: de Kok (I.)

R 110.00
- +

63pp., paperback, Reprint, Cape Town, (2002) 2004


Terrestrial Things was awarded the 2003 Herman Charles Bosman Award for English Literature.

"There is still lyric poetry after Auschwitz, and on the cusp of a new century, facing backwards to the barbarism of South Africa's recent apartheid past while eyeing the ongoing catastrophe of the AIDS epidemic, Ingrid de Kok's flawless lines and un-illusioned observation suggest that without such stubborn hope the terrible beauty of tragic events is lost and we are left with meaningless, inexplicable calamity. The process of singing as well as the poet's struggle with words, meaning and rhythm is the hope. It is not an externally oriented hope for the future so much as an internally oriented hope that we can continue to assert human values, no matter how marked the age is and has been by inhumanity ...With de Kok's compassion and powers of evocation it becomes a complex and careful reassertion that despite all the evidence of terrestrial things there is not only the Boethian consolation that if we could see all, all might seem good, but also the consolation that poetry such as this which bears such telling witness to inhumanity is itself hope in action, its aesthetic precision itself a kind of activism." Simon Lewis

Ingrid de Kok was born in 1951 in Stilfontein, a gold mining town in what was then the Western Transvaal. She is the author of the poetry collections Familiar GroundSeasonal Fires, new and selected poemsTransfer and Other Signs. Now retired, she worked at the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies at the University of Cape Town.