Vol. 5, Issue 3 (2019)
Poetry: A mode of communication towards decrying shifting moral and social values in Ifeoma Odinye’s At Sunset
Author(s): Ifeoma Ezinne Odinye
Abstract: The varied social, political, cultural and economic misery in the Nigerian cultural milieu has brought into existence the emergence of poets who use their poetic literary skills to advocate for social change. At Sunset is Ifeoma Odinye’s first collection of poems. In this collection, she explores possibilities open to the poetics of orality by performing the role of a social commentator. The poetics of At Sunset is composed to unearth social vices while commenting on painful human struggles. Odinye employs the use of African oral resources such as praise poetry, poetic outpouring of grief and satiric songs in criticizing the decline of moral and social values. Some oral literary devices such as simile, metaphor, symbols, repetition, idioms, communal voice, proverbial concepts, and wordcraft were used in analyzing the poems. In effect, her lamenting oral female voice is important in examining the poetics of orality and also contributes to the enrichment of contemporary Nigerian poetry. This study gives insight into the stylistic dimensions of Odinye’s poetry with particular influence to the selected poems. Hence, it discusses the need for restoring social and moral values in order to salvage the fast disintegrating Nigerian cultural milieu.