Poem Analysis: In Detention – Chris Van Wyk. In Detention. by Chris Van Wyk. Analysis by Lelethu Yeki. He fell from the ninth floor. He hanged. IN DETENTION. CHRIS VAN WYK ( -) Van Wyk published a volume of poetry,. He employs In Detention (title): During the Apartheid. Era, police. Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon shot to fame through his widely anthologised poem In Detention, which satirised the Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and.

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These include not behaving like a quiet little mouse but rather making noises, “like drinking a glass of water” or singing bits from pop songs or calling to the dog outside, vna doing something like reading or writing while you are also preoccupied in listening.

The tone of the poem is sarcastic however works out to be very effective. He was also editor of Staffrider from to and in started the short-lived Wietie magazine with Fhazel Johennesse.

The excuses given were usually the same: Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and his two sons Kevin and Karl. On this very simple poem, Chris van Wyk examines these excuses with some sarcastic humour.

During the literary explosion among black writers that followed the Soweto uprising in van Wyk published a volume of poetry, It Is Time to Go Homethat won the Olive Schreiner Prize. In Detention – Chris Van Wyk. Notice that there is no reference to women prisoners.

Chris Van Wyk was born in Soweto and lived his early years in Newclare before moving to Riverlea, a poorer suburb of Johannesburg. This is by no stretch of the imagination a difficult poem. By referring to the men as “he” and not giving any specific names, shows that these deaths occured quite often to many people. Loading comments… Trouble loading? He was also an editor at Ravan Press. It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the creator of Knowledge4Africa, Dr T. There is, however, a danger in this because it limits readership to those who are already convinced.

He was strongly influenced by political events particularly the Soweto uprising ofand this is reflected in his writing. In he received the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award for black children’s literature for A Message in the Windthe story of two boys who travel in their homemade time machine to their shared tribal past of N ot long after the death of Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, South Africa has lost another literary icon.


In this way the poem makes a very powerful protest at this gross violation of human rights.

Lele’sLiterature_Blog: Poem Analysis: In Detention – Chris Van Wyk

People could be locked away almost permanently without access to law-courts to prove their innocence. The sole exception is for educational institutions which may wish to reproduce it as a handout for their students. He fell from the ninth floor He hanged himself He slipped on a piece of soap while washing He hanged himself He slipped on a piece of soap while washing He fell from the ninth floor He hanged himself while washing He slipped from the ninth floor He hung from the ninth floor He slipped on the ninth floor while washing He fell from a piece of soap while slipping He hung from the ninth floor He washed from the ninth floor while slipping He can from a piece of soap while washing.

It is also important to carefully look at the actual explanations, where one can realize that vvan fact the police were highly dishonest: His latest work Eggs to Lay, Chickens to Hatch details childhood memories about growing up in Riverlea and his colourful interactions with the men and women who lived the African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Because the poet bases the poem on the words used by the security police themselves, it is also an example of satire. How then would a prisoner in handcuffs — and possibly leg-irons — manage to climb through a barred window and fall to his death?

Click on Stanza for line by line discussion.

Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chris Van Wyk was a poet in the Apartheid era, as he was of ‘colour’ it is quite expected that he would have something to say about the country’s happenings and does this through poetry.

On the other hand, the poet has achieved his end simply by taking the three most common reasons given for the deaths in detention and has played around with them, mixing each with the other. However, this was a very common excuse given for deaths in detention. Van Wyk told the fresh-faced young recruits, assembled alongside members of the Timol family and anti-apartheid activists, how the poem became so popular that the security police heard about it, arrested him and interrogated him in the very same John Vorster Square, threatening an identical fate.


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The poem explores the likelihood of the three standard explanations of that time being true: Fortunately, Van Wyk survived the interrogation and continued to be an important literary voice in the post-apartheid era.

The Year of the Tapeworm is an adult novel and warns of government control of the media. Indeed, it is hard to see what questions could be asked in the exams.

He has then merely listed them. Christopher van Wyk JohannesburgTransvaal. Van Wyk showed signs of wanting to be a writer as early as five years of age — and since then, he says, he has had a love affair with words.

Read the left column and then answer the following questions: The best tribute we can pay is to ln the work. Content The title immediately places the poem in apartheid South Africa, and comments indirectly on detentiln number of deaths in detention of political activists during these years at least 67 people died in detention. Nevertheless, here are some topics to test you.

The variations of the explanations are rather absurd and quite frankly make no sense, showing that the police, in some sense abused their authority and were disrespectful enough to give such detentiob and think the public would believe them. This page was last edited on 15 Januaryat He would win other awards for his novels and short stories, including the Maskew Miller Longman Award for Black Children’s Literature in and the Sanlam Literary Award for the best short story of Show 25 25 50 All.

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