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Analysis of Dennis Osadebey’s “Young African’s Plea” as a Romantic Poem

Dennis Osadebay’s “Young African’s Plea” Poem

Don't preserve my customs

As some fine curios

To suit some white historian's tastes


There's nothing artificial

That beats the natural way

In culture and ideals of life

Let me play with the white man's way
Let me work with the black man's brains

Let my affairs themselves sort out.

Then in sweet rebirth

I'll rise a better man


Not ashamed to face the world

Those who doubt by talents

In secret fear my strength

They know I am no less a man

Let them bury their prejudice

Let them show their noble sides

Let me show their noble sides

Let me have untrammelled growth

My friends will never know regret

And I, I never once forget.


Analysis of Dennis Osadebey’s “Young African’s Plea” as a Romantic Poem

Straight away, the Young African’s Plea shows that its writer (poet) is making a defence that he has a culture. The culture is not only worthwhile, but more natural and genuine. As a result, he cautions those that are saying otherwise and even ridiculing him, to stop doing so.

Denis Osadebay delivers this message using the contrast that this own culture, because of its naturalness beats that or his detractor ridiculing him. He says his detractor’s culture is inferior (i.e less natural). This is one contrast characteristic, which makes this poem romantic.

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Using another contrast in the way he describes European culture as a mere play and his own African culture as a real workin line 7 and 8 of the poem, Dennis Osadebay makes good his defence that African culture is worthy of recognition, By pointing out hrough another contrast in lines 13, 14 and 15 that the European knows the truth that his culture is genuine, but only dodging it; Dennis Osadebay satisfies the romantic poetry vis-a-vis the use of detail; to win people to his side that his African culture exists in a genuine form.

Apart from romantic characteristics like contrast and details, rhythm element is not missing out in the poem. The poem contains fine parallelisms in lines 7, 8 and 9, as well as lines 16, 17 and 18.

The poem is written as a free verse and a lot of metaphors are used in the poem. In line 1 for example, the expression ” ..fine curios…” is metaphor. It implies what we recognize because it had been valuable a long time ago.

Recommended: Analysis of Williams Wordworth’s “The World is Too Much With Us ” as a Romantic Poem

Also, the expression “…..untrammelled growth…” is metaphor. It means undisturbed growth.

Finally, the poem contains a classical allusion. This is illustrated by the expression “… prejudice…” which is a reference to the beliefs of the Europeans that Africans are animals.

All the above itemized and illustrated characteristics make the poem “Young Africa’a Plea” romantic.

Recommended: Analysis of John Donnes’ “Death Be Not Proud” as a Metaphysical Poem

In conclusion, famous romantic poets in English Literature include; William Wordsworth (1770-1850) S.T Colerridge (1772-1834) P. B. Shelley (1792-1822), Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) and T. S. Eliot 1888-1965.

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Davidposh of Campusvibes

I'm a dedicated and progressive individual with an exceptional work ethic and client oriented service aptitude. I write to inform and educate. Currently I'm an English language students Lagos State University.

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