A poetry of remembrance : a study of Tatamkhulu Afrika's Nine Lives, Dark Rider and Maqabane

Radloff, Adeline (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis looks closely at three volumes of Tatamkhulu Afrika's poetry (Nine Lives, Dark Rider and Maqabane), to find that his work reflects a deep understanding of South African society and the different forces and conflicts inherent therein. I argue that although Afrika's poetry is presented as a recount of personal experience through the voice of a first person participant and observer, it is more than mere autobiography. This is because his poems resonate further (by means of vividly detailed descriptions, powerful metaphoric images and a mix of varied perspectives) to encompass not only his own life but also the lives and experience of many ordinary South Africans. In particular, his political poetry humanizes the abstractions of political discourse to show the impact that the greater political situation has had on the lives of ordinary South Africans. I conclude by arguing that although Tatarnkulu Afrika's insights are filtered through a moral perspective based on his religious views and his belief in a basic humanity shared by all people, his work cannot be described as "traditionalist" as he constantly unsettles and recasts settled beliefs in an imaginary way.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie thesis bestudeer drie van Tatamkhulu Afrika se digbundels (Nine Lives, Dark Rider en Maqabane) en vind dat sy werk 'n diep insig toon in die verskillende kragte en konflike inherent in die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. Ek voer aan dat, alhoewel Afrika se gedigte spreek van 'n herlewing van persoonlike ervaring deur 'n eerstepersoonsverteller, dit meer is as blote outobiografie. Dit is omdat die impak van sy gedigte verder uitkring (by wyse van helder gedetaileerde beskrywings, sterk metaforiese uitbeeldings en 'n mengsel van verskillende perspektiewe) om nie net sy eie lewe nie, maar ook die lewens en ervaringe van ander Suid-Afrikaners uit te beeld. Dit is in besonder waar van sy politiese gedigte, waar hy die abstraksies van politieke diskoers humaniseer om te wys hoe die groter politieke situasie 'n impak gehad het op die lewens van gewone Suid- Afrikaners. Ek sluit af deur voor te stel dat alhoewel Tatamkhulu Afrika se insigte gefilter is deur 'n morele perspektief gebasseer op sy godsdienstige oortuigings en sy geloof in 'n basiese menslikheid wat deur almal gedeel word, sy werk nie as "tradisionalisties" beskryf kan word nie, aangesien hy voortdurend geikte tradisionele beskouings bevraagteken en op 'n verbeeldingryke wyse herskep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52688
This item appears in the following collections: