This study is based on Satire in contemporary Nigeria Poetry, using The Eaters of the Living by Okpanachi and A Carnival of Looters by Tayo Olafioye. The poets adopt satire as their style so as to improve the society by criticizing and ridiculing anyone engaged in bad or evil acts. This study explored the works of the poets; Okpanachi and Olafioye, their satirical techniques and the themes there in present. The poets depicted the vices in their societies in a satirical style that ridicules, scorns and criticizes the follies of their leaders, the people and the societal structure as a whole. More so, the study focuses on how satirical poetry can serve as a weapon or an attempt for social change by adopting the sociological theory for analysis. The satirical techniques and themes that were examined in this study would be of benefit to literary and non-literary students as a whole.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTSv
1.0 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 PURPOSE OF STUDY1-3
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY4
2.0 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW ON SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
2.1 ORIGIN AND CRAFT IN CONTEMPORARY
2.2 CONCEPT OF SATIRE10-12
2.3 TYPES OF SATIRE12-14
2.4 TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES OF SATIRE14-16
2.5 PURPOSE OF SATIRE16-17
3.0 CHAPTER THREE: DATA ANALYSIS
3.1 THEMES IN OKPANACHI’S POETRY18-26
3.2 POETIC TECHNIQUES IN OKPANACHI’S POETRY26-30
4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: AN EXPLORATION INTO OLAFIOYE’S POETRY
4.1 THEMES IN OLAFIOYE’S POETRY31-39
4.2 SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES IN OLAFIOYE’S POETRY39-41
5.0 CHAPTER FIVE
5.2 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION42-43
Nigerian writers have long come to realize that transformation is needed in their societies and their artistic creation instills truth into people’s consciousness in any given age. They committed themselves as writers who are to restore order in the situation of the society; politically, economically, socially and morally. They have always found the informing vision of their creativity bound by the socio-politically experiences of the nation which their work reflects.
Nigerian writers also enunciate on political affairs in their nation and explain her disappointing post-independence trajectory. It is argued that Nigeria’s failure to assert its political autonomy manifest itself mostly in literature (Ayo 2008 : 334). When anomalies are found in the society or become too glaring in any society, the literary artists attempt to rectify such anomalies. Satire is one of the weapons employed by these literary artists and it can be based on poetry, drama or prosaic forms, which are the genres of literature. This study concerns itself with satirical poetry.
The term satire is derived from the Greek word Satira or Satura lanx, which means a dish full of colourful fruit. It was reference to satire being “biting” in contrast to other works. Over the centuries, satire has been used in play, journalism, fiction and poetry as a strategy of aiming at a particular group or individual through humour. Through literary criticism, satire has been seen as an art form, which deconstructs the world in order to create meaning (Prescott 2007 : 4).
The Greek and the Romans extensively employed it as a weapon of attack on their respective societies as far back as the 7th century B.C. Among the Romans, there are such names as Horace, Juvenal, whose works and ideas have continued to shape and influence the mind of contemporary satirist.
Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, Ola Rotimi, Niyi Osundare, Funso Aiyejina, Toyin Adewale, Remi Raji, Musa I. Okpanachi, Tayo Olafioye and other writers are using satire as an artistic mode of expressing the social reality in contemporary Nigeria. The Nigerian society and aspirations of the masses remain realized.
Poetry, a form of literary genre, is a reflection of what its enabling society is. It could be a reflection of the past and present experiences of the society from which the poetry is produced (Akpboroboro 1994 : 26).
Poets write to criticize or ridicule in satire and mainly aim at transforming their societies. Contemporary Nigerian poets like Tayo Olafioye and Musa I. Okpanachi adopt satire as a style in their collection of poems, A Carnival of Looters and The Eaters of the Living respectively.
According to Molara Wood (2010 : 1)
Musa Idris Okpanachi’s Eaters of the Living carries this practice
of dark, satirical writing even further towards a tortured and
cynical social vision. The cynicism is reflected in its distance from
everyday picture of its environment to a more alienating literary
imagery. Its bleak vision blunts the incisiveness and poignancy of
the verse and darkening mood moves the vision beyond satire into
cynicism and close to despair.
Tayo Olafioye’s Carnival of Looters is the second major publication of poetry that he has published. Onokome Okome (2000:5-9) says:
Like patriots all over the world, what Olafioye strives for is to create,
at least in his poetry, this balance by insisting upon making obvious
the imbalance of contemporary Nigeria’s social existence, he suffers
the fate that all poets must carry in similar social and political contexts.
His poetry is political, cultural, moral, economic and beyond this, it is
an inner quest to conquer the turbulence of the world.
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