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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Loading comments… Trouble loading? My first conversation with Chris was in John Vorster Square at the launch of a biography of Ahmed Timol, the young teacher who, according to the security police, committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of the high-rise building.

Christopher van Wyk – Wikipedia

Because the poet bases the poem on the words used by the security police themselves, detfntion is also an example of satire. Van Wyk and his wife, Kathy, had two sons. It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the creator of Knowledge4Africa, Dr T. This document is copyrighted.

Chris van Wyk – “In Detention”

It was therefore obviously a lie. However, this was a very common excuse given for deaths in detention.

The main idea and purpose of the poem is to state or show the reasons and excuses that were given by the Apartheid police for killing people in prison. N ot long after the death of Nobel laureate Nadine Ban, South Africa has lost another literary icon. Retrieved from ” https: As the poem progresses, the explanations become more and more strange and queer, creating more of an effect of twisted facts. Van Wyk showed signs of wanting to be a writer as early as five years of age — and since then, he says, he has had a love affair with chriss.


He would win other awards for his novels and short stories, including the Maskew Miller Longman Award for Black Children’s Literature in and the Sanlam Literary Award for the best short story of Wednesday, 16 October Poem Analysis: 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.

His latest work Eggs to Lay, Chickens to Hatch details childhood memories about growing up in Riverlea and his colourful interactions with the men and women who lived the African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”. If you had contact with him and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here.

Helping people through his website gave him no end of pleasure. Fortunately, Van Wyk survived the interrogation and continued to be an important literary voice in the post-apartheid era. The Year of the Tapeworm is an adult novel and warns of government control of the media. Van Wyk was born in Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. The windows were barred.

Content The title immediately places the poem in apartheid South Africa, and comments indirectly on the number of deaths in detention of political activists during these years at least 67 people died in detention. He was strongly influenced by political events particularly the Soweto uprising ofand this is reflected in his writing. When he was a little older, his family moved to Riverleaa suburb outside of Johannesburg. Views Read Edit View history. The poem explores the likelihood of the three standard explanations of that time being true: The poet has succeeded in taking a very sordid topic — the death of hundreds of innocent people while in detention — and has turned it into a light-hearted, humourous poem.

Structure The basic technique used in this poem is repetition and variation. This page was last edited on 15 Januaryat Many people were tortured, some committed suicide, and some like Steve Biko died at the hands of their interrogators those who were questioning them.


Van Wyk is famous for his poem “In Detention” on the suspicious deaths that befell South African political prisoners during Apartheid. The poet has in fact taken a series of statements from the prison authorities themselves announcing the deaths.

Languages Deutsch Edit links. In this very simple poem, Chris van Wyk examines these excuses with some sarcastic humour.

But above all, he says, don’t give yourself away by laughing at a joke that you have overheard. Chris Van Wyk was a poet in the Apartheid era, as he was of ‘colour’ it is quite expected that he would cris something to say about the country’s happenings and does this through poetry. Click on Stanza for line by line discussion. Be able to explain your answer.

Christopher van Wyk

Show 25 25 50 All. No part of it may be reproduced in any form whatever without explicit permission in writing from the author.

This is by no stretch of the imagination a difficult poem. Notice that there is no reference to women prisoners. Prisoners who were regarded as politically dangerous often met with a savage death while in detention. The dihonesty the sacarsm is just wrong weren’t the prisoner in chains back then.

In Detention

After seeing the heavily barred cell windows from which Timol and other detainees were supposed to have jumped, Van Wyk recited his poem: Death by hanging was therefore a very complicated, difficult and painful process of twisting one’s clothes around one’s neck. Usually the prisoners were handcuffed and possibly even in leg-irons. In this way the poem makes a very powerful protest at this gross violation detfntion human rights.