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Word Count: 1,090
I believe that Arthur Nortjes poem Waiting is about the speakers struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life when confronted by a hole in the minds foundation- the possible decimation of all that he believed to be true about the anti apartheid struggle on which he has based his life The actions he has felt compelled to undertake in order to realize his hopes for his country have come at great cost to himself resulting in exile from the roots that nourish him The idea that that these actions may have been based on nothing but flimsy sentiment and have ultimately achieved nothing as purposeless as an empty warehouse is the source of the speakers present attitude towards his exile It is this attitude of bitter disillusionment that I wish to explore in this essay and I would also like to focus on his use of imagery particularly the interplay between imagery of darkness and light and what I believe these images represent In line four the speaker refers to night as being the beautifier It transforms the wharf which in daylight is usually fairly unattractive into a place of dancing lights The implication is that darkness hides the ugly reality and thus provides escape into illusion I believe that the images of darkness in this poem are representative of the speakers past illusions about the apartheid struggle and his part in it The light is representative of the truth the dawning realisation that his illusions are false and the crushing loss of innocence and disillusionment that follows this realisation The speaker welcomes the protection of darkness hence his ambivalent attitude towards the slow shimmering and quick phosphorescent illumination offered by the introspective process of writing poetry He paradoxically peers through the skulls black windows sightless yet knowing that only by seeing the truth will he be credibly saved from the eternity of limbo However the truths he may discover during this
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