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The Nationalist Imagination in Remi Raji's "Lovesong for My Wasteland"

Sule E. Egya
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Winter, 2007), pp. 111-126
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20109541
Page Count: 16
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The Nationalist Imagination in Remi Raji's "Lovesong for My Wasteland"
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Abstract

Remi Raji, one of the loudest and most eloquent political poets in Nigeria today, sees his craft as a means of conveying serious social message to his land. Raji's consummate political theme, which is powered by what he calls "the nationalist imagination," is skillfully explored in his latest volume of poetry, "Lovesong for My Wasteland" (2005), more than in any of his previous collections. Following the tradition of the social commitments of African literature and evolving orature-based aesthetics that marries choreography to poetry (choreopoetry), Raji traces the history of Nigeria, in the symbolic forty-five verses of the volume, exposing the leadership failures and plunder of yesterday and today, and presenting a hope that is predicated on the people's collective stand to build their ravaged land. The business of this paper is therefore the exploration of Raji's political theme in his latest poetic effort to raise his society's consciousness to the collapse of national psyche and to redirect their attention toward a better tomorrow for which they have to work.

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