intellectual and they are presented in pure symbolic

The year 1962 was a turning point in Okigbo's poetic career. Before that year, almost all his work explores a private world. After 1962, he turns as if poetic utterance has given his heart relief and he begins to speak about the larger themes of human experience. Before 1962, his presiding form is the tiffany uk lyric. After 1962, he opens up into long symphonic poems organized in four or five movements. In Heavensgate especially, his poems appear simple and self-explanatory statements from the heart, notwithstanding the controversy that they have provoked. But in 1962, his themes become intellectual and they are presented in pure symbolic forms. The present paper examines two representative poems of 1962-66 with the aim of showing that far from being merely technical and musical compositions, they grapple with the tiffany sale of the poet's life.


By the time Okigbo arrived in Ibadan in 1962, the city was in political turmoil. The contest for tiffany sale in the Nigerian Federation had come to a head in a federal siege of Western Nigeria. A state of emergency was declared in the region in may 1962. Later that same year, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of the majority party in the region, was charged with the offence of treason and subsequently jailed with eighteen of his closest lieutenants. For two years, interethnic hostilities smoldered.


Then following turbulent elections in 1964 and 1965, the smoldering fire ignited into street riots, jail breaks, tiffany on sale, and the setting ablaze of political opponents in the streets. Wole Soyinka, who all the while had been active underground, was in 1965 arrested on the capital charge of armed robbery. Soyinka's book Ibadan: the Penkelemes Years (1994) provides a colorful account of the turbulent events of this period that changed not only Wole Soyinka and Okigbo, but Chinua Achebe, Gabriel Okara, Kenule Tsaro-Wiwa, Okogbule Wonodi, and elechi Amadi from mandarins into tiffany for sale. All the poetry that Okigbo wrote in Ibadan, with the exception of "Distances" and the Yeats's centenary poem "Lament of the masks," have the background of the political upheavals of 1962-66.

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