The Ideological Square and Transitivity in the Poetry of Remi Raji Oyelade

Olarotimi Daniel Ogungbemi


This article examines the ideological square and transitivity in the poetry of Remi Raji with a view to revealing the interconnectivity of language and ideology essential for understanding well Raji’s poetry. The theoretical framework combined van Dijk’s approach to Critical Discourse Analysis and M.A.K. Halliday’s transitivity framework. Data was obtained from eight poems which were purposively selected from three collections of poetry (Sea of My Mind, Lovesong from my Wasteland and A Harvest of Laughters) by Remi Raji. Excerpts from the poems were subjected to a qualitative linguistic analysis. Van Dijk’s Us/Them dichotomy, constructed via transitivity choices, manifested itself in Remi Raji’s poetry. This was consolidated through the discursive strategy of exclusion and inclusion. There was a constant and systemic strategy of exclusion of the ruling class and their supporters in the poems. The poet and other members of the in-group were positively represented. A strong link exists between transitivity and ideology in Remi Raji’s poetry.


Keywords: Remi Raji, ideological square, transitivity, Nigerian poetry

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

 [ISSN 0856-9965 (Print)]