Hierdie is die LitNet-argief (2006–2012)
Besoek die aktiewe LitNet-platform by www.litnet.co.za

This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Menings | Opinion > Briewe | Letters > SpeakEasy


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Bruised but not broken
De Waal - 2008-03-12
The poems by Charmaine Weir-Smith published here demonstrate much what is good about poetry. A huge amount of emotion and information is expressed in very few words. The feeling of malaise, boredom and disillusionment is patently clear in these lines. This image is superb: "I watch fascinated as the wind bruises their branches and yet they never break". These few words capture the mood of the poem's narrator beautifully. Like the branches she is being bruised, but not broken. I congratulate...

Complex girl child
De Waal - 2008-03-11
Hello Annie You made me smile with your description of yourself :) This is almost a little prose poem on its own. You look like the kind of person who can benefit from some disciplined writing and friendly guidance. I think you can get exactly that sort of thing in the online poetry course I'm offering. This morning I looked in amazement at a poem one of the course participants had revised for the third time - it's a &*%^$ good poem now! I can send you an electronic brochure with full details...

Poets and poems
Annie - 2008-03-11
De Waal, you enquired about the poem. Well, let me introduce you to the "poets". Me, myself and I, together with Annie, form part of an average yet complex girl child. Whilst she is usually an average middle aged girl child, she has these crazy impulse driven moments of madness when words wrestle each other and pour out onto paper.Naturally she is rather taken aback when sanity prevails and she reads the outpourings. She will deny her fascination with the full moon and that one of her special...

Undoubtedly Africa
De Waal - 2008-03-11
Hello Frieda I enjoyed your three poems very much. What struck me most about them is the feeling that these poems are truly from this part of Africa we're living in. The tone is calm and almost matter of fact, but the poems are moving. The casualness of death and injury is unfortunately typical of our times and the environment we're living in. In "Finally the rain fell" I experienced the actual smell of dusty streets suddenly turning wet. When a poem achieves synesthesia of this quality,...

Whose poem?
De Waal - 2008-03-07

Dark and Light
Annie - 2008-03-07
De Waal Imagine walking on a beach at midnight and watching the tide come rushing in. The dark coldness of the wet sand beneath your feet and the brightness of a full moon above. Is this not a perfect example of light and dark? Does one reach out to the moon's brightness and stumble over unseen obstacles on the ground, or do you not look up, keep your head down and miss ethereal beauty? I know what my choice would be ..... she floats throught the dark skyserene and untouchableradiant in her beauty...

It's all in the order of the Universe
Sue - 2008-03-07

Light and rights
Annie - 2008-03-06
De Waal Without the light to guide us, you and I have become like ships passing in the night, each of us on our own journey. Contrast is very important. It can highlight the existent of one to the detriment of another. The dark is often used as a cloak or a shield for both good and bad. We use it for our own benefit and sometimes for that of others. Just as there is two sides to every story and every coin, so there is good and bad, compliance and aggression in our makeup. We are supposedly civilised...

Annie and lacking light
De Waal - 2008-03-05
Hello Annie I can understand what you are saying due to the fact that light is lacking. What I mean is this: I can read the words you wrote on my monitor because the meaningful parts of the screen has no light. Let me explain a little further. If you think about it, you soon realise that the computer doesn't project black letters on a white background. What happens is that most of the pixels on the screen are switched on and that makes the screen appear white. But some are switched off and therefore...

Youth and load shedding
Annie - 2008-03-03
I grew up in a time when many of today's so called luxuries were still ideas. We played as children should and even though many of the families were not rich, we were rich in the sense that we had a freedom that today's children will never know. We were free to play in the streets, free to roam at will, free to pluck fruit from a tree, free to be children. Today the children are glued to their various electronic devices. They can scarcely read and books are considered old fashioned. They are stunted...

