PARADOX OF LOCATION AND POETRY IN YEIBO’S THE FORBIDDEN TONGUE AND IKIRIKO’S OILY TEARS OF THE DELTA
This work aims at discovering the inimical acts of crude oil exploitation in the Niger Delta region as portrayed through select poems in the anthologies of Yeibo and Ikiriko respectively. The main objectives of this study is to discover the “paradox” of the location of the oil wealth region in the nation being the poorest and most marginalised region, it also seeks to project through the unique poetic tradition of the Niger Deltans the social, economic, political, and environmental issues encountered by the aborigines; this it does using the works of two prominent eco-poets from the region, Ebi Yeibo and Ibiwari Ikiriko. This work adopts the theoretical framework of eco-criticism, which is a contemporary and interdisciplinary theory that examines the human and non-human elements of the environment and goes beyond the environment to protest the infringement on the rights of the people in the society. This work has come to discover that eco-criticism as a literary approach through the genre of poetry advocates the rights and privileges of the people and is a means to curbing the situation of the crude oil exploitation and struggle. This work thus submits that the poetry of the aforementioned poets has successfully portrayed these issues through eco-criticism and their socio-political views. This work is significant as it is of benefit to literary students’ with interest in ecological studies, pastoral literature and to students of environmental studies.
It is a well known fact that the Niger Delta region of the nation is indeed the country’s wealth and source of her economic buoyancy. This situation cannot be generally laudable as the region which has the oil-wealth resources remains the most marginalised and poorest in the Nigerian federation. This reflects the paradoxical situation in which the Niger Delta finds herself.
Ebi yeibo in The forbidden tongue and Ibiwari Ikiriko in Oily tears of the delta depict poetically, the ill-situation of the Niger Delta environment. One can observe this paradoxical condition through the symbols, imagery, and other poetic features employed by the writers’. Yeibo and Ikiriko have been able to achieve an ideal reflection of these paradoxical issues in their literary collections.
This research work uses eco-criticism as a theory to examine the poetic views of Yeibo and Ikiriko, showing that their views are a veritable tool for socio-political and economic change in the society.