Poem Analysis: In Detention – Chris Van Wyk. In Detention. by Chris Van Wyk. Analysis by Lelethu Yeki. He fell from the ninth floor. He hanged. IN DETENTION. CHRIS VAN WYK ( -) Van Wyk published a volume of poetry,. He employs In Detention (title): During the Apartheid. Era, police. Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon shot to fame through his widely anthologised poem In Detention, which satirised the Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and.

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The Year of the Tapeworm is an adult novel and warns of government control of the media. Chris Van Wyk ln born in Soweto and lived his early years in Newclare before moving to Riverlea, a poorer suburb of Johannesburg.

It was therefore a most painful way of suicide and so, once again, would only have happened very occasionally, not as often as the pronounced excuses made it seem.

People could be locked away almost permanently without access to law-courts to prove their innocence. However, this was a very common excuse given for deaths in detention.

One could conclude that the poet is being sarcastic, sarcasm being a biting, bitter form of humour. Christopher van Wyk JohannesburgTransvaal.

Van Wyk is famous for his poem “In Detention” on the suspicious deaths that befell South African political prisoners during Apartheid. I appreciate him most for his contribution to the inter-generational transfer of knowledge through his writings for children and young people, which include a virtual library of biographies of celebrated struggle heroes. The poet has in fact taken a series of statements from the prison authorities themselves announcing the deaths.


Van Wyk was born in Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. He was also editor of Staffrider from to and in started the short-lived Wietie jn with Fhazel Johennesse.

Lele’sLiterature_Blog: Poem Analysis: In Detention – Chris Van Wyk

Languages Deutsch Edit links. Humour, on the other hand, opens up a totally new market, even of those who might be otherwise biassed — people such as the politicians and even the security men themselves.

Would you like to hazard a guess why? Newer Post Older Post Home.

By referring to the men as “he” and not giving any specific names, shows that these deaths occured quite often to many people. As the poem progresses, the explanations vzn more and more strange and queer, creating more of an effect of twisted facts.

As a prolific writer, he wrote more than 20 books. Order by newest oldest recommendations. In this way the poem makes a very powerful protest at this gross violation of human rights. Through writing tools such as sarcasm and repetition, the writer brings our attention to the absurd variations of the explanations that the police gave. He was also editor of Staffrider and started the short-lived Wietie magazine with fellow poet, Fhazel Johennesse.

Read the chros column and then answer the following questions: The tone of the poem is sarcastic however works out to be very effective. This was to win him syk prestigious Olive Schreiner Prize the following year.

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Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon | Books | The Guardian

N ot long after the death of Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, South Africa has lost another literary icon. It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the creator of Knowledge4Africa, Dr T.

If you had contact with him and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here. It is also important to carefully look at the actual explanations, where one can realize that in fact the police were highly dishonest: This document is copyrighted.

Christopher van Wyk

These include not behaving like a quiet little mouse but rather making noises, “like drinking a glass detentin water” or singing bits dettention pop songs or calling to the dog outside, or doing something like reading or writing while you are also preoccupied in listening. The poem explores the likelihood of the three standard explanations of that time being true: He has written books for neo-literate adults, such as The Murder of Mrs.

Show 25 25 50 All. After seeing the heavily barred cell windows from which Timol and other detainees were supposed to have jumped, Van Wyk recited his poem:. Loading comments… Trouble loading?