Too many words?
Tung in Tjeek - 2008-02-28
Esteemed de Waal, Greetings from my Master to a Learned Man. My master agrees with you but one has to take into consideration the nature of the competition and also the fact that not that many of the inhabitants of the brave new world are privy to his language. He requests that I inform you that when he has conquered the rest of the world he will make it a priority that this particular language becomes the lingua franca of all the tribes (yes, including the wretched Gauls). Go in peace, esteemed...

Six words
Nita Naidoo - 2008-02-27

Too many words?
De Waal - 2008-02-27

A couple of sixes
Sue - 2008-02-27

Six letter story
Mustapha - 2008-02-26
My most esteemed sires I am writing on behalf of my most gracious master. He has requested that I enter the following on his behalf: I came, I saw, I conquered. He does however, request that we do not award him the baby BMW (?) as it will not suffice as a vehicle when we go to battle and that is quite often but would prefer six white stallions as they are better suited to the sometimes rough terrain that we find ourselves occupying. Your most humble servantMustaphaScribe to his excellency: Caesar,...

In the beginning
De Waal Venter - 2008-02-26

Poets and critics
De Waal Venter - 2008-02-26

Challenge for de Waal et al
anni ominous - 2008-02-26
There was/is a competition on the go that our Afrikaans siblings enjoyed and entered into with great glee – write a story using only SIX WORDS. That's right, only six words. It could be funny, serious, topical, off the wall, it could be a future Nobel Peace prize winner! It can be done – so here's to you: my entry is as follows: De Waal, this is a challenge and another: The hijacker wore a black mask and another: He pointed his finger at me! and so forth: What are you and daddy doing?...

To be or not to be, De Waal
Sue - 2008-02-26
Dear De Waal,Fair enough, I understand your point. However, I just wish to point out that I was not highlighting real poets here, not discrediting poetry. I have the world of respect for them ...The parallel I was trying to illustrate is that those hopeful of one day becoming a poet, should not despair if people in their official capacity as intellectuals, studying poetry, discredit and scrutinize their efforts on their way to carry the title "poet". That writing is never a waste of time,...

Poems are exposed
De Waal - 2008-02-19
Hello AnniYou're asking whether you have the right to criticise another poet's work. I think the way to approach that is as follows: firstly, somebody could ask you to criticise his or her work. Then you obviously have a right to criticise, even an obligation.The second scenario is when a poet publishes. Whether you publish in printed media or electronically, once you've published you've given permission to any reader to critique and criticise (there is, of course, a difference). A poet has control...

Poetry ... for de Waal et al
Anni Onimous - 2008-02-18
Many thanks to all for responding – it makes for fascinating reading. It takes a lot of time and effort to produce anything that is worthwhile, whether poetry or a simple story. The pursuit of one's muse is not an activity that one can partake of in a crowd. You need to be alone with your thoughts and dreams. This leads to a withdrawing of oneself and a certain loneliness. There are very few fellow authors out there who would willingly share time with each other. We have become "closet...

Anni: Writing poetry is good; writing good poetry is better!
De Waal - 2008-02-18
Hello AnniThank you very much for responding to my question whether poetry is a waste of time. It seems both you and Sue are very certain that it is not!You emphasise that poetry is a platform one can use to express emotions and feelings, and that we create a legacy by writing. I think both points are valid. Of course, as I said to Sue, the better one writes, the more unforgettable one becomes.I suppose reading bad poetry can be a waste of time. Allegra makes the point that we should all take the...

Wasting time with poetry – Sue
De Waal - 2008-02-18
Hello SueYou have some very inspiring things to say here. I agree with you that all human beings have a greater or lesser ability to write poetry. To be creative is to be human.But when you say that "every single person who has ever put a hand to paper" may be called a poet, I balk.I think it would defeat the purpose if we made the terms "poet" and "poetry" too inclusive. As you say, there are people who devote large slices of their lives to writing poetry, who study...

