Poetry refers to a literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm. Poetry can be written or oral.
Akans had poetry long before the introduction of formal education. The Akans call poetry anwonsem.
Poetry was taught at the household level. Children learnt poetry recital as a form of play.
Poetry played a major role in the culture of the people. It was recited on occasions such as festivals, funerals, community durbars.
Poetry plays important roles in the cultural set-up of the Akan society.
1. Poetry is used to exalt Kings. In Akan traditional gathering, poetry is used to sometimes welcome Kings into the gathering. These poems praise the king's special qualities.
2. Poems are used to convey messages. Special messages are woven into orderly rhythmic patterns to be recited by people.
3. Poems are special tools for relaxation. Some poems have special soothing effects that relaxes the soul.
4. Poems are also incantations to invoke the gods and spirits of the land. Fetish priests would recite specific appellations to invoke the gods.
5. Poems are also a way of expressing feelings. Inner feelings such as love can be expressed through poetry recital.
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