David Mandessi Diop’s Hammer Blows and the Poetics of Liberation

Abdul R. Yesufu


This study posits that the continued relevance of David Diop’s poetry contained in his collection Hammer Blows (1973), originally Coups de Pilon 1956, is attributable to a combination of its thematic and stylistic merits. Although marked by a strong period fascination with the anti-imperialist discourses of its day, this poetry has continued to hold the interest of readers by the aptness of its idiom as well as its didactic and liberationist teleology. By utilizing his and his people’s memories and experiences as postcolonial subalterns, the poet achieves a strategic marriage of art and pedagogy; he comes out as the poeta vates who wills/prophesies the liberation of his people by teaching the to appreciate the provenances of their predicament.



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