Thoughts on poetry for De Waal
Anni Onimous - 2008-02-15
Whilst I would not be quite the right person to engage, I am nevertheless going to venture my hand and join in on a discussion on the agony and ecstasy of poetry. Language is merely a tool. It has been used by so many cultures to record events, to perpetuate history, to illustrate, to express the yearnings and frustration of those fortunate enough to have access to these tools. We use language as a weapon, as a means of upliftment, we use words, abuse them, create them and spin them to suit the occassion....

Reading and writing
Allegra - 2008-02-15
De Waal asks: Why is it that so many people are interested in writing poetry?I ask: Is the “yearning to write poetry” matched by a yearning to read some?And I ask: if these writers of so-called poetry care so much about their craft, are they supporting their sisters and brothers in the word? Writing poetry that you expect to be read by others is a creative act that comes with more obligation than expectation. Are they helping build a culture of poetry by buying and reading South African...

Just me wasting time on the thoughts of poetry ... (Annie and de Waal)
Sue - 2008-02-15
I don't think it is a fair question, given the true value of any word ever written by any person in the context of what others refer to as poetry. Yes, there are professional poets; they know the "laws" of writing, language use and the rules of wording. Yes, it is an absolute enlightenment to read and appreciate such works of word-art. But then, who may be considered a poet, apart from those who have committed their lives to such pleasures? I say, every single person who has ever put a...

Is poetry a waste of time?
De Waal - 2008-02-14
Hello AnniYou may have noticed that I'm interested in poetry. Would you like to join me in a conversation on this subject?Firstly, I think everything thinkable is within the province of poetry. It isn't an esoteric field in which one only finds wailings about lost loves or meditations upon beautiful sunsets. I challenge anyone to name a subject that is closed to poetry.Secondly, I'd like to explore another aspect of poetry: what's the use of it?Virtually any other kind of writing is "useful"...

Anyone out there?
Anni - 2008-02-13
Hi there Is there anyone out there? I had thought that by switching to the English side of LitNet that I would find some interesting people to correspond with, to exchange ideas, viewpoints, and generally just talk to, but alas, my hopes were in vain. It started off quite well but petered out so rapidly that it did not even leave a smoke trail. One has to beg the question why? We are entitled to our opinions and thoughts and sharing cannot do much harm as one is protected. We do not have to discuss...

Haiku in modern guise?
De Waal - 2008-02-13
I find Catherine Wagener's three untitled poems very pleasant to read. They could be regarded as unstructured haiku. The poems do not adhere to the rules of the revered Eastern format, but function in much the same way. In Untitled 3 the image of the water flowing over the weir soothing away doubts and fear is essentially very simple, but the poem manages to imbue it with depth in meaning.The sonics, with the "sh" sounds, work well to create the mood of flowing water and the soothing effect...

Poetry course
De Waal Venter - 2008-02-12

Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers
Yolanda McCabe - 2008-02-11
Book: Redeeming LoveAuthor: Francine RiversPublisher: Monarch PublicationsISBN: 9781854246592Format: SoftcoverBrilliant! Breathtaking! Action-packed from the beginning to the end! Perfect in every way – from the plot right through to the characters and writing style. I still get goosebumps every time I think or talk about this book. My soul is touched. There are no words to give it the credit it deserves. I was in tears within the first hour of starting to read it (which is very unlike me)....

With her feet on the ground
De Waal Venter - 2008-02-08
I enjoyed reading this charming poem with its hypnotic, chanting rhythm. The poem is written in couplets that help to create the concept of an elemental simplicity. The woman in the poem, the sister, is an atavistic figure that seems to be so close to nature that she virtually represents a natural force. The couplets don't rhyme, but some sounds are repeated at scattered intervals: "sand", "teeth" and "feet" and "free". By using anadiplosis effectively in many...

