|dc.description.abstract||The study sets out to analyze the development of the poetic voice in the poetry written by selected female poets writing in the 2151 Century in Kenya. It focuses on a number of selected poems by Phyllis Muthoni, Njeri Wangari and Sitawa Namwalie. It examines the different ways in which the poets embed themselves in their different personae in order to enable them pass on their values and attitudes as well as communicate to their readers. Society projects the essence of its existence through its art and especially verbal art. Therefore, by studying a society's poetry, one can get an insight into the dynamics of its social cultural practices. As a verbal art, poetry provides a people with the platform for recording their daily experiences too.
Owing to its brevity and precision in word choice, poetry is appropriate for responding with immediacy to all kinds of situations; be they of high hopes or of utter helplessness. In this way, it serves to mirror society by reflecting the reality of the country in the first decade of the 2151 Century. The objectives of this study are to investigate the poetic voice as a tool for carrying a poets' social vision in the three poets, to examine the different ways in which these three poets have shaped their personae to suit their goals and finally to seek the common ground where the three of them meet to constitute what can be called the Kenyan poetic voice of the female poet in the first decade of the 21 st Century in the way their voice bears a liberating function in society. The study assumes that poets use the poetic voice to project their social vision and that the persona is deliberately shaped by the poet to behave and act in given ways for a given purpose. It is also a hypothesis of this study that all the poets studied use their poetic voice to give their poetry a liberating function in society.
The study uses three theories: formalism, feminism, especially the Africana womanism strand and the Marxism. Formal ism emphasizes the autonomous nature of literature and that language use in poetry, unlike the language of everyday use is extraordinary. Its preoccupation with the internal mechanics of a poem, especially the use of poetic devices, makes the study scientific in the sense that the literariness of the language used can be analyzed for meaning without resorting to extra textual evidence. The essence of
feminism to this study is heightened by the fact that this is a study on women poets in Kenya.
The specific social cultural circumstances surrounding these female poets are peculiarly African, necessitating the Africana womanist perspective, which offers an avenue for interrogating the experiences and sensibilities as they are evoked in the personae be included in the study. The Marxist theory is useful in the study in the sense that it enables an appreciation of the poetry that takes into consideration the totality of the environment around which it is produced. It also enables a reading if the texts in relation to the circumstances of their production.
This study is justified on the grounds that while there 'has been a growing body of poetry by female poets in the country. in the 21 sr Century, they have not been given any serious scholarly attention and that the first decade of the 2151 Century has a unique set of challenges that has been occasioned by the effects of globalization. Besides, such events as the post election violence are a characteristic feature of this time and this study interrogates the poets' responses to this phenomenon.
Regarding the choice of the poets and the selection of poems to study, the project focuses on the three poets; Phyllis Muthoni, Njeri Wangari and Sitawa Namwalie because they have in their poetry successfully managed to explore the everyday, invisible and ignored experiences to tell the larger narrative of society. The study uses the library-based methodology that involves a critical reading of the texts and an exhaustive analysis for stylistic nuances and how they aid in forming meaning. It derives its findings only from the poetry selected for study||en_US