التجربة الشخصية كتعبير عن واقع عام في شعر دينيس بروتس ومحمود درويش / Private Experience as Expression of Socio-Political Reality in the Poetry of Dennis Brutus and Mahmoud Darwish


Randa Abou-Bakr



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أبو بكر, رندة; Abou-Bakr, Randa

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[This article deals with the poetry of Dennis Brutus (South Africa) and Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine) with the purpose of examining how the two poets turned private experience into public statement. The two poets, known for writing basically lyrical poetry dealing mainly with personal experience and private meditation, have nevertheless managed to produce poetry that is strongly interwoven with their countries' predicaments and their people's concerns. This was not the result of simply integrating personal and political themes, but was more the outcome of a conscious endeavor affecting the two poets' techniques and choice of artistic tools. The article starts with a brief introduction shedding light on the socio-political background of the two poets, and giving brief notes on their lives. Then follows a discussion of the role of the tension between the private and the public mode in resistance poetry. For the purpose of studying this tension, manifest in the poetry of the two poets between those two modes of expression, four broad thematic areas are designated. Those represent essentially private experiences: male-female relationships, man's relationship to nature, prison and exile. Under each of these topics, representative poems of the two poets are analyzed. The analysis focuses on the techniques employed by the poets to maintain the tension between public and private modes of expression. Such techniques include the varying of voices, the use of the mask, symbolism, metaphor and irony as well as the varying of syntactic structures. The article contains translations of extracts from several poems by Brutus, which might provide the reader of Arabic with an introduction to the poetry of Dennis Brutus, who writes in English.]

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