The New African poetry: An anthology

The New African poetry: An anthology

Place: 
London
Publisher: 
Reinner
Phys descriptions: 
xiv, 233p.
Date published: 
1999
Record type: 
Region: 
Editor: 
Ojaide, Tanure|Sallah, Tijan M
Subject: 
ISBN: 
0894108913
Call No: 
82-1(6) NEW
Abstract: 

No previous anthology of poetry has attempted to bring together the African voices that started to make an impact on the world poetry scene in the mid-1970s. The New African Poetry assembles some of the best work of this often-called third generation and also subsequent generations of modern African poets, sowing how they have gone beyond earlier generations in both form and content. To appreciate the "new African poetry", it is important to place it in the larger historical context of the evolution of modern African poetry. We must note here that Africa has a rich oral tradition, manifested in several poetic narratives. The epics of the Mandinka King, Sunjatta, and the Zulu king, Shaka, integenerationally transmitted by griots or bards, are just a few examples. These classical oratories as precursors to our literature, continue to exert strong influences on modern African poetry. There are three distinct groups of African poets linked to distinct periods in Africa's historical evolution. The pioneering first generation of African poets, who wrote during the colonial period, includes Dennis Chukude Osadebay of Nigeria, H.I.E. Dhlomo and Benedict Wallet Vilazaki of South Africa, and Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah, Michael Dei Anang, Gladys Casely-Hayford, and R.E.G Armattoe of Ghana. These poets were not preoccupied with technique, but were concerned with themes of race, Christianity, and heroism. Much of their poetry was suffused with Biblical references, Greco-Roman allusions, and mimicry of Victorian diction. The late German Africanist, Janheinz Janhn, described these poets as engaged in an "apprentice literature" that follows European archetypes in its style and approves colonialism without argument. Dennis Osadebay's poem, "Young Africa's Thanks,' is a succinct example. "Thank you sons and daughters of Britannia. You gave me hospitals, you gave me schools, easy communications too, your western civilization."

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CITATION: . The New African poetry: An anthology edited by Ojaide, Tanure|Sallah, Tijan M . London : Reinner , 1999. - Available at: http://library.au.int/new-african-poetry-anthology-5