Mediating urban identity : orality, performance and poetry in the work of Koos du Plessis.
In this article I examine as mediations of urban experience poems written by Koos du Plessis. a contemporary Afrikaans poet. together with their musical rendition by Johannes Kerkorrel. a singer and musician from the Afrikaans altemative music scene and former member of Die Gereformeerde Blues Band. The poetry was initially published with musical arrangements in the volume Kinders van die Wind : En Ander Lirieke (1981) . In order to use this material in an article produced as part of an English study . I have translated the poetry into English . The translation (in linguistic and performative terms) of these poems has the dual effect of rendering them more appropriately for this study, and making them accessible to a wider audience. I am concemed with the way poems written by a poet from an earlier decade (the 1980s) interpret and mediate an urban identity and. further. with the fact that performance not only gives them a new lease of life. but also transforms them into works which have meaning and appeal for a more contemporary, broader audience. The fundamental issues addressed in this poetry , namely a response to and a negotiation of urban (South African) experience. continue to speak compellingly today.