Viewing page 1 of 7


Transcription: [00:00:00]

{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
The literary Literary Corner Black Writers of the World; a series of analysis and interpretations of Black World Literature.

Today an introduction to African poetry. I'm Brooks Robinson and we'll explore the various phases in the development of African poetry, attempting to touch as much of the vast continent as we possibly can as we go along.

As in all other genres in African-English literature and I'm going to stress the African-English part of it. A substantial body of accomplished African-English poetry did not appear until the 1950s.

This is not to say that African poetry did not exist until this time. Quite the contrary is actually the case.

African poetry before the 1950s existed, however, but only in oral forms. And after the 1800s or 19th centaury African poetry existed in languages besides English.

Now African oral poetry is as old as African civilizations and cultures themselves.

And certainly one cannot consider African-English, African-French, or any other form of African poetry without considering the African oral poetry.

Now, as far as African poetry in it's oral forms is concerned; one sees basically three major themes.

First, you have the themes of Africans and their guides: Ogun, Orisala, Orunmila, Ala, all of the chís and how man was related to the gods, a source of life.

This was, and it still is to a very great extent a real concern

Transcription Notes:
I pulled names of Gods from , but do not know the accuracy of this.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact