Antjie Krog

Literary Birthday – 23 October – Antjie Krog

Happy Birthday, Antjie Krog, born 23 October 1952.

Seven Quotes

  1. It’s hard for me to speak, whether in English or Afrikaans. The reason I write is because I cannot speak. I feel blunt.
  2. ….literature inflects the anguish of reality in a way that theoretical discussions of the same issues cannot achieve, making possible a kind of understanding not accessible by other means.
  3. I’m a poet. I distrust anything that starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop because people don’t think in full, clear sentences.
  4. Which books are on the bedside tables of our ministers? How many bookshelves had been built into the newly renovated presidential and ministerial houses? How many reading circles are in the parliamentary complexes? What novels are the captains of industry reading there in business class? What poetry volumes are in the judges’ smart cases? What literary texts are to be found in doctors’ waiting rooms, or on teachers’ or parents’ tables? (Source)
  5. When I put my feet down at Heathrow I see people who ‘have’. They are the haves. And if you don’t change your mind, your opinions, your wallet, the poor will come for you.
  6. Poetry has taught me how to live. Everything of value I have found there.
  7. I deeply believe that poetry can say everything. It complexified and deepened my ability to love another human being; it opened me up to see injustice as if it was underlined in red, to be aware of community, of being young etc. I also need to grow old in poetry, to describe the sagging seams with affection, to find the words to love someone that I have lived with for thirty years – not as symbols or metaphors, but as blunt, untransformed body.

Antjie Krog is a South African poet, academic and writer. She is best known for writing Country of My Skull.

Source for image

Whyilovethisbook, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd October 2013