Poetry is so powerful that it can capture and transmit a direct message while remaining hidden beneath creative words. As a result, a reader who is unfamiliar with the language may misinterpret the intended message. It has a subtle way of getting readers to think differently and ask important questions. It elicits emotions in ways that prose and drama do not.
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the literal or mundane meaning. It is considered by many to be the most intense literature genre. It allows a writer to express their deepest emotions and thoughts in a very personal way. It relies heavily on figurative language, rhythm, and imagery to relay its message. William Wordsworth, a renowned poet said that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.”
Just like Williams Wordsworth, we have great poets in Nigeria who left strong imprints in the poetry world.
The likes of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Niyi Osundare, Christopher Okigbo and Ben Okri.
- Chinua Achebe
He was awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1972 for his first poetry collection book Beware, Soul-Brother, and others.
- Wole Soyinka
His poetry collection Samarkand and Other Markets I Have known is read worldwide and has been translated into many languages.
- Niyi Osundare
He was a top poet and one of the greatest writers in Nigeria. He authored 18 poetry books.
- Christopher Okigbo
He won several awards due to his poetry skills. His collections include Heavensgate, Labyrinth with Path of Thunder, and Collected Poems.
- Ben Okri
He is a famous poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and film scriptwriter. He has a collection of poems known as An African Elegy.
The legendary imprint of these great poets in Nigerian Literature is a lasting one.
Today is world poetry day. As teachers, poets, schools, and educational institutions across the country celebrate this form of literature we would like to share some points on its importance.
The Importance of Poetry
1. Poetry encourages creative and imaginative thinking.
2. Helps one to communicate their feelings and thoughts.
3. It helps students to explore language & vocabulary.
4. Builds reading and retentive skills.
5. Helps one to develop critical and analytical skills.
6. Connects you with other people and cultures.
7. It can be a form of relaxation and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
You can build a stronger love for poetry today both in your classrooms and in your homes by reading and teaching it to children. Share your favourite poem with the children. Teach some tough topics using poems and they will never forget them.
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