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Title: In praise of the Zulu muse : the portrayal of BW Vilakazi in modern Zulu poetry
Authors: Ngwenya, Thengani Harold 
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: NISC
Source: Ngwenya, T. H. 2015. In praise of the Zulu muse : the portrayal of BW Vilakazi in modern Zulu poetry. South African Journal of African Languages. 35(1): 123–129.
Journal: South African Journal of African languages (Online) 
This paper examines the portrayal of BW Vilakazi in selected contemporary poems written in isiZulu. What emerges from a close and judicious analysis of these poems is what seems to be a shared belief among established and budding Zulu poets that Vilakazi plays the role of a sustaining and inspiring muse. Therefore, the main concern of this paper is to examine the conception of the muse that is both implicitly and explicitly articulated in these poems. While focusing specifically on Zulu poetry, the paper examines the conventional and historical conception of the literary muse and its re-interpretation in the context of modern African literature. The main purpose of this article is to show how the selected poems reflect a conscious re-definition and re-conceptualisation of the Western concept of the muse to suit the African (in this case Zulu) culture and belief systems. With remarkable consistency, the spiritual figure of the departed poet emerges as a national source of imaginative and creative writing in the poems selected for this article. In the poems selected for this paper, the notion of the muse, which is traceable to Greek culture, has been successfully re-interpreted to resonate with the African experience and context.
ISSN: 0257-2117 (print)
2305-1159 (online)
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Academic Support)

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