Fears about publishing, for Lee
Anni Ominous - 2008-02-04
Many thanks for your offer. I will consider and let you know. In the meantime, I have given your email address to a friend who is probably the best person to help you out. At the moment I am busy with several very short stories for the CHOC organisation and these stories are aimed at uplifting and motivating the various little patients at the Johannesburg General Hospital (Children’s Oncology wards). The stories have been approved by the various caregivers and the social worker who is involved...

It’s easy for white gay men to talk ...
Tracey - 2008-02-01
This response is probably a bit late, but I only picked up on this post now ... It's all very well for affluent white gay men to say gay issues are over and done with. Tell that to Sizakele and Salome, the two black lesbians who were victims of hate crimes just last year! The point that Ray, Afrikaans and Chigurh seem to have missed is that it appears there is still a place for activism. If nothing else, for the black lesbians who are still being subjected to hate crimes, not to mention the gay men...

Fears about publishing
J - 2008-01-31
I too have fears about publishing. Like all new writers I write mostly about myself and my experiences (see my article under Support Groups: Journey to Loving God). It took me years to consider sending in something. I read it a million times and asked all the family and friends that couldn’t scramble away in time to read it. In 2006 I finally sent an article about hunting for publication in England and almost caused a lot of trouble, so I withdrew it. After that I didn’t have the confidence...

Anni Ominous and writing
Lee - 2008-01-31
Dear Anni Ominous It is so good to meet another writer of children’s stories on SêNet! After all, isn’t that what LitNet is all about, to meet kindred spirits in our beloved life task, writing, and exchanging ideas, be inspired and get new courage to continue with the world’s most lonely but also most satisfying work, namely creative writing! You say, “I have been writing poetry and children’s stories for a while but have never been brave enough to consider submitting...

For One More Day: A jewel of a book
Eliza Ferner - 2008-01-31
For One More Day by Mitch Albom ISBN: 9780751537505Format: SoftcoverPublication Date: 2007/9Pages: 208 There isn’t a lot to say about this book, mainly because it is such a jewel. If you enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People you Meet in Heaven you are sure to love this book. It is written in Albom’s usual minimalist style - direct, empathetic and full of pathos. People either love Albom’s books or hate them, and I know a couple of people who do not like his writing....

Printing business
Yolanda McCabe - 2008-01-31
In an electronic society, who would still use the printing business? Is it being phased out? It must be a very boring job, so why would anyone apart from Third World citizens want to study it?Those were my thoughts before I (with an aspiration to get into publishing) started working at a printing company.Magic was what I discovered. It all starts with an idea. That idea slowly grows into negatives, ink is mixed, and blank paper goes in the one end of a huge machine and comes out all colourful at...

A handshake for J
Anni Ominous - 2008-01-30
Many thanks for being brave and grownup enough to admit that you might have been wrong. We Souf Efrikans are a contrary bunch and this is as a result of our mix and match group of ancestors. So many different cultures and some home grown ones mixed up in a melting pot was bound to deliver a very contrary end product. Politics and the ensuing scandals are important but then again so is constructive dialogue regarding many different aspect of our daily lives. We are living in interesting times...

Touché Annie!
J - 2008-01-29
Alas, ‘tis true. When I read the Afrikaans letters (SêNet) I soon realised that I was in the wrong. All everyone is interested in is politics, racism, South Africa's weakpoints and misery. I’m glad Philip wanted to change the subject. I’m raking my brain but can’t think of something else that’s interesting to talk about. What else do people talk about? Or I’m guessing that they categorise the other chats into IT, games, history, travelling, films,...

A fascinating point of view ("Minutia" by Charmaine Weir-Smith)
Philip Mercator - 2008-01-23
One of the first choices a poet must make when beginning a new poem is choosing the point of view of the narrator.I'm very interested in this aspect of poetry technique. When I came across Charmaine Weir-Smith's poem "Minutia" in the "New Writing" section of LitNet, I was fascinated by the way the poet structured the role of the Narrator (N).N addresses another person: "I'm amazed by your life of no errors", and seems very critical of that person, presumably a woman...

