Original Research

Destruksie ten minste tien maal beklemtoon – ’n interpretasie van 'Kraak die aardbol langs ’n naat' van Wilma Stockenström

B. van der Westhuizen
Literator | Vol 23, No 2 | a336 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v23i2.336 | © 2002 B. van der Westhuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published: 06 August 2002

About the author(s)

B. van der Westhuizen, Skool vir Tale (Afrikaans en Nederlands), Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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Destruction at least ten times emphasized – an interpretation of 'Kraak die aardbol langs ’n naat' ('Cracking the earth along the seam') by Wilma Stockenström

In this article the value of syntactical analysis in the interpretation of a poem is investigated from the premise that emphasis can be effected inter alia in the following ways: (a) by contravening certain rules that apply in standard language usage in order to compose grammatical sentences, b) the exploitation of parallel syntactical structures, and c) the relationship between sentence unit and line, and line and/or stanza. These theoretical points of departure form the basis of the syntactical analysis of “Kraak die aardbol langs ’n naat” (Wilma Stockenström), in which there are numerous deviations from the expected, normal and usual ways of constructing sentences. It is by these means that the semantic values gain prominence: the attention is drawn to the deviating behaviour of mankind continuing to destruct the earth until nothing remains. It is evident that the repeated use of irony and the satirical tone of this poem also contribute to persuade the reader to behave in a way opposite to that depicted in the poem. In this way the value of a syntactical analysis of this poem is illustrated. By uncovering the micro-structures (syntactical units) within the (macro-) structure (the poem), underlying patterns and the place of humanity in the universe can be better understood. In this way the analysis of this poem is then linked to the field of ecocriticism.


Ecocriticism; Environment; Syntax; Wilma Stockenstrom


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