TANURE Ojaide’s recent designation of the poets of this generation as copycats has generated a great deal of irascible and impertinent sputtering in certain quarters of the contemporary literary establishment. It is as it should be. Different generations of poets have always detested and pilloried certain elements in each other’s works from time immemorial. But I hope Ojaide did not include in his sweeping castigation the female poets, I mean the very best of them: Promise Okekwe, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, Angela Agali-Nwosu, Lola Shoneyin-Soyinka, Biodun Idowu and some others. If he did, then it is unfortunate. It says much about our mindset when it comes to discussing issues, especially literary matters.I believe the female poets have written better poetry than most of their male counterparts. Their poetry is less self-conscious - at least as far as language goes, direct and straightforward, pared of all meretricious rhetoric, overblown lyricism and contrived diction. But the female poets are not the subject of this essay.
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on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 7:16 AM.
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