Of Divination Tray and the Search for Utopia: A Postcolonial Reading of Okinba Launko’s Selected Poems
Keywords:Postcoloniality, primordial forms, Orunmila, utopia
Primordial oral literary forms have always been very central to the evolution of modern African literature. Arguably, these forms have impacted on modern African poetry, not only on account of their recurrence in the works of poets, but also as important indices in current poetry studies and criticism. Contemporary African poets have since stretched the limits and aesthetics of these forms to emphasize their relevance in the postcolonial space, following after the Negritude poets who set the antecedent in the use of Africa’s primordial forms,. This paper, using selected poems from Okinba Launko’s Dream-Seeker on Divining Chain (1993), Commemorations (2007) Seven Stations Up the Trays Way (2013), discusses the different tropes and manifestations of oral forms in modern African poetry. The writers isolate the poet’s use of Ifa, the Yoruba divinity muse, to comment on the dilemmas of the postcolonial space. The paper concludes that the dialectic prism of Okinba Launko’s poetry exteriorizes a neo-negritude template that sustains the relevance of primordial forms in African poetry.
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