Poems about South Africa

To My Father, Who Died by Dawn Garisch

Dawn Garisch’s poem ‘To My Father, Who Died’ is about the relationship of the poet’s father with the sea. It depicts the cycle of life and death through the metaphor of the sea.

To My Father, Who Died by Dawn Garisch Visual Representation

Weather Eye by Isobel Dixon

‘Weather Eye’ by Isobel Dixon is a beautiful poem about childhood. It describes the routines that controlled a speaker’s life during their youth and how they miss the order and family time.

Weather Eye by Isobel Dixon Visual Representation

Hadedah by Adam Schwartzman

‘Hadedah’ by Adam Schwartzman is an original poem in which the speaker uses animal imagery, specifically that of an ibis, to talk about complex subjects like the South African political climate.

The Shebeen Queen by Mafika Gwala

‘The Shebeen Queen’ by Mafika Gwala depicts the life of a woman running a “shebeen” and the consumerist name of her society.

Ingrid Jonker by Sally Bryer

‘Ingrid Jonker’ by Sally Bryer is a sentiment of praise for Ingrid Jonker herself, a woman who used her words to push for change in South Africa.

From Not Him by Wopko Jensma

‘From Not Him’ by Wopko Jensma tells a story of a father who is rigid in his daily activities regarding the upbringing of his children.

Nothing’s Changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika

The poem, ‘Nothing’s Changed’ by Tatmkhulu Afrika, talks about the rampant apartheid system in District Six near Cape Town in South Africa, and explores racism.

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