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  • Mohamed Salim Mahdi

Formalism in Sudanese Poetry

In order to talk about Sudanese poetry, first of all, it is necessary to talk about the independence movement. Poetry in Sudan, as in many exploited countries; not as an art or a poetic skill; emerged as a form of resistance. Therefore, for any Sudanese poet to be considered and accepted as a successful poet, it is not based on the quality of his poems; whether he was a national poet or not. Poets have applied to poetry in order to capture both themselves and the common essence of the people. However, it cannot be said that this situation leads to poor-quality poems. As a matter of fact, the number of poets at that time was extremely small. For these reasons, it can be said that a poet who started to write poetry was left in a dark place. In order for the poet to continue on his way by writing, it was important to encourage the people and to stand by the poet.

To explain this issue better, in the 1920s, writing poetry began to come into question instead of saying poetry. In this period, poetry was seen as culture, and when the poet was mentioned, intellectual person came to mind. The reasons for this situation will be explained at the end of the article. Sudanese poetry, as can be understood from the 1920s, is divided into two parts.

Oral poetry is an art originating from Arab culture. This art entered Sudan with the Islamic conquests. So some things that were peculiar to Arab culture were popularized as a natural consequence of the spread of Islam. Islam is not by fighting according to the Bact Treaty of Sudan; entered with the consent of the people. With the first army of conquest coming from the Arabian deserts, the people of Sudan easily embraced Islam. The Conquest army, on the other hand, thought that there was no reason to return, upon this acceptance of the Sudanese people, and married Sudanese women and settled in the region. As a result, Sudanese culture and Arab culture came together to form a new culture. This new culture has had the aforementioned effect on Sudan's oral poetry. Since this effect is very important, it has continued without losing its effect in modern written poems. In order to clearly see the stages of this effect, it is necessary to look at how the written poems emerged. While doing this, I think that a comparison should be made between identity and poetry.

One of the first reasons for the spread of written poems is journalism. The first newspaper was published in Sudan in 1899. This newspaper has been declared as the official newspaper. Later, in the early 1920s, the number of newspapers printed increased and became a private enterprise. It was felt that the newly published newspapers were an element that frightened the colonialist. Colonists banned political writing. Poets continued to write poetry by hiding political issues in poetry. However, this does not mean that poetry was written only for politics. As a matter of fact, the poets who wrote poetry at that time were the first to graduate from higher education institutions. Thus, everyone who knows how to write has applied to both politics and poetry.

The poets have tried to instill hope in the people with poetry in order for the people to work and produce and to discover the new values of the world. The poets, who believed that these efforts were of no use, started to establish cultural movements. One of these movements, the Forest and Desert movement, deals with the problems of race and identity. desert Arab; the forest became the symbol of African tribes. Finally, at all stages, the question of poetic aesthetics arose. Finally, I must say that neither Sudanese poets nor the beauty of their poems could be mentioned in this short introduction.


This introduction is a brief overview of Sudanese Poetry.

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