The poetry of the Afrikaans poet Gilbert Gibson and the Dutch poet Jan Lauwereyns has been labelled as “hermetic” by certain critics. This study examines a number of poems from the volumes oogensiklopedie (Gilbert Gibson) and Hemelsblauw (Lauwereyns) with regard to the hermetic characteristics of these poems. Besides the analysis of the individual poems, a comparison is also made to determine the similarities and differences between the Afrikaans and Dutch poems.
The study provides a general overview of Gibson and Lauwereyns’ oeuvres in chapter 1 before the origin and history of hermetic poetry is briefly described in chapter 2. In modern hermetic poetry the poet’s technical ingenuity is highly valued and aspects such as sound devices, syntax, metaphorical language and volume composition establish the hermetic nature of the poem. These aspects are discussed at length in chapter 2, specifically with reference to Paul Claes’ (2013) theorising of hermetic poetry. Despite hermetic poetry often being described as difficult, obscure and inaccessible, it is not incomprehensible. This study demonstrates the latter by attempting to provide interpretations of the poems in chapter 3 even though these interpretations can naturally not be final and all-encompassing. In chapter 4 the hermetic poetry of the two poets is compared before final remarks are made in chapter 5.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--Uniersity of Pretoria, 2019.
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