POETRY AS AN EXPRESSION OF ANGER: A CASE STUDY OF TANURE OJAIDE’S THE FATE OF VULTURES AND OTHER POEMS
1.1 BIOGRAPHY AND WORKS OF THE POET
TanureOjaide’s sixteen poetry collections include Labyrinths of the Delta (1986), The Fate of Vultures (1990), The Blood of Peace (1991), Daydreams of Ants (1997), Invoking the Warrior Spirit: New and Selected Poems (1999), In the Kingdom of Songs: A Trilogy (2002), I Want to Dance & Other Poems (2003), The Tale of the Harmattan (2007), Waiting for the Hatching of a Cockerel (2008), and The Beauty I Have Seen (2010). His other writings are: a memoir, Great Boys: An African Childhood (1998); two collections of short stories titled God’s Medicine Men & Other Stories (2004) and The Debt-Collector and Other Stories (2009); three novels, Sovereign Body (2004), The Activist (2006), and Matters of the Moment (2009); and six books of literary criticism, including The Poetry of Wole Soyinka (1994), Poetic Imagination in Black Africa (1996), and Poetry, Performance, and Art: Udje Dance Songs of the Urhobo People (2003).
Born in the oil-rich but economically impoverished Niger Delta area of Nigeria, TanureOjaide was raised by his grandmother in a riverine rural environment. He attended a Catholic Grammar School and Federal Government College, Warri. Ojaide was educated at the University of Ibadan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English, and Syracuse University, where he received both the M.A. in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English. A Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa, his poetry awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (1987), the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry (1988, 1997), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award (1988), and the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Award (1988, 1994, 2003, and 2011). Sovereign Body was a runner-up for The Commonwealth Literature Prize for the Africa Region in 2005. His non-fiction manuscript, Drawing the Map of Heaven: An African Writer’s Experience of America, was a runner-up for the Penguin Prize for African Writing (2010). Ojaide taught for many years at The University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and is currently the Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he teaches African/Pan-African literatures and arts.
He received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for 1999/2000 academic year to collect and study the “Udje Dance Songs of Nigeria’s Urhobo People.” With a Fulbright fellowship, he taught at the University of Maiduguri and Delta State University, Abraka, in the 2002/2003 academic year. He has read from his poetry in Britain, Canada, France, Ghana, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, The Netherlands, the United States, and South Africa. In July 2005 an international conference was held at Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria with participants from the USA, Canada, South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, and Nigeria to discuss Ojaide’s writings. The Second International Ojaide Conference was held in July 2008 also at Delta State University, Abraka. He represented Nigeria in Poetry Africa 2005 at The University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (October 10-16, 2005). TanureOjaide was the 2005 recipient of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s First Citizens Bank Scholar Award for his creative writing and scholarship. His poetry, a blend of oral traditions and modern techniques, has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, and Spanish.
1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The main prpose of this paper is to potray poetry as an expression of anger using usingTanureOjaide’s ‘the fate of vultures and other poems’ as a case study. Specific objectives of the study are to potray the poets anger as shown in his novel. The poet aimed at showing awareness of his society by exposing and attacking its ills. He achieves these through the use of simple language and proverbs. His simple verses reflects his simple language. The simplicity of language, the literary devices and orality that Ojaide has adopted aid to lay bare the meaning of his poems. Ojaide’s use of indigenous language contextualizes his poems and reflects his traditionality and orality.
1.3 THE NATURE OF POETRY
A fellow in writing of the University of Iowa, his poetry awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (198), the All African Okigbo Prize for Poetry (1988,1997), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award(1988) and the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Award(1988,1994,2003, and 2011). Ojaide taught for many years at the University of Maiduguri and currently the Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he teaches African/ Pan-African literature and arts.
He received a National Endowment for Humanities fellowship for 1999/2000 academic year to collect and study the “Udje Dance Songs of Nigeria’s Urhobo People.” With a Fulbright Fellowship, he taught at the University of Maiduguri and Delta University, Abraka, in the 2002/2003 academic year. He has read from his poetry in Britain, Canada, France, Ghana, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherland, the United States, and South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, and to Nigeria to discuss his writing. The second international Ojaide conference was held in July 2008 also at Delta State University, Abraka. He represented Nigeria in Poetry Africa 2005 at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa (October 10-16,200). Tenure Ojaide was the 2005 recipient of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s First Citizen Bank Scholar Award for his creative writing and Scholarship. His poetry, a blend of oral tradition and modern techniques, has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, and Spanish. He had published many works which includes; Waiting for theHatching of a Cockerel, The Tale of the Harmattan, Great Boys: An AfricanChildhood, The Activist, The Blood of Peace etc.
1.4 WHAT IS ANGER?
Anger is an emotional response related to one’s psychosociological interpretation of having been threatened. Often it indicates when one’s basic boundaries are violated. Some have a learned tendency to react to anger through retaliation. Anger may be utilized effectively when utilized to set boundaries or escape from dangerous situations. Sheila Videbeck describes anger as a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation.Raymond Novaco of UC Irvine, who since 1975 has published a plethora of literature on the subject, stratified anger into three modalities: cognitive (appraisals), somatic-affective (tension and agitations), and behavioral (withdrawal and antagonism).William DeFoore, an anger-management writer, described anger as a pressure cooker: we can only apply pressure against our anger for a certain amount of time until it explodes.Anger may have physical correlates such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion which triggers part of the fight or flight brain response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force.The English term originally comes from the term anger of Old Norse language. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences