Title page for ETD etd-04092008-104347

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Ngoepe, Magwai Wilson
URN etd-04092008-104347
Document Title Theto ya sebjalebjale ya maitekelo (Sepedi)
Degree MA (African Languages)
Department African Languages
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Mojalefa Supervisor
  • caesura
  • modern poetry
  • content
  • verse form
  • meter
  • sonnet
  • rhyme
  • enjambment
  • rhythm
  • repetition
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

In-depth study reveals that the period 1971 to 1991 is a crucially important period is Sepedi poetry, because in these years the greatest proportion of the volumes of poetry currently available was published. This study discusses the characteristics of modern Sepedi poetry, focusing on selected poems by certain Sepedi poets. The poems examined are shown to be well organized in terms of content, structure, stanza form and rhyme.

This study uses two research methodologies, namely definition and description of pertinent aspects of the poems related to the topic of study, modern Sepedi poetry. The model used examines the structure of the texts in terms of the three layers, namely content, plot and style, which provides a useful framework for the study of the structure of this modern poetry.

Poetry is discussed in general, and defined, and the types and structure of modern poetry in particular are explored. The stanza forms of modern poetry are analyzed, according to Ntuliís classification of regular, expanding, diminishing and bulging stanzas (1984: 232-245).

Rhyme is known to be an important aspect of Sepedi poetry. Rhyme is defined as the repetition of words with the same or similar sound (homophones) and similar length, at the beginning, middle or end of lines, to form beginning, middle and end rhyme respectively. The function of rhyme is to make the reading of the poems more enjoyable, and to bring coherence to the stanzas of the poem.

The sonnet is also discussed, and Spanish and English sonnets analyzed and compared with Sepedi sonnets. Sepedi sonnets are shown by this comparison to be governed to a greater extent by grammatical rules than their European counterparts, which affects the Sepedi poemsí rhyme, tone, poetic meter and length of words. Modern Sepedi poems are thus shown to draw on traditional Sepedi poetic techniques, in which the poetic meter is governed not by length of syllable but by two metrical laws, the law of separation and the law of agreement. The role of the caesura is also discussed, as it functions both to separate and join together metrical parts of the poem.

Enjambment is described as the extension of a concept in a poem beyond a single line. That extension of poetical line in this fashion emphasizes the concept and also accelerates the tempo of the poem. Also important in tempo is the poetic meter, which can be altered by tone or pronouncement of particular words.

The study is concluded by discussing the repetition of sounds, word stems, whole words or phrases. Various types of repetition are discussed, namely repetition of consonants, repetition of vowels, repetition of initial, middle and final sounds, mixed repetition, linking and refrains.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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