n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - "Die huid huil luid in stilhuil" - op 'n (klank)spoor in T. T. Cloete se poësie - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



In hierdie artikel word hulde gebring aan T.T. Cloete die gewaardeerde dosent én die gerespekteerde digter. Die gedig "stilhuil" word gelees met inagneming van vooropgestelde taalgebruik waarneembaar in metaforisering, sintakties-tipografiese strukturering en klankmatig-ritmiese aksentuering. Voorts word die kontinuering van die vooropgestelde sinsnede "die huid huil luid in stilhuil" in die hele oeuvre nagegaan.

T.T. Cloete is both a distinguished scholar and a revered poet. In addition to his significant contribution to research and teaching as a specialist of Afrikaans and Dutch literature, he initiated the study of literary theory at several South African universities. As a former student of Cloete I engage, in this paper, both with the academic and the poet. In acknowledging the academic I deliberately make use of reading strategies based on postgraduate research originally supervised by Cloete. I also refer to Cloete's recent selfreflective study on "life" in general, but also on poetry in particular, namely [I am the other] (2013). In addition, I refer to information on the "history" of the poem "stilhuil" and the importance of the phenomenon of crying (or laughing) in his poetic thought graciously provided to me by Cloete via e-mail.
My interaction with the poet is carried out in two stages. After an analysis of the poem "stilhuil" [still crying] the continuation of a foregrounded very short sentence, namely "die huid huil luid in stilhuil" ["the epidermis cries loudly in still crying"] taken from this poem, is traced in anthologies of poetry (to date, there are ten altogether) by Cloete. In the reading of both the single poem and its continuation in all of the anthologies, I outline the precise specification achieved by the interaction of words and phrases within the poem "stilhuil"; thereafter, further specification of the abovementioned foregrounded sentence is traced with reference to selected examples taken from the entire collection of poems by Cloete.
The first part of this paper, then, is devoted to an analysis of poetic strategies utilised by T.T. Cloete in portraying the anguish suffered by grieving relatives or friends after the death of beloved ones. Intratextual relations among words, phrases, verselines and sentences within the poem "stilhuil" are scrutinised by analysing aspects of poetic language such as metaphor, syntax, sound and rhythm/metre. The short sentence "die huid huil luid in stilhuil" is singled out because it is foregrounded within the poem in various ways. The metaphorical characterisation of "huid" [skin/epidermis] as capable of silent crying alerts the reader to the unusual specification of skin. Attention is also focused on the short sentence because it is wedged between two full stops within the same line of verse. In addition, sound repetition in successive words results in accents on four of the six words, "huid", "huil", "luid" and "stilhuil". As a result of this multiple foregrounding the short sentence is marked.

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