Original Research

Intertextuality shapes the poetry of Xhosa poets

M.M. Somniso
Literator | Vol 29, No 3 | a129 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v29i3.129 | © 2008 M.M. Somniso | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2008 | Published: 25 July 2008

About the author(s)

M.M. Somniso, Department of Language & Literature, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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Praises among the amaXhosa today are not only performed at traditional gatherings. These praises are also performed in many places such as schools, churches and funerals. The question is whether the praises performed in other places rather than traditional gatherings still possess the characteristics of traditional praises. In many praises Xhosa poets draw terminology from Biblical texts. This strategy can be seen as an attempt to break the boundaries between Christianity and Xhosa poetry.

Having said that, the aim of this article is to uncover the interplay between Xhosa traditional poems and Christianity. To do that, this article discusses the interplay between Christianity, elegy, health and social issues. It also discusses new trends of intertextuality in Xhosa poetry. The intertextual theory insists that a text cannot exist as a hermetic or self-sufficient whole and does not function as a closed system. Still and Worton (1991:1) believe that the writer is a reader of the text before she/he is a creator of texts and therefore the work of art is inevitably alive with references, quotations and influences of every kind.


Influence Of Christianity; Interplay In Texts; Intertextuality; Xhosa Praise Poems


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Crossref Citations

1. Antjie Krog: Towards a syncretic identity
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doi: 10.1080/1013929X.2009.9678319