Book Description: Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Prize laureate and Nigerian exile, has been described by The New York Times as "one of the most compelling literary voices in black Africa." This collection brings together Idanre and Other Poems and A Shuttle in the Crypt, two powerful and distinctive volumes of Soyinka's early poetry. The first set of poems, Idanre and Other Poems, traces the author's increasingly radical political awareness and the growth of his appreciation for Africa's indigenous cultural traditions. The second set of poems, A Shuttle in the Crypt, was written by Soyinka after his arrest in 1967 by the Nigerian government for writings sympathetic to secessionist Biafra and placement in solitary confinement for twenty-two months. These poems, penned during his imprisonment, often in the dark, on cigarette packs and toilet paper, describe the loss of human contact and ponder the future of Africa continuously at war with itself. Taken as a whole, Soyinka's early poetry may be viewed as a valiant effort to reconcile the mysterious legacy of the old with the often harsh realities of an entire continent's abrupt entry into the twentieth century.
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