Poetry in African Society: A Philosophical Reflection
sapientia journal vol 18


African Society


Strong empirical evidence suggests that human beings cannot survive without the society. The reason is simple. There is no one person who is self-sufficient. By acting together, cooperating human beings take care of their needs. As such understanding the societies in which we live is very imperative both for enabling us to make sense of our present circumstance and helping us to prepare for the changes that lie ahead. The survival and well-being of a people depend critically on the character of the society in which they live. In an ordered society people will be able to maximise their potential, skills, creativity and, even, equip themselves for challenges that lie ahead. Conversely, a disordered society will frustrate people, expose them to scramble for whatever they can get and, even, prepare themselves for the best way to subvert future developments. Poetry, as a genre of literature, reflects a fictional account of what happens in society and, even, their causes. That is, poetry can play a key role in the reordering of society. Poetry here refers to poems written about Africa by African poets and the society in focus is the African society. However, given the fictional nature of poetry, this study adopts a method of philosophical reflection to tease out the ideas contained in poetry and subject them to critical evaluation. This study finds out that poetry can play a significant role in the recreation of African society. It concludes that a philosophical reflection on African poetry can go a long way in showing how both poetry and society complement each other in the quest for a healthy, balanced society.