Chinua Achebe Poetry: World Poets Analysis
The thematic concern of Chinua Achebe’s life and writing is to articulate the meaning of what it is to be African from the perspective of one who is authentically African. Critic Nahem Yousaf has said that Achebe’s intent as a writer is to “challenge the insidious stories in which the colonized and dispossessed are rendered inhuman and inept in order to make heroes of the ’hunter’ colonialists, and to shore up the memoirs of colonial apologists.” Achebe expresses his love for and critique of Africa, specifically Nigeria, in all of his writing. Achebe’s political and social critique of his country comes out of his love for the people and the place that he identifies as home.
Christmas in Biafra
Christmas in Biafra is a poetic response to the Biafran War (1967-1970; also known as the Nigerian Civil War). In this collection, Achebe relates the stories of the people who suffered during the war. The images created, as in “Benin Road,” are portraits of a country tortured by the reality that on a highway sometimes, “Speed is violence/ Power is violence/ Weight violence.”
The book is divided into five sections: “Prologue,” “Poems About War,” “Poems Not About War,” “Gods, Men, and Others,” and “Epilogue.” Although the main theme of the book is war, the book has a religious tone. Poems such as “Lazarus” suggest that this collection is a spiritual polemic grounded in the complex...
(The entire section is 360 words.)
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