A love letter to poetry: Albert Verwey Lecture by Antjie Krog
The South African poet and author Antjie Krog gave the 37th Albert Verwey Lecture in the Great Auditorium in the Academy Building on 18 November. Inspired by Verwey’s poem ‘De zegger van verzen’, Krog’s lecture was a polyphonic and multilingual love letter to poetry.
Krog showed how literature can have meaning in today’s world: it can be oxygen or comfort in times of distress or pandemic, can be a teacher and can open up a space where we can experience both love and force. The power that emanates from the material of poetry – sound, rhythm and language – came to the fore in Krog’s passionate and impressive reading, alternately in Engels and Afrikaans.
Krog ended her lecture with a powerful plea for literature to be taught at all university faculties. She argued that reading and the inherent exploration of other perspectives and viewpoints should be a compulsory part of a student’s degree programme, be it public administration, economics or chemistry.
Watch the Albert Verwey Lecture
Watch the lecture and interview after by South African writer Annemarie van Niekerk via the link below.