Terrestrial Things: Poems
Ingrid de Kok is arguably the most lucid and composed voice in contemporary South African English poetry. Terrestrial Things is her third volume. In it she brings her art to the great dramas of our time: the burden revealed in the tragic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and the ceaseless ravaging of the AIDS pandemic. Two other parts of the work provide wider perspectives: one is focused on the formative family bonds and the landscapes of childhood; the other brings her love of Italy to life. A work of great courage, the book grants us the possibility of sustaining the emotional freight of our place and time without breakdown. Anchored in the personal life its dark central vision is carefully framed and steadied by the resources of poetry in the hands of a fine and mature talent.
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Archbishop arms Birds at Bellagio blood bluegum trees body bones boots boys breath BRODSKY cage camouflage canary CAPE TOWN cats chair child commission Compassionate leave confessional cypresses dark dead dunes eyes father father's books feet FREIGHT The head full of questions girl of thirteen grave gull hand headgear hear hearse heart hinges hot afternoons hours of testimony Hunchbacks Ingrid inside Italian killed kind knew levitate light listening Lizards MARGARET MADLANA memory mimed mother mouth mute never pain pewter Rooi-nek room full safety's sake forbidden San Michele shoes shoots shot silence sings sinkhole Sirens sounding song sorrow sound engineer South Africa Sticks on stone Stilfontein street Stretched horizon surfaced sweat TERRESTRIAL THINGS throat thud Tongue-tied tooth tread Truck stop truth turn underground veld Venice waiting walk watched weeping wept William Kamanga wings Women and children Word by word Word upon word