“No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is the Mouth of a Shark”: Dwelling and the Complexities of Return in Warsan Shire’s Poetry
Keywords:Home, Dwelling, Host country, Warsan Shire, Complexities of return, Postcolonialism
Africa’s bitter historical experience of slavery and racial discrimination influences diasporic literary writers in their representation of home and its exigencies. This is due to the sordid effect of racial conflicts culminating in disillusionment of writers, who engage in the nostalgic longing for their country of origin, notwithstanding the influences of the host country on African migrants. By exploring Warsan Shire’s poetry, this study, through the lens of modernity and globalization, examines the concept of home while x-raying locations of the African immigrant in diaspora. The research utilised the Postcolonial theory and the qualitative method of analysis to examine how diasporic immigrants, particularly female subalterns struggle to grapple with the intricacies of dwelling in a hostile clime which situates the “Us” and “Them” binary opposition on their lived conditions. It analysed Shire’s poems as a product of the transcultural identity formation of the poet, illustrating her migratory experiences through the notion of “unhomely” (in her home country) and “Homeliness” (in her host country) as dilemmas that bisect her quest for return home because of war. The study, thus, submits that globalization alternates the idea of situating home as a place of origin.
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