West African Poetry

West African Poetry

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Previous studies of African poetry have tended to concentrate either on its political content or on its relationship to various European schools. This book examines West African poetry in English and French against the background of oral poetry in the vernacular. Do the roots of such poetry lie in Africa or in Europe? In committing their work to writing, do poets lose more than they gain? Can the immediacy of oral performance ever be recovered? Robert Fraser's account of two centuries of West African verse examines its subjugation to a succession of international styles: from the heroic couplet to the austerity of experimental Modernism. Successive chapters take us through the NAcgritude movement and the emergence of anglophone free verse in the 1950s to the rediscovery in recent years of the neglected springs of orality, which is the subject of the concluding chapter.There is confusion, but the poet recognizes it as the product of his own strained impulses; when clarity returns, the facts are still there to be perceived. The last stanza alerts us to the most seductive misuse to which all good intentions are prone, anbsp;...

Title:West African Poetry
Author:Robert Fraser
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 1986-09-04


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