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The Example of Shakespeare

Author: J.P. Clark


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When JP turned 80, I was in Kiagbodo. And there I said that he taught many of us much younger Nigerian poets how to write. Not literally, of course, but by what — adapting the title of his famous essay, “The Example of Shakespeare” — we might call “The Example of J. P. Clark.” With Wole Soyinka, the fledgling poet is bound to feel not a little intimidated: the sheer density and complexity of thought and diction, syntax and semantics, might easily make him or her think that poetry was perhaps a dream too far.

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