The “Groen Galery” (Green Gallery) is a new outdoor gallery at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument in Paarl. The gallery is situated in an intimate part of the garden behind the monument. Its recycled glass and wooden displays will be used for a new exhibition every six months.
The first exhibition, titled “12 digters” (12 poets), features poems by well-known poets and runs from October 2015 until March 2016. It is presented in partnership with the Breytenbach Centre in Wellington, which established a Poets’ Garden and an annual ‘Garden of Poets Festival’ back in 2012.The poems do not necessarily all focus on nature or landscape, but fit in with the ‘Green’ theme, alluding to renewal and innovation. Some of the poems were written especially for the exhibition.
The participating poets are Adam Small, Breyten Breytenbach, Carina Stander, Clinton V du Plessis, Diana Ferrus, Hemelbesem, Koos Kombuis, Johann Lodewyk Marais, Louis Esterhuizen, Marius Titus, Marlise Joubert and Stef Bos.
- Breyten Breytenbach, whose unpublished verse “soos asem” (like breathing) is included, expressed his delight that the Garden of Poets concept is being spread in this way, and suggested that every town should have something similar.
- ”Afrikaanse tuin wat kan transponeer/sigbaar, vernuwend, wat soms herdefinieer” (Afrikaans garden that can transpose/visible, innovative, sometimes redefining…” is the opening stanza of Marius Titus’s poem, ““Tuin van die Digters” (Garden of the Poets), which he wrote especially for the exhibition.
- Adam Small’s poem, “Liefling ek sal jou gewis oneindig mis” (Darling, I will surely miss you immeasurably) is a New Year’s verse written for his wife Rosalie, and includes her response. Says Small: “The change (the novelty, however temporary) lies within Rosalie’s answer to my words.”
- “Gelofteland” (Promised Land) is Koos Kombuis’ favourite poem from his digital anthology, “rock&roll.karoo”, of which he says: “I sought a reconciliation between our modern cyber existence and old things, the things of the olden days, the life of farm homesteads and self-made guitars.”
- Writer-artist Carina Stander’s poem “Groen Vingers” (Green Fingers) includes an accompanying ink-sketch.
- “Dis digkuns wat lewendig word” (It’s poetry that comes to life), writes Hemelbesem in his new poem, “Dis groener aan die ander kant” (It’s greener on the other side).
- Marlise Joubert wrote her poem, “groei” (growth) for her daughter who lives far away,when learning that she was pregnant.
- A Dutch poem by Stef Bos has also been included. He decided not to write in Afrikaans, but rather in its “brother tongue”, as he believes that the two are inextricably linked.
- The exhibition also includes two new, unpublished verses by Johann Lodewyk Marais and Louis Esterhuizen, as well as poems by Clinton V du Plessis and Diana Ferrus.
Another first in the Taalmonument garden is the starting point of Paarl’s new Tree Route. The monument is open daily from 08:00 to 17:00 (20:00 from December to March). Entry is R25 for adults, R10 for SA students and R5 for children (free under six years). For enquiries, Tel: (021) 863 0543/4809, send an email to email@example.com. Visit www.taalmonument.co.za or www.facebook.com/afrikaansetaalmonument for more information.