Soyinka was born on July 13, 1934 in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, Nigeria. Growing up, he became interested in literature and this interest led him to study English literature, Greek and history at the University College, Ibadan. Wole Soyinka would later continue his literature studies abroad at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Wole Soyinka was a dramturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London between 1958 and 1959. He was awarded a Rockefeller bursary in 1960 which led him to return to Nigeria to study African drama.
On his return to the country, he began teaching drama and literature at various universities mainly in Lagos, Ibadan and Ife. He founded a theatre group in 1960 called The 1960 Masks and three years later he published his first ever piece of poetry titled Telephone Conversations.
List of Wole Soyinka’s Poems
This is a comprehensive list of popular poems by Wole Soyinka:
Idanre and other poems (1967)
A Big Airplane Crashed Into The Earth (original title Poems from Prison ) (1969)
A Shuttle in the Crypt (1971)
Ogun Abibiman (1976)
Mandela’s Earth and other poems (1988)
Early Poems (1997)
Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known (2002)
Soyinka’s literary prowess is influenced by so many prominent writers, Chief among them being the Irish writer J. M. Synge. He has however, been able to blend African traditional with western civilization in his writings and this makes his works really exceptional.
Soyinka’s writings are based on Yoruba mythology, one of which is the Yoruba god of iron and war – Ogun. His poems are closely linked with his plays.