The influence of selected English romantic poets in B.W. Vilakazi's poetry.
Ngidi, Evangeline Bonisiwe.
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B.W. Vilakazi is regarded by many literary critics as the best poet of his time, who had he lived longer, would have marked his living years the Vilakazi era. It is for this reason that I decided to embark on the study of his poetry, and that which influenced him, mainly the English Romantic Poets. In doing this research I also emphasised typical aspects of Romantic poets so as to clarify whether Vilakazi does fall under this category (Romantic category). In the introduction of Inkondlo kaZulu Gumede remarks thus on B.W. Vilakazi's poetry: "UVilakazi tstqungo sokwakha izosha lezi usithole esiblgisini. Usebenzisa isiZulu kanye nemizekeliso yaso namalutha, ekhombisa ithuba lokuqhuba isiZulu sibe nenkinga yaso yezincwadi noma izosha lezi zincikile esiNgisini. Ube nesibindi sokuzisukela aqambe lolu hlobo lwezibongo zesiZulu wangagudluka endleleni endala." (l935:vi) "Vilakazi gets his poetic inspiration from English. He uses Zulu images and superstitions to show that Zulu can have its own literature even though it is related to English. It is very brave of him to compose new genre in Zulu praises, without diverting from the original version by older poets." The scope of the study will be as follows: Chapter One is an introductory chapter which includes: the aim of the study; preamble, literature review, research methodology, biographical notes on Vilakazi, Vilakazi's literary works (novels, anthologies of poetry, articles in journals), Vilakazi's lexicographical work (the Dictionary), Vilakazi's influences (his own personal experiences, traditional poetry, traditional prose narrative, Biblical influences and mostly the English Romantic Poets). This chapter includes the definition of Poetry and the definition of a poet, definition of a Bard 'Imbongi', it also defines Romanticism (as a movement and as a concept); and it gives various critical views on RW. Vilakazi. Chapter Two deals with the influence of English Romantic Poets on Vilakazi, and looks at certain poems of Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley. Chapter Three deals with Vilakazi as a Romantic poet (certain Poems with Romantic aspects). Chapter Four is the Conclusion looking at the extent that the Romantic poets influenced Vilakazi's writing.