oa Alternation - The real substance of nightmare: the struggle of poetry with history

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in his making beautiful and lasting works out of the real substance of that nightmare. Or, to put it another way, it consists in transforming that nightmare into vision; in freeing ourselves from the shapeless horror of reality-if only for an instant-by means of creation (Paz 1985:95). As an illustrative example of a poet's encounter with history, Wopko Jensma's writing offers opportunity for reflection upon concerns and tensions which characterised the 1960s and which emerged in his poetry in the 1970s. During these two decades Jensma was in his twenties and thirties, the time when he produced the graphic and poetic work which gives him his presence as artist and poet in our cultural midst

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