David Ekanem Udoinwang, Kufre A. Akpan


In this paper we use choose poems from three of Joe Ushie’s collections namely: Eclipse in Rwanda (1998/2004), A Reign of Locust (2004) and Yawns and Belches (2018) as primary sources for examining the revolutionary contexts of the poet-scholar-critic’s social vision in his creative corpus, and to probe into the informing socio-political, socio-economic and environmental colorations that are prominent in his artistic pursuit. The strain of the divergent, despairing thematic issues that characterize the three texts, in the final analysis, dovetails into an ecotype of the poet-persona’s revolutionary sloganeering and incitement for radical shift in the world that has remained obdurately impervious to the unpleasant condition of the marginalized majority. This study is situated on the persona’s Marxist ideological orientation, in which reading and interpretation of a text goes beyond the aesthetics to the concerns of class struggles in a given socio-political ferment of the time. The analysis therefore focuses on the poet’s unhidden attachment to the condition of the teeming downtrodden of the earth, whose wailing voices he seeks to amplify in his poetry. The proclivity, intensity and persistence of Ushie’s artistic vision in the three titles, centralize the despairing undulation of contemporary socio-political landscape. The paper thus concludes that Joe Ushie’s poetic oeuvre constitutes a potent weapon for the overthrow of the unfeeling, inept and repressive social systems that define postmodern socio-political order. 


Poetry, Despair, artistic ideology, revolutionary sloganeering, Joe Ushie.

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