'Looking Back is Looking Forward': Towards a Theory of Tradition in Niyi Osundare's Poetry
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As T.S. Eliot informs us, no one ever has his meaning alone, since the artist does not create ex nihilo. Thus, every artist looks to the past-or Tradition - for inspiration and, indeed, for the very material of creativity. This Eliotesque theory of tradition, it is observed, seems to fundamentally inform and shape Niyi Osundare's poetry insofar as he relies mainly on Yoruba orature and the poetries of the English-speaking world. In this study, therefore, we examine the place of tradition in Osundare's verse with a view to generating a theory of tradition in his work in particular and modern Nigerian poetry of English expression in general.