Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Patricia Schonstein

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Reading Poetry at Jacob van Schalkwyk’s Exhibition SUNSETS

My first assignment as Poet in Residence at David Krut Projects Cape Town was to accompany Jaco van Schalkwyk on the Walkabout at his exhibition, SUNSETS.
This comprises a series of six drawings on paper in lithographic ink. The paintings are landscape-influenced and carry a sense of turbulence, fire-destruction, decay and rebirth. The heavily-layered and contoured colours are reminiscent of Table Mountain in all seasons, particularly the Silvermine area.
The 13 poems I chose are not literal descriptions of the art-works although two do relate directly to the painting REGROWTH. Quite by chance the poets, Margaret Clough and Adre Marshall, as well as the artist, all independent of each other, captured the rebirth of flowers after recent, devastating fires on the slopes of the mountain. All three express orange-red resurrection on a terrain rendered black by conflagration.
I followed these with a poem by Don Pinnock, set in Cederberg, which captures ochre and other versions of red. The fourth poem, by Yewande Omotsoto, took us to the cooling colours of sea.
The next were a series of love poems mirroring the turmoil of longing and love that envelope the six paintings. My final reading, by Anton Breton, summed up an erotic undercurrent.
I should just mention, that not all the colours captured in the art, are named in the poems. Even so, one ‘heard’ the same layered silver-blues of the sea; white of stars; mauve of heartache; and the erogenous exploding-red of life in Jaco’s work.
If you are in Cape Town, don’t miss the exhibition.
These are the poems I read:
From Stanzas Four, a poetry quarterly:
Silvermine, April 2005 by Margaret Clough
Sugarbush by Adre Marshall
From Africa! My Africa! An anthology of poems:
Alone in Riemvasmaak by Don Pinnock
Letter to Njabulo Africa! Lucas Delisa Zulu
Mashiya by Siyabonga Sibiya
The bridge Allan Kolski Horwitz
This Life by Andries Walter Oliphant
From Heart of Africa! Poems of love, loss and longing:
The sea has two mouths Yewande Omotoso
Let them know by Yewande Omotoso
The old couple by Jeremy Gordin
Blue eyed boy by Pam Newham
Dining with Neruda by Cornelia Rohde
From 99 Poems in Translation
Freedom of love by André Breton translated from the French by Edouard Roditi
Stanzas; Africa! My Africa! and Heart of Africa! are available from
Photo by Hannele TulkkiReading at JvS Exhibition 2

Please register or log in to comment