Original Research

Simbolistiese trekke in die poësie van C. Louis Leipoldt

M. Bosmart
Literator | Vol 13, No 2 | a748 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v13i2.748 | © 1992 M. Bosmart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1992 | Published: 06 May 1992

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M. Bosmart, Raad vir Geesteswetenskaplike Navorsing, South Africa

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Abstract

Due to Leipoldt's long stay abroad as well as his extensive reading of European literature, there is a strong possibility of Symbolist influence on his poetry. However, the large volume of Leipoldt’s poetry cautions against concluding too much from symbolistic traits in isolated poems. Rather, the presence of a symbolistic world view, encompassing the acknowledgement of a transcendental world, and a conception of poetry as having to represent this world, should be traced as a background against which individual poems could be read. Critics have identified a number of characteristics of Leipoldt’s poetry which might bear on Symbolism. These include the poet's individualism, a dualistic tension between various oppositions, an interest in the exotic and the occult and a consciousness of beauty. An overriding theme in Leipoldt’s work seems to be the search for meaning. Rejecting traditional Christian religion, Leipoldt tries to fin d meaning elsewhere. An awareness of some transcendental world can be shown in a number of poems. This world seems to be identified gradually with Nature as an eternal and omnipotent force. Against this background, certain repetitive motifs in Leipoldt’s poetry attain symbolic status, alluding to meanings hidden in the transcendental world.

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