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The third in a series of “In Conversation with Eugène Marais about …” will be presented by the Eugène Marais  Foundation at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument) in Paarl on Thursday 22 September 2016. Journalist Jean Oosthuizen will talk to poet Lina Spies about poetry, to answer questions such as “How do you know you are a poet? How does one write a poem? And is it easy to publish poetry?”

Marissa van Mollendorf will sing some of Marais’ poems set to music. An exhibition of eleven poems by Marais will officially open in the “Groen Galery” (Green Gallery), the outdoor gallery in the garden of the Taalmonument. This new exhibition celebrates the legacy of the well-known South African poet, writer, journalist and naturalist, and can be viewed until July 2017.

The gallery is situated in an intimate part of the garden behind the monument. The poems are printed on big panels, exhibited in frames of recycled glass and wood, fit for the ‘green’ theme, alluding to renewal and innovation. The exhibition includes eight Afrikaans and three English poems.

“Winternag” is hailed as the first Afrikaans poem with literary significance and has been voted the most popular Afrikaans poem ever. The three English poems were written by Marais whilst attending the Paarl Public School for Boys (today the Paarl Boys’ High School) from 1884 until 1887.

The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Eugène Marais Foundation, a non-profit organisation with the aim to encapsulate the life of Marais in an interactive and educational way, and to present it to a diverse audience. The foundation aims to give meaning to the reassessment of Marais’ body of work in a contemporary sense. This is done from the soon-to-be-rehabilitated school and hostel buildings of the old Paarl Public School for Boys.

The function starts at 18:30. Seats are limited and tickets at R80 (including soup, bread and a glass of wine) must be pre-booked at or 083 408 1902.

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). Adults who pre-book at Volksmond Coffee Shop pay only R10. For enquiries, Tel: (021) 863 0543/4809, send an email to Visit or for more information.