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South African Poems


The poetry of South Africa covers a broad range of themes, forms and styles. This article discusses the context that contemporary poets have come from and identifies the major poets of South Africa, their works and influence.

The South African literary landscape from the 19th century to the present day has been fundamentally shaped by the social and political evolution of the country, particularly the trajectory from a colonial trading station to an apartheid state and finally toward a democracy. Primary forces of population growth and economic change which have propelled urban development have also impacted on what themes, forms and styles of literature and poetry in particular have emerged from the country over time. South Africa has had a rich history of literary output. Fiction and poetry specifically has been written in all of South Africa's 
eleven official languages.

I Come from a Valley

I come from a valley of acorn and rotting leaf
where veld and river meet.
Dark water under the trees
sunshine on the hills.
The oriole counterpoints the herd boys’ cries.
I watch the mysterious the eel in murky water
A bell echoes through the valley.
I hold an acorn, rubbing off some soil.
The shell of the acorn is ridged and cracked
it smells of life.
Frogs punctuate the river’s flow.
I sit in the coolness of the sunlight
hearing the trees as they bend to watch.
I am home
I am safe.


I understand what true pain is.
waking up with no soul
existing forever but always alone

I know where sorrow is born
in icy depths of mans empty heart
his spirit of love to tear apart

I see misery in every face
knowing no mercy, nor joy, nor peace
only death can bring them easy

u hear loathing in every word
every breath a burning pain
lies, deciet, and wraths distain

I feel hate inside mankind
roting filth, disease, decay
in their defence noyhing to say

I taste the roting flesh of sin
toxic putrescence, bittre and vile
evil by nature, the mind of a child

I am the truth in all that you feel
my humanity stolen, compassion is gone
I am that, whitch u knw is wrong

I am the misery and darkness complete
knowing no other than that of my soul
destind for solitude i am always alone

Poem for South African Women

Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands
by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land
into new dust that
rising like a marvelous pollen will be fertile

even as the first woman whispering
imagination to the trees around her made
for righteous fruit
from such deliberate defense of life
as no other still
will claim inferior to any other safety in the world

The whispers too they intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit
now aroused they carousing in ferocious affirmation of all peaceable and loving amplitude  sound a certainly unbounded heat
from a baptismal smoke where yes there will be fire

And the babies cease alarm as mothers raising arms
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force irreversible as light years

traveling to the open eye
And who will join this standing up and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing back into the mountains and if necessary
even under the sea

A Friend Lost

The tide was up and sea roared
The waves crashed beside the cliff.
Hopes were high and my spirits roared,
Just a look and I was stiff.

Oh! what I see, just disheveled hair,
There in water afloat.
With bated breath I saw weather fair,
I called a passing boat.

While on the oar I took my seat, And cared our way across the bend,
While we rowed and talked my heart beat
I lost a bosom friend.

Kith and kin, shed many a tear,
As his body was placed on pyre.
He never spoke but I heard him clear,
A man once born is sure to die.

While the pyre lit though, I held on strong!
A single tear did wet my cheek
To believe my friend was gone,
For ever I could never seek

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

I was standing by my window
On a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away.

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by Lord, by and by
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.

Well, I went back home, home was lonely
For my mother she was gone
And all my family there was cryin'
For out home felt sad and alone.

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by Lord, by and by
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.

Undertaker, undertaker, undertaker
Won't you please drive slow
For that lady you are haulin'
Lord, I hate to see her go.

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by Lord, by and by
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky

Anything else but not your soul

When hurt comes as it will always do
Let it hurt anything else but not your soul
When betrayal experienced
Let it betray you but not your soul
When love fades as it will sometimes
Let it fade but not your soul

Life is full of its ups and downs
Lefts and rights
Let it all rotate but not your soul

Let you not surrender your soul
Let you not be broken to the last bone
Let you not be discouraged
It is your precious soul that will keep you going

For this soul is all you have
For this soul is the real deal
Just don’t loose it
Conquer, win, deliver, and rise above

The spirit lives forever

The spirit lives forever and can never die
We know this to be true, but know not why
But our time on this lovely earth is but brief
Long enough to learn beauty,bane,joy and grief
We feel and learn with blood, tears, laughs and sighs

The spirit swells with our emotions, feeling all our cries
Some psychics say our level of existence is very low
I believe it is our interface with nature and a time to grow
So, rejoice in the wonders of nature and mortality
For it is the foundation and growth of our spirituality





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