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Abstract

In his article "Myth and History in the Poetry of Osundare" Christopher Anyokwu examines the interrelation of myth and history from an African perspective. Anyokwu analyzes the poetry of one of Africa's most prolific and decorated contemporary poets, Niyi Osundare. Osundare is a third-generation Nigerian poet whose work is based on Yoruba oral tradition and informed by Marxist ideology. Osundare's poetry demonstrates the so-called "return-to-roots" neo-traditionalist ethos in modern African writing. Osundare's attitude to myth, ritual, and other African animist categories is intriguingly complex, ambivalent, and giving rise to charges of ideological irresolution and culturo-epistemic bifurcation. As a champion of poetry of social statement and revolutionary change, Osundare places history on a high pedestal in the overall message of his art. Anyokwu analyses the different points of interaction and divergence between myth and history in Osundare's poetry arguing its conjunctural significance in the growing world of African letters.

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