In this essay, I shall compare how Niyi Osundare and Gabriel Okara produce impressions of Nigeria, in their poetry. Niyi Osundare wrote the poem ‘Not my Business’. This poem shows separate attacks on different people, ‘Not my Business’ was written during the 1990’s when Nigeria was ruled by a dictator named General Abacha. He was a very threatening man and caused a lot of deaths, as he was an authoritarian. He was a cruel, oppressive and tyrannical leader. In the poem, the speaker tells us about each individual getting attacked and he does not help, as he just wants to eat his yam.
Gabriel Okara wrote the poem ‘Suddenly the air cracks’, which is about a town under attack. ‘Suddenly the air cracks’ was set and authored during the 1970’s whilst a civil war was occurring. This Nigerian civil war struck when, many years ago, the British merged the three main tribal countries and named it ‘Nigeria’. But not everyone was happy about this. The Igbo tribe was the tribal country that was highest and richest in oil, and they were the ones who wanted to be separated from the other two tribal countries. They wanted to be named the ‘Republic of Biafra’. This led to an outbreak of the civil war, because the other two tribes didn’t want to let go of ‘Biafra’.
To start with, the tense in both poems is different. ‘Not my Business’ is in past tense as this quote shows:
‘The jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawn,’
This tells us that, it is in past, as it ‘was waiting’. This technique gives us the impression that, we as the reader are helpless or even useless. This then makes us then feel disappointed in ourselves, because we know, we can’t do anything about it. However, it does teach us to help others when there in need, plus it helps us lean what happened in Nigeria.
On the other hand, ‘Suddenly the air cracks’ is in present tense, as it states: ‘Suddenly there’s a silence’, it gives the impression that everything is happening around us. Everything is unexpected and it...