Poetry News

The origin of Afrikaans from poet Antjie Krog

By Harriet Staff

In The Poetry Channel's new podcast, prominent South African poet Antjie Krog condenses 100 years of South African history and the poetic tradition of Afrikaans to 15 minutes. Using illustrative poems (her own and others) she explores the origins of Afrikaans, from its adoption as the language of slaves through to its use as the ‘language of violence and separation’ under apartheid, to its reclamation by those who were oppressed. She ends with a powerful reading of the poem read by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration, ‘The Child Who Was Shot Dead By Soldiers At Nyangal’.

The podcast is an edited version of a talk given by Antjie Krog at the 2008 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. It provides the perfect historical and linguistic context and illustrates just why this World Cup is so special.

Listen here.

Originally Published: June 24th, 2010