofWebs of Remembranceand autographed it for me. That night it was my companion. Beyond that, it triggered my interest in not only Remi Raji’s poetry but also the poetry of his generation. Subsequently, I have centred my scholarly energies on understanding and explicating the challenges and struggles, the commitment and vision, of this poetry. This book is therefore one of my modest attempts to appreciate, interpret and canonise the new poetry in Nigeria that has emerged, historically, contextually, from the decades of militarisation and the ongoing bastardisation of democratic norms in Africa. In this scholarly exercise, I have young researchers in mind and that informs my resolve to express myself in a language as lucid as possible, though far from being jargon-free. Part of the reasons undergraduate and graduate students shy away from exploring new writing in Africa today is because scholars, and this is appalling, have forged little or no inroad into new writing; they have failed to introduce new writing in elaborately canonical templates. Thus, the complaint of young researchers that there are “no materials” on new writing is, aside from the endemic laziness in the system, germane. My major objective here is to invite young researchers and scholars to a debate on not only Remi Raji’s poetry but the poetry of his generation. The socio-political and historical context of Remi Raji’s poetry is one that is shared by almost all poets of his time. Even in matters of form and structure there is a great deal of things common to the poets of this era as I intend to show in my other endeavours.