Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Christopher (Ifenayichukwu) Okigbo 1932–1967

Nigerian poet.

Critics consider Okigbo an important transitional poet in contemporary African literature. His studies in the classics enabled him to integrate within his work traditional elements of African culture with non-African influences such as Christianity and Western poetic techniques. His poetry is complex, partly because of obscure allusions, but critics nevertheless praise his work for its vivid imagery and rhythmic beauty.

Heavensgate and Limits are works inspired by Okigbo's search for identity through an examination of his country's divided heritage. A later poem, Path of Thunder, reveals the impact of the Nigerian civil war upon him. He was killed during that conflict while fighting for the Biafran cause.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 77-80.)