How To Insert A Shape Style Moderate Effect In Word Sierra Leonean Poetry – It’s Emergence and Features As it Was Struggling to Take Shape

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Sierra Leonean Poetry – It’s Emergence and Features As it Was Struggling to Take Shape

Sierra Leonean poetry began in the late 19th century with poems published in English and the lingua franca, Krio en Weekly news from Sierra Leoneamong the first newspapers to be established in the colony in 1860. The most famous of all Sierra Leone newspapers (which were of high quality) in the late 19th and 20th centuries, it was founded in September 1884 by the Reverend JC May. assisted by Dr EW Blyden and edited by JC May’s brother Cornelius, who later became mayor of Freetown in the 1920s.

Sometimes the poems were written by settlers, mostly Europeans, who had immigrated to the country. The first Krio poems appeared in the issue of The Sierra Leone Weekly News of Saturday 21 April 1881. Others appeared in the issue of 23 June 1888 and July 1907. Although most of the poems were written by non-Sierra Leoneans, they served as a source of inspiration. to the educated Sierra Leoneans who thus became anxious to prove that they were as competent poets as their European counterparts. Poems were usually written with regular patterns of feet, lines, and rhyme schemes, as was the fashion at the time. Consequently, there was an upsurge in the publication of poems in newspapers. This practice continued for quite some time, according to Leo Spitzer’s book. The Creoles of Sierra Leone who contains a whole series of poems of this type.

Then came Gladys Casely-Hayford and Thomas Decker who were writing poems in Krio. Gladys Casely-Hayford’s first published selection of poems was titled Krio Take it like this (1948). In 1948 Thomas Decker published three Krio poems. These were ‘Plasas’, ‘Yesterday, Tiday en Tumara’, ‘Slip Gud’.

But these first publications of poems in Krio in Weekly news from Sierra Leone had a restrictive and restrictive effect on the unbiased development of Sierra Leonean poetry. For it helped to limit the poetry of Sierra Leone to the western area. Some parts of the country thus became preoccupied with oral poetry as there was no written literature available there.

There has always been a direct relationship between the development of written literature and education. Education in Sierra Leone was mainly concentrated in that early colonial period in the western area. Only later were some schools built in the provinces. But, despite this, education was not so widely and easily received by the provinces because many did not send their children to school early. Only in 1906 was the first institute of secondary education established in the provinces.

The advantage that the Western Area had in education and the lukewarm attitude of the people of the other areas towards education meant that most of the recognized poets came mainly from the Western Area. This also resulted in the poets being masculine Krio who largely failed to penetrate and exploit the rich cultural traditions and customs of the country they were largely ignorant of. As a result, his works were characterized by the absence of myths, legends and traditional traditions unlike the case of other West African writers who were writing at the time, especially the Nigerians, Christopher Okigbo, Wole Soyinka and JP Clark, who made a lot of use of this oral tradition. On the other hand, Christopher Okigbo often uses the myth of the maid in his poems while both Wole Soyinka and JPClark used in common the myth of Abiku, among others.

The poetry of the pioneer poets of Sierra Leone was infused instead of traditional and cultural materials with Christian religious doctrines and principles and moral platitudes. Little of the emerging Krio culture was transmitted through them. But they also wrote about the hot social issues of the time.

But in a poem like ‘Joseph’s Commitments’ Gladys Casely -Hayford transposes the traditional Krio ‘put-stop’ ceremony to the Jewish situation of Joseph and Mary, the earthly parents of Jesus. In ‘Nativity’, the baby Jesus is wrapped in ‘blue lappah’ and placed in ‘home-tanned hides’, instead of a swaddling cloth and a manger. Later poets made use of some cultural material. Lemuel Johnson in ‘Prodigal’s Canticle’ presents ‘Awujoh’ and ‘KuOmojade’ two traditional Krio ceremonies.

The subsequent spread of education accompanied by missionary activities in almost all parts of the country promoted the spread of literature that caused the break of the previous monopoly that the western zone had in poetic production. As a result, over the past four decades there has been a considerable increase in the volume of poetry written in the country. The impetus for this was given by efforts at Fourah Bay College, Njala University College, Milton Margai Teachers College to promote and host literary events such as creative writing, poetry reading, among others. These efforts were complemented by those of the writers’ association, the Fourah Bay College Bookstore, and various campus newsletters and magazines.

Thus, it can be said that most of Sierra Leonean poetry was written in the 20th century. But the poetry of this period had a marked departure from the earlier forms of poetry that were produced, especially in its style and, to some extent, its subject matter. Pioneer poets stuck to conventional forms of poetry using regular line lengths and rhyme schemes. Their simplistic poetry often expresses bland sentiments and strong Christian religious doctrines, most of the avid ecclesiastical poets themselves heavily influenced by 19th-century English poets and the Bible, prayer books, and common hymns. One of them, Crispin George was a long time chorister. That they lived a turbulent period of much political clamor for nationalism and self-determination and other destabilizing social and political movements is not too evident in their poetry, except for the subtle use of Christian doctrines to hide their aspirations for social justice. This is very true of the poetry of Crispin George and Jacob Stanley Davies and, to a lesser extent, Gladys Casely-Hayford.

Modern poets, contemporaries of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Christopher Okigbo, who while at university abroad, especially in Britain, were exposed to modern English poets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound and DH Lawrence began to break with the previous poetic tradition through the modern influence carried in his style. They also began to infuse some African customs and traditions into their poetry as they felt alienated and separated from their roots. The old methods of writing in lines and regular rhymes for the free verse, the distortion of the logical syntax, the darkness and the symbolism and the personal image stood out. They critically examined the hitherto easily accepted British and American values ​​and standards. They questioned racism and other social evils by being exposed in their foreign domicile to racial discrimination and its degrading consequences.

Abioseh Nicol’s poetry, for example, embraces the pioneers and younger modern poets who show some African consciousness and who do not blindly accept foreign values ​​yearn for the eventual return home to Sweet Sierra Leone.

Most of Gaston Bart-William’s poetry is related to racism and racial discrimination. Jacob Stanley Davies, although a pioneering poet who expresses Christian doctrines in his poetry, has some poems like “Libretone” that seem to speak of eternal issues. Crispin George in ‘Help Deferred’ breaks free from the restrictive effect of the rhyme scheme.

Since then, there has been much development to change the profile of Sierra Leonean poetry, although opportunities for print publication are not as welcoming as they were then. But such a changing profile will make for an interesting study.

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