Weerlose weemoed: die poësie van Luuk Gruwez (1953-)
Van Coller, Hennie
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Luuk Gruwez is one of the best-known and anthologized poets in the Dutch language. A few years ago he was relatively unknown in the Afrikaans literary world, but this situation changed dramatically with his attendance of a Translation Workshop, subsequent visits and the translation of a collection of his poems (Bandelose gedigte) into Afrikaans. The fact that one of the most influential canonisers in the Afrikaans Literary Field, André P. Brink, included three translations of his poems in Groot Verseboek, the most seminal historical anthology of Afrikaans poetry, attributed to the fact that his work became better known and became part of the Dutch literary curricula in South Africa. A definable trait in his recent poetry is intertextual allusions to Afrikaans poets and even South African art. There are several recurrent themes in Gruwez' s poetry (the obsession with the personal outobiography, poetry as an amulet against death and decay and a fixation on peripheral figures in society). In his famous portrait-poems Gruwez acts as a poetical taxidermist by not only remembering in fondness, but his preservation of figures like his mother and grandmother is also in a sense a death-defying act: the permanence of poetry! In this article the focus is on the evolution of his poetry and on recurrent themes.
- Faculty of Humanities