n English in Africa - Sing for our metropolis : self, place and media in the poetry of Rui Knopfli and Wopko Jensma

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



In western discourses, lyric poetry has long been shrouded in ambiguity. On the one hand, it has commonly been viewed as the most subjective of genres. In poetry, the assumption has been, the self is expressed; personal feelings are subjected to form (Cullhed 2001, 246-320). On the other hand, lyric has also been seen as the genre that evacuates the self. Through lyric, the poet does not speak but is spoken through. Depending on the period, the real speaker has been called by various names such as "the muse," "tradition," "the unconscious" or "the other." As Susan Stewart puts it: "When actors become the recipients of actions, when speakers speak from the position of listeners, when thought is unattributable and intention wayward, the situation of poetry is evoked" (1995, 34).

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