On May 24th 1994, in his first speech to the newly elected democratic parliament of South Africa, Nelson Mandela thus recalled the figure of Ingrid Jonker to a rather bewildered audience of mainly male politicians: “She was both a poet and a South African, both an Afrikaner and an African. She was both an artist and a human being. In the midst of despair, she celebrated hope. Confronted by death, she asserted the beauty of life”. He added that the dream of Jonker had come true, because the child in the famous poem he then quoted, The child who was shot dead by soldiers at Nyanga (1963), now a man, “treks through all of Africa / the child who became a giant travels through the whole world / Without a pass” (21–23). To mention a poet – a white woman – in such a crucial speech was an odd choice for the first black leader democratically elected in South Africa. Despite this, the choice was politically fine-tuned and it was also meant to have an emotional impact both on the new–born Rainbow Nation and on Mandela’s indisputable stature as a 20th–century–icon. The aim of this article is an investigation on some poetical constructions on Mandela, which would be incomplete, though, without some preliminary considerations on the use Mandela himself made of poetry and on the role poetry played in enhancing his charisma.
Guarducci, M.P. (2014). Mandela in/and Poetry. ALTRE MODERNITÀ, 12(novembre), 59-77.
|Titolo:||Mandela in/and Poetry|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Citazione:||Guarducci, M.P. (2014). Mandela in/and Poetry. ALTRE MODERNITÀ, 12(novembre), 59-77.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|