The challenge of the lyrical voice in 'unlyrical' times : a study of Ingrid de Kok's poetry.
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This study places the poetry of Ingrid de Kok in a critical context that is strongly influenced by the political climate. Unlike political rhetoric, the nature of the lyrical poem is personal and complex, arguably rendering it defunct in a democracy that seeks to serve majority interests. De Kok’s challenge is to be a lyrical poet in the public sphere, to contain and represent the public interest within the personal form. I will examine how she rises to the historical occasion and extends her medium to incorporate the public event. At the same time, if she is to retain her voice as a lyrical poet, she must guard the privacy of its expression and the intimate spaces it seeks to delineate. In this way she asserts the validity of every-day concerns and of spaces traditionally designated as female. By interrogating the categories of personal and public I hope to project a complex vision of the possibilities of the lyric within contemporary South Africa.