n New Coin Poetry - To unravel the unjust : the state of South African poetry - a symposium




The wind is warm, in the evening air, under the stars. Five South Africans sit at a fire sharing poems. Their work is sophisticated considering the paltry state of poetry elsewhere in the globe. With advanced literary techniques like anaphora and anthropomorphism their words weave into the night sky. The year is 10 000 BCE. The four are |Xam people, ravelling poetic tales and 'tradition' before TS Eliot's language invented the word. Before Homer's, before Valmiki's. You'd think some 12 000 years later, the land of the eland would have one of the leading poetic traditions in the world. Buried strings aren't easily unravelled. What can be said of poetry then, 12 000 years later, in a country suffused with the only elements essential for the artform, blood and beauty? How can it be said?


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