ENGL 2P53 Chapter 3: ENGL 2P53 De kok Parts of Speech

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8 Feb 2016
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ENGL 2P53 – De kok- Parts of Speech
We tend to think of language and bodies as whole, as integrated and
as organic systems.
De kok’s poems show us these systems breaking down again and
again.
Is failing to think in “wholes” the same thing as an expression of
despair? Why or why not?
In the !nal stanza “parts of speech”, the almost-desolate speaker asks
how it is still possible, in the face of what has unfolded in the tribunals,
to “imagine whole worlds, whole worlds”
Think about tone when analysing written work – tone can be despairing
sarcastic etc.. it can be bittersweet, you’re feeling more than one thing
at once.
Think about the intended audience.
Think about diction – word choice – horse/steed (Steed has power that
horse doesn’t)
Don’t just spot what’s being done, think about why its been chosen.
This poem explores the tension between the desire for the language of
testimony to the perform of redemptive, rehabilitative function
speci!cally in the context of the TRC, to begin in pain and more
towards grace, / aerating history with recovered breath” – art can
breathe new life into history.
Art can re-animate its participants and eradicate all obstacles to
forward movement, language is shown in her and throughout the
poem.
Language can be distorted, it can escalate su0ering instead of
relieving it, it can sensationalise language.
Language can falter the situation
Because language is limited, it is also limited in the ways it can be a
vehicle to transformation.
The !rst poem challenges the readers to examine our own
expectations of storytellers.
Our own desires when turning to literature that confronts histories of
anguish and su0ering.
Our own investments in lyric poetry as a source of inspiration and
consolation gets set up in “parts of speech”
De kok stats with asking “: what do we expect of our encounters with
TRC testimonies as they are mediated and become works of art
Personifying stories – how
oIn !rst 2 stanzas – some stories are personi!ed as resistant to
our address
oLook for the disappearing curved spines
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