POWER AND CANON FORMATION: AN INTERTEXTUAL STUDY OF THE INFLUENCE OF NIYI OSUNDARE’S POETRY ON RECENT NIGERIAN POETRY OF ENGLISH EXPRESSION

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Author

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Department of Arts

ABSTRACT
This study examines the intertextual relationship between second generation Nigerian poets and the recent Nigerian poets from the perspectives of power relation and canon formation. The study submits that Niyi Osundare, the iconic poet of the second generation stock, exerts a lot of intertextual influence on the poetic practice of contemporary Nigerian poets particularly Remi Raji, Akeem Lasisi, Joe Ushie and Emmanuel Egya Sule who are examined in this study. The study argues that although the contemporary poets are not insular to the poetic influence of other global literatures, the core aesthetics of their poetry exhibits a visible intertextual dialogic with the poetic style of Osundare, their immediate forbear. This trend, as the study argues, instances an intergenerational continuity in the poetry genre. It also chronicles a paradigmatic shift of intertextual relations from the vertical angle where the former colonisers’ artistic practice serves as model to the horizontal where the earlier tradition within the postcolonial space serves as model. The study is a qualitative research and essentially a content analysis of both the primary and secondary data which are sourced substantially from the library. It also deploys the Poststructuralist intertextuality as theoretical framework to probe the extent of the intertextual relations. The study establishes that to fully appreciate the recent Nigerian poetry of English expressions there is the compelling need to study its history of intertextual relation. In addition to the intertextual dimension, the study proves that the symbiotic nexus of power and canon formation equally provides the ontological base for the interrogation of the aesthetic sensibilities of recent Nigerian poetry in English


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