Memory and Homecoming in Niyi Osundare’s The Eye of the Earth

Gamal Muhammad A. Elgezeery


This article studies Niyi Osundare’s The Eye of the Earth (1986) as a homecoming journey that reveals the traveller’s complex relationship with time and place. In this journey, the poet revisits distinguished symbolic places that stand for significantly nourishing and spiritual values for his people, and establishes a dialogue between the past and present of these places in order to question the recent economic and political changes that have led to the deterioration and degradation of the journey’s destinations. At each destination, the poet holds a comparison between what has been and what lies before him, recalling the images that are stored in his memory of the past of these places. This act of recollection is not used as an escapist nostalgia that romanticizes the past in order to present a self-complacent image. Rather, it used as a means of presenting a forward-looking vision that derives inspiration from a past that can be exploited in reminding the poet and his people of what has been inflicted upon earth and the country so that they can regenerate their land and their way of life. Throughout his journey, the poet has a high sense of the different images and effects of time on place and his own conceptualization of the land and its landmarks.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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