even if, sometimes, they functional well if deployed sparingly in the hands of a very experienced poet. It is much better to avoid them. They are very lazy craft-worn constructions.  Sometimes language insinuates itself to the poet, who becomes word-drunk and fall into a vomit of words, unrestrained and undisciplined. For the careful poet the guide should be tradition. In the words of Eliot once more:


 Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indispensable to anyone who would continue to be a poet beyond his twenty-fifth year; and the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order.


            A word is enough for the poet!




1                See http://www.bartleby.com/200/sw4.html.

2                For the full poem see http://www.lingshidao.com/waiwen/oguibe.htm

3                See http://fccl.ksu.ru/winter.99/cog_model/moscow.htm

4                See sentinel online issue #29, April 2005 http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/magonline0405/

5                See http://www.bartleby.com/200/sw4.html



Further Reading


Derek Walcott:  Omeros (1990)


Chiedu Ezeanah: The twilight Trilogy (Ibadan, Nigeria: Kraft Books Ltd, 2005)


Harry Garuba: Shadow and Dream and other Poems (Ibadan, Nigeria: New Horn Press, 1982)


Olu Oguibe: A gathering Fear (Bayreuth, Germany: Boomerang press, 1992; Lagos, Nigeria: Kraftbooks, 1993)

 A Song from Exile -

Songs for Catalina -


The Fate of Vultures: BBC prize-winning Poetry Peter, Porter et al eds. (Oxford: Heinemann International, 1989)


T.S. Eliot : The waste land (1923)


Pius Adesanmi: The Wayfarer and other Poems (Lagos: Oracle Books 2002)


Niyi Osundare: The Eye of the earth (Ibadan, Nigeria: Spectrum Books)


Wole soyinka: A shuttle in the Crypt, Idanre.



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Sentinel Poetry (Online) #43  - June 2006. ISSN 1479-425X

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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