I am not an engineer. but I studied
to be one. those days, the ’60s, we
went to varsity in shorts and long socks and
threw paper aeroplanes in class. chem.eng.
was a tough course. the theoreticians did well
but the real engineers, the guys who drank beers
and fixed their own cars, failed.
Liberation in South Africa and the first free elections, in 1994, unleashed a social and cultural energy and sense of possibility. In the two decades since then, there has been an explosion of innovation in South African poetry, with a number of poets experimenting with fresh perspectives and themes. In a society still bearing the effects of deep division—most obviously, but not only, racial—poetry has become one of the cultural media through which individuals from previously antagonistic groups can share and explore their feelings and emotions, thereby, at times, creating bonds of mutual sympathy. At the same time, the social and political foci of pre-liberation poetry have remained but have been transformed and augmented by a number of fresh areas of concern.