Tale of the Harmattan: environmental rights discourse in Ojaide’s eco-poetry
In Nigeria, much of the oil politics and environmental rights-based poetry is anchored on the traumatic experiences of the people of the Niger Delta area. Since the discovery and exploration of oil in this area in 1956, the people have been subjected to acts of bioterrorism through the destruction of their aquatic and terrestrial reserves. The inhabitants of this region exist under travails of oil pollution, gas flaring, and extreme pristine conditions, and survive without good food, roads, electricity, clean air and good drinking water. Poverty breeds prostitution, gas flaring breeds cancer and respiratory diseases, while lack of commensurate duty of care, compensation or corporate responsibility by the multinational oil companies, breed 'bunkering‘ and further oil spillage, unemployment and youth crisis, arm proliferation and hostage-taking of indigenous and foreign oil workers. Ecological poetry, a subgenre of environmental or green literature, focuses on the relationship between poetry and the natural, sociopolitical and economic environment.Using an eclectic analytical framework, which encompasses the multidisciplinary exigencies of ecocriticism, literary criticism, linguistic and critical discourse analysis, this paper is focused on examining the informational and ideological content of one of Ojaide‘s collections of eco-poetry, Tale of the Harmattan, as mediated channel, and characterizing the linguistic choices and idioms of feeling devised to communicate ecological currents, attitudes and emotions to a broad mass of the people.
Keywords: Environmental rights, Eco-poetry, Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis
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