Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

The rhythmic sound

Enlarge poem

The rhythmic sound
draws me from words.
At the wall at the bottom of the garden
he is throwing a ball,
bounce-catch-bouncing it.
He is practised and agile,
body moving easily in the pattern.

He pauses,

throws the ball high
into the sky – difficult catch,
easily fumbled.
He tries again
and again
and will
until the rhythm is right,
the ball flies high,
is deftly caught.

I return,
turn the page and begin.
Try again, again
until the rhythm is right,
the words fly,
the meaning wrought.

Ingrid Andersen

Featured Poem:

Again, Never Again, It's a Risk

Enlarge poem

Again

Like some obverse
of the sorcerer’s apprentice,
I have flown
for long months, buckets
splashing,
filling your deep-dark depth,
breathing the seconds before the water hits
well bottom.

Inscrutable you.

Now it is over, I can see it.
I wonder how I could have done it all over again.
What defective gene or heart-scar drives me
to empty myself for careless men?

Never Again

For as long as I can remember, it’s been
Lest We Forget.

Lighting Holocaust candles,
mindful of Rwanda, pogroms,
Bosnia, the Killing Fields,
necklacings in the next neighbourhood.

And now, this man,
burned
in our bright new nation,
unclaimed for days.

How does one emigrate
from the human race?

It is a risk

To open up words,
unfold them to paper.

Found vowels,
hidden sibilants
chosen plosives

change shape
on a page.

Ingrid Andersen

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
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  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Ingrid Andersen was born in Johannesburg, read for a degree in English literature and film and theatre criticism at Wits, has a Masters degree and is presently completing her PhD. Her work has been published in poetry journals for nearly two decades. Excision, her first volume of poetry, was published in 2004 and her second, Piece Work, was published by Modjaji Books in September 2010.

Her influences include the French Romantic poets, Imagism, Ted Hughes and the writings of Basho. She is the founding editor of Incwadi, a South African journal that explores the interaction between poetry and image.

Andersen’s work has been published in local literary journals including Imprint, Slugnews, Carapace, Green Dragon, Botsotso, Incwadi and New Coin, online in LitNet, Peony Moon and Ink, Sweat and Tears as well as internationally. Her work has been anthologized in collections as well as included in English setworks. She presented her work at WordFest at the National Arts Festival in 2004 and 2005, as well as at the Hilton Arts Festival in 2009. She contributed the libretto for a musical which was staged twice in the early ’90s. Her creative writing workshops focus on allowing creativity to overcome disabling self-critique.

Ingrid worked as a theatre publicist in the 1980s, the days of political protest theatre, at the Market Theatre and PACT, amongst others, working with some fascinating people.

As South Africa began to rebuild after the first democratic elections, she became active in community activism and development, at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters, as CEO of the Rosebank Homeless Association and then as Community Engagement Manager at Rhodes University. She co-ordinated the Pietermaritzburg Anti-Xenophobia Coalition during 2008-2009. She worked thereafter for the Centre for Adult Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and presently is General Manager of the Midlands Meander. Ingrid celebrates her tenth anniversary of ordination as an Anglican priest this year. She works in healing and reconciliation ministry. She was nominated for Rhodes University Amnesty International ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2007 and is a member of the Golden Key Society.

Ingrid has lived most of her life in Johannesburg, worked in Grahamstown for five years and relocated to the KwaZulu–Natal Midlands in 2007. She lives with a two cherished cats, Dickens and Catriona.

Ingrid Andersen

Ingrid Andersen
Ingrid Andersen

Biography

Ingrid Andersen was born in Johannesburg, read for a degree in English literature and film and theatre criticism at Wits, has a Masters degree and is presently completing her PhD. Her work has been published in poetry journals for nearly two decades. Excision, her first volume of poetry, was published in 2004 and her second, Piece Work, was published by Modjaji Books in September 2010.

Her influences include the French Romantic poets, Imagism, Ted Hughes and the writings of Basho. She is the founding editor of Incwadi, a South African journal that explores the interaction between poetry and image.

Andersen’s work has been published in local literary journals including Imprint, Slugnews, Carapace, Green Dragon, Botsotso, Incwadi and New Coin, online in LitNet, Peony Moon and Ink, Sweat and Tears as well as internationally. Her work has been anthologized in collections as well as included in English setworks. She presented her work at WordFest at the National Arts Festival in 2004 and 2005, as well as at the Hilton Arts Festival in 2009. She contributed the libretto for a musical which was staged twice in the early ’90s. Her creative writing workshops focus on allowing creativity to overcome disabling self-critique.

Ingrid worked as a theatre publicist in the 1980s, the days of political protest theatre, at the Market Theatre and PACT, amongst others, working with some fascinating people.

As South Africa began to rebuild after the first democratic elections, she became active in community activism and development, at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters, as CEO of the Rosebank Homeless Association and then as Community Engagement Manager at Rhodes University. She co-ordinated the Pietermaritzburg Anti-Xenophobia Coalition during 2008-2009. She worked thereafter for the Centre for Adult Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and presently is General Manager of the Midlands Meander. Ingrid celebrates her tenth anniversary of ordination as an Anglican priest this year. She works in healing and reconciliation ministry. She was nominated for Rhodes University Amnesty International ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2007 and is a member of the Golden Key Society.

Ingrid has lived most of her life in Johannesburg, worked in Grahamstown for five years and relocated to the KwaZulu–Natal Midlands in 2007. She lives with a two cherished cats, Dickens and Catriona.

The rhythmic sound

Enlarge poem

The rhythmic sound
draws me from words.
At the wall at the bottom of the garden
he is throwing a ball,
bounce-catch-bouncing it.
He is practised and agile,
body moving easily in the pattern.

He pauses,

throws the ball high
into the sky – difficult catch,
easily fumbled.
He tries again
and again
and will
until the rhythm is right,
the ball flies high,
is deftly caught.

I return,
turn the page and begin.
Try again, again
until the rhythm is right,
the words fly,
the meaning wrought.

Featured Poem:

Again, Never Again, It's a Risk

Enlarge poem

Again

Like some obverse
of the sorcerer’s apprentice,
I have flown
for long months, buckets
splashing,
filling your deep-dark depth,
breathing the seconds before the water hits
well bottom.

Inscrutable you.

Now it is over, I can see it.
I wonder how I could have done it all over again.
What defective gene or heart-scar drives me
to empty myself for careless men?

Never Again

For as long as I can remember, it’s been
Lest We Forget.

Lighting Holocaust candles,
mindful of Rwanda, pogroms,
Bosnia, the Killing Fields,
necklacings in the next neighbourhood.

And now, this man,
burned
in our bright new nation,
unclaimed for days.

How does one emigrate
from the human race?

It is a risk

To open up words,
unfold them to paper.

Found vowels,
hidden sibilants
chosen plosives

change shape
on a page.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

The rhythmic sound

Enlarge poem

The rhythmic sound
draws me from words.
At the wall at the bottom of the garden
he is throwing a ball,
bounce-catch-bouncing it.
He is practised and agile,
body moving easily in the pattern.

He pauses,

throws the ball high
into the sky – difficult catch,
easily fumbled.
He tries again
and again
and will
until the rhythm is right,
the ball flies high,
is deftly caught.

I return,
turn the page and begin.
Try again, again
until the rhythm is right,
the words fly,
the meaning wrought.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.