Air your views (congratulations Philip)
Annie Onimous - 2008-01-22
To Philip Congratulations on being brave enough to air your views - so you got slapped on the wrist for daring to broach the subject of politics - so what! Now that we know that politics and all its glorious scandals are taboo shall we discuss the weather, old chap? And how is dear old auntie doing today? RegardsAnnie Onimous What are your views? Email your English comments on literature and LitNet content to speakeasy@litnet.co.za. You are welcome...

Next time (for J)
Philip Mercator - 2008-01-22
Hello J This is probably a little unusual, but I agree with you! After I'd written the letter I realised that it isn't really a LIT type of theme. But thanks for responding and showing interest. I have another idea that I'm going to air here soon, and this time it will be on target! Kind regardsPhilip Mercator Email your English comments on LitNet material to speakeasy@litnet.co.za. You are welcome to use a pseudonym.Or enter theLeopard's Leap...

Re: Where is everybody?
J - 2008-01-21
Well, on the 4th of January I was on holiday far from a computer; replenishing my creative juices by living outside my flat for a while. Regarding your discussion: I’m sorry to say, Philip, but I think the one you’re trying to open here, belongs on a website like News24. All these political discussions are very interesting, but sometimes it gets a bit excessive and that’s why I appreciate LitNet. Whenever I have a craving for the political stuff I read News24 but the rest of...

Tired themes, tired language use and tiring plagiarism
Duncan Arthur - 2008-01-04
I followed the Christopher Hope saga with the allegations of plagiarism in My Mother's Lovers from a distance. I finally had the chance to read the book over this Christmas period. I haven't ever bothered with McGregor's saga of the DJ and his one man Aids epidemic and I hold Hope up as my personal favourite SA novelist - in short, I didn't believe Hope would do it, especially from a modern history on someone largely unimportant in the bigger scheme of things and which he was hardly likely ever...

Where is everybody?
Philip Mercator - 2008-01-04
Hello AnnieI'm glad you raised the issue. I was wondering to myself what on earth is happening on this site. Where is everybody? And why is no one using it as a platform for discussion?Let me try to start a discussion by pondering a bit on the question of power. I mean political power and all the other powers commensurate with that. And I'm talking specifically about the South African situation, tying in with Antony Altbeker's A Country at War with Itself, which speaks not only of the crime crisis...

Be brave, write a letter
Annie Onimous - 2007-12-21
I make an effort to read as much as possible every day and enjoy your website. I find the Afrikaans letters very interesting and look forward to the various opinions and/or arguments and even debates on a very varied range of subjects.I decided to have a look at the English version, and what a disappointment!Is this perhaps because the website is regarded by my English siblings as a strictly Afrikaans site, or are they completely unaware of the site or even do not regard this as quite the right way...

For Eugene Ashton: Thank you for your poetry
Janine Hoek - 2007-11-29

Leopard's Leap Booklover's Reward: Katy’s Kid by Rosemund Handler
Elize Ferner - 2007-11-12
Katy's KidRosemund J HandlerISBN: 9780143025320PaperbackPenguin SAR110 This is a wonderful delight of a book. Despite the subject matter (prostitution, paedophilia, rape), which had me flinching when I read the summary, the writing is so gripping and enthralling that it becomes "unputdownable". I was totally intrigued and beguiled by the main character, Katy’s kid, Jody. She has a wisdom and prosaic no-nonsense approach to life which is most enjoyable and admirable. The other...

Leopard's Leap Booklover's Reward: JM Coetzee's Diary of a bad year
Janine Hoek - 2007-11-06
Diary of a bad year JM Coetzee 2007 Published by Harville Secker: London ISBN: 97818465511208 Hard cover The self-reflective register in which JM Coetzee writes Diary of a bad year reveals the constant struggle of a thoughtful existence, where the influence of microscopic personal moments affects the construction of larger social ideology: What has begun to change since I moved into the orbit of Anya is not my opinions themselves so much...

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