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.

Author: Taushura Metaxe
Country: Bahamas
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Sex
Published (Last): 15 October 2004
Pages: 12
PDF File Size: 13.63 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.99 Mb
ISBN: 238-8-67204-350-6
Downloads: 94379
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Fenrijas

Unlike many South African writers who wrote “as a weapon against apartheid”van Wyk preferred to use humour as his primary weapon. Retrieved from ” https: The dihonesty the sacarsm is just wrong weren’t the prisoner in chains back then. By referring to the men as “he” and not giving any specific names, shows that these deaths occured quite often to many chrid. However, this was a very common excuse given for detentoin in detention.

Would you like to hazard a guess why?

Views Read Edit View history. Chris Van Wyk was born in Soweto and lived vaan early years in Newclare before moving to Riverlea, a poorer suburb of Johannesburg. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Chris Van Wyk was a poet in the Apartheid era, as he was of ‘colour’ it is quite expected that he would have something to say about the country’s happenings and does this through poetry.

He credits much of his success in storytelling to his love of “skinder” gossip.

Christopher van Wyk

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 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. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Indeed, it is hard to see what questions could be asked in the exams.


He listened to all the gossip between his mother and her friends, and this found its way into the many stories which he thereupon wrote. Each therefore begins on a separate line, and each begins in the same way, “He. The tone of the poem is sarcastic however works out to be very effective. Structure The basic technique used in this poem is repetition and variation. The windows were barred. The book launch was held at John Vorster Square because Charles Nqakula, minister of police at the time in a newly-democratic South Africawanted new police recruits to understand the brutality of the past and develop a new culture of peace and democracy.

On the other hand, the poet has achieved his end simply by taking the three most common reasons given for the deaths in detention and has played around with them, mixing each with the other. What is the overall TONE of this short poem? Many people were tortured, some committed suicide, and some like Steve Biko died at the hands of their interrogators those who were questioning them.

Through writing tools such as sarcasm and repetition, the writer brings our attention to the absurd variations of the explanations that the police gave. Christopher van Wyk JohannesburgTransvaal. He fell from the ninth floor He hanged himself He slipped on a piece of soap while washing He hanged himself He slipped on a piece of soap while washing He fell from the ninth floor He hanged himself while washing He slipped from the ninth floor He hung from the ninth floor He slipped on the ninth floor while washing He fell from a piece of soap while slipping He hung from the ninth floor He washed from the ninth floor while slipping He hung from a piece of soap while washing.

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 Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and his two sons Kevin and Karl. In the actual cases, it was suspected that the prisoners were thrown to their deaths by the security police themselves.


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.

Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. This is by no stretch of the imagination a difficult poem.

He has written books for neo-literate adults, such as The Murder of Mrs. There is, however, a danger in this because it limits readership to those who are already convinced. The Year of the Tapeworm is an adult novel and warns of government control of the media. Helping people through his website gave him no end of pleasure. These include not behaving like a quiet little mouse but rather making noises, “like drinking a glass of water” or singing bits from pop songs or calling to the dog outside, or doing something like reading or writing while you are also preoccupied in listening.

Christopher van Wyk – Wikipedia

After seeing the heavily barred cell windows from which Timol and other detainees were supposed to have jumped, Van Wyk recited his poem:. In Detention – Chris Van Wyk. Although it is possible to strike one’s head after slipping on a piece of soap, nevertheless deaths would be few and far between.