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Texture in Okigbo's poetry: An exploration of cohesion

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Ikenga: The Journal of African Studies
Issue number3
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1-19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Even among system texts, poetic language is unique. On the surface, the words appear disparate, resulting in the perceived difficulty associated with its study/analysis. Okigbo’s works have been criticised for their esotericism. Insights from the linguistic approach of cohesion, however, reveal that Okigbo’s poetic language is neither disparate nor deny access to the poetic text. Indeed, the words cohere, quite uniquely, sustaining ancient kinships and entering into new relationships, helping them to achieve texture. A(re)reading of Okigbo in light of this approach addresses the perceived opacity associated with his works and raises fresh questions on the traditional criticism of Okigbo, particularly the motif of the prodigal son. This study, therefore, explores the interpretive affordances of the notion of cohesion in selected poems by Okigbo. The overarching aim is to re-examine Okigbo’s works with the lens of cohesion, underpinned by the cohesion theory of Halliday and Hasan (1976/2013) in order to offer new insights into the interpretation and criticism of his poetry.