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How Sociology Plays a Role in my Poetry

In order to talk about how sociology plays a role in my poetry as a poet, it will be better and easier if I define sociology and poetry to ease the process.

Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology’s subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Unifying these diverse subjects of study is sociology’s purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures. Sociology is an exciting and illuminating field of study that analyzes and explains important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. 

At the personal level, sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of such things as romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, and religious faith. At the societal level, sociology examines and explains matters like crime and law, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, business firms, urban community, and social movements.  At the global level, sociology studies such phenomena as population growth and migration, war and peace, and economic development.

Poetry, on the other hand, is an aspect of literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

I have always wanted to come out differently from my mates and other sociologists with the ability to create or attach something to my knowledge of sociology. I found out that poetry makes me happy and I am able to portray sociology via poetry. I decided to get books on poetry and read at my leisure time and put what I learnt into practice. I attended online courses on poetry and also submitted my poems on many poetry websites. I met with many friends on social media who write poems online and I worked harder to polish my writing skills. With time, I decided to let sociology play a bigger role in my poetry. I looked and analyzed the sociological standards of my society, and wrote poems using my sociological knowledge (imagination). Poetry entails creativity that is meant to pass a good, touching and understandable message to the readers.

Therefore, I write poems that revolve around culture, (human) interactions, suicide, banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, war, crime, leadership, feminism, love, unity and many more sociological issues. Some of my course mates in the university started tagging me a ‘Sociological Poet,” because I have gathered the experience and knowledge of writing sociological issues through the art of poetry. 

Sociology has really played a vital role in enhancing my poetry. Sociology gives me insight on peoples interactions, culture, religion, love and many more. From there on, with the knowledge of poetry I gathered overtime, it makes it easier for me to discuss these social problems via poetry. 

I have been able to merge sociology and poetry to send messages to the world at my leisure time. Sociology serves as the drive and poetry as the instinct (muse). Most of the poems I have written so far have been sociological, as I try to portray the things happening practically in our society from a sociological standpoint into poetry. If a person reads and reread my poems, he or she will get the sociological messages I passed in the piece accompanied with the role of beauty in it. Being a student of sociology and a passionate writer who engages in the art of poetry has been an effective way for me to solve societal problems through the use of poetry. Mixing the art of poetry with sociology has been a noticeable attribute in my poems so far. Let me share some excerpt of my poems that are from my experience using my already acquired knowledge of sociology as a standpoint. 

In my poem titled “Borno,” I narrated (in poetic techniques) the banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and a lot of sociological problems which has driven Nigeria and Borno state into its sickly infancy, how it affects the social interactions, peace and functionality of the world; and how it could also lead to suicide and many social anti-developmental forces. 

Our harmony tore to

pieces, with our eyes

open we slept,

for our land has

been raped

Like monkeys we

live in the forest,

living behind our

homes homeless,

and our chickens


In my other poem titled “I foresaw,” I analyzed the disunity in the world and my country, Nigeria, considering how ethnicity, religious dogmatism, intolerance and many more social vices have attacked the country and how these social vices could cause social denigration, underdevelopment and many more in the world. 

I foresaw her being

raped by selfishness and

brutal intolerance;

harvest of love have been

put to pang.

I foresaw,

ethnicity and intolerance

have become her fertilizers;

religious dogmatism have

became the manure.

to boast her.

I foresaw her

grasses being brutally

martyred, and her harvest

became the Armageddon of war

I foresaw her

being adorned with sorrows,

and her grasses spewing

out hatred.

I foresaw in her

few selfish farmers,

benefiting from her nutrients.

Conclusively, sociology has really played vibrant roles in my poetry. It has helped me understand how to use my poem (and the voice in it) to solve societal problems. I believe anyone else can do what I did in his or her leisure time with dedication and hard work. The art of poetry comes with a price (which I paid fully), and sociology has been one of the best way to give poetry the voice it needs to make this world a better place.

Hassan Idris

Hassan Idris is a final year student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria -Nigeria, studying Sociology and Anthropology. He is a poet, a member of the Creative writer's Club, A. B. U Zaria, Creative Club Gombe State University, Northern writer's Summit, Risingyouth and Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation. His works has appeared in Zdigest, Yodelehub. Com, Kano State Students magazine, and Creative Writer's Club, Kongo Campus, A. B. U Zaria. He received an Award from the department of Sociology and Anthropology Ahmadu Bello University Zaria , Nigeria as the best researcher in 2017. You can connect with Hassan Idris on Twitter and LinkedIn.