AN ODE TO PHOSA’S ENGLISH PO­ETRY

CityPress - - Voices -

Strug­gle hero and for­mer ex­iled cadre of the ANC Mathews Phosa has re­leased a se­ries of po­ems in the an­thol­ogy Chants of Free­dom: Po­etry Writ­ten in Ex­ile. While he has pre­vi­ously re­leased po­etry in Afrikaans, this is his first foray into pub­lish­ing English po­etry. As the ti­tle sug­gests, the po­ems cover his pe­riod in ex­ile and tackle is­sues around sep­a­ra­tion, a sense of dis­lo­ca­tion and the is­sue at the heart of the apartheid sys­tem: op­pres­sion.

Phosa, who speaks nine lan­guages, pos­sesses a re­mark­able com­mand of the writ­ten word and the book is sure to be a po­etic de­light.

MATHEWS PHOSA

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