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Title: The prophet, the pirate and the witch : a narrative poem
Authors: Adegbie, Peter
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis comprises a narrative poem and a commentary that traces its inspiration. The struggle for the control of the Niger Delta has fascinated historians, anthropologists, journalists and Nigerian writers, poets and memoirists; The Prophet, The Pirate and The Witch is a unique narrative contribution to this intriguing subject at a time when the region has become an ongoing trouble spot and flashpoint of conflict between Christian, Islamic and African traditional cultures. The protagonist of the narrative, Isaiah Kosoko, becomes a prophet to escape the clutches of Falila Soares, the witch who loves him. Isaiah‘s best friend Segida Okokobioko marries Falila on the rebound but is forced to become a pirate/freedom fighter – fighting the state and oil conglomerates for causing pollution and unfair distribution of resources from oil wells. In the midst of the love triangle, land and people suffer. The critical commentary provides a context for the inspiration, crafting and interpretation of the poem. It explores my debt to the Bible, situating my narrative in relation to the similarly inspired poetic works of Christopher Okigbo of Nigeria and the Ghanaian-born Caribbean Kwame Dawes. It also examines Nigerian poets across four generations and demonstrates my indebtedness to the political and social agitation that has been a major aspect of their work. I am particularly interested in the tradition of poetic prophecy, exploring the figure of the poet–prophet as a commentator on, and an instrument of, social–economic–political–cultural change. The metaphors that might position some Nigerian poets as possible prophets, others as pirates and yet others as witches, have been sketched. The prophetic agitation for change as an intrinsic part of African orality and its influence on modern African writers has inspired this creative work, which uses a written mode to express an oral form, in a prose–poetic amalgam typical of biblical narratives.
Description: PhD thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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