How Poetry as A Dual Genre Draws its Themes from the Author’s Origin, History and Setting: A Case Study of Two Selected Kiswahili Poetry Books
The study explores how poetry as a dual genre draws its themes from the origin, history and setting or environs of the author in the society. Basically, literature like any other art has its own way of expressing its aesthetic value. This is done through the channel of language. On the other hand, literature has many genres. Despite that, poetry is considered to be the most ancient genre in many communities universally. Poetry, therefore, is a genre that has a dual nature, which implies that it is a genre of both oral and written literature. Kiswahili poetry encompasses itself fully with the society in question, its ideologies, philosophies, traditions, culture, and the general life of the Swahili people without taking into consideration the language in which it was constructed. Therefore, it is not possible to disassociate the Kiswahili poetry from their culture as it is fully drawn from their way of life. Since a people’s culture is enclosed in their language, this study selected two Kiswahili Poetry books through purposive sampling to show how poetry draws its themes from the author’s origin, history, setting, and culture. The selected books were: Sikate Tamaa (Said A. Mohamed) and Dhifa (Euphrase Kezilahabi) The study employed the Hermeneutics theory as interpreted by (Newmark and Michael Forster, 2007) . This theory was very vital to this study as it puts into consideration the words used, the history and culture of the author, context, and specific analysis of the text to come up with the objective of the general text. The study also used textual analysis as well as an observation checklist to analyse data. The study discovered that poetry is rich and has a lot to be desired as far as teaching and depicting the author’s origin, history, and setting in the society is concerned hence drawing the themes from that. This study aimed at highlighting the need for more in-depth research as this can reduce the negative notion that poetry is a hard and complicated genre to some learners and scholars. There is also a need for the poetry learners to identify the history of the author in order to provide a starting point for the analysis in question. Therefore, the study proposes that poems be taught at all levels of learning and their various elements in order to enlighten the Kiswahili and English students, scholars, and researchers.
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