I Wish I’d Said…Vol. 5
Imagine that this terrific anthology was written expressly for you. Trust that
you will find between these covers some variation of the theme “I wish I’d
said…” as if it were spoken by your own lips…
Imagination saves us in dark days and the words on these pages will show
you an experience that is as universal as it is individual. As you read the
English translations of poems in all 11 languages, know that you will find
resonance with a voice who knew what you were going through, albeit in a
different language or cultural setting.
You will find verses about tight nights, insecure days, and ensuing months
of wondering whether our loved ones would live, our children would thrive,
our jobs last, our economy emerge… You will find love poems to individuals
who rose to the occasion and tributes to the resilience that shone through.
You will find stanzas and elegies telling how people helped each other
rebuild through the destruction, determined to conquer over hardship.
Picture an army of poets rising every day with the express intention of
writing verses to comfort you. Imagine them writing in tiny rooms, grand
houses, rural classrooms, on taxis on their devices, on plain notebooks
beside ordinary beds. Envision hundreds of hands noting with delicate
awareness your own powerful reactions to the events of 2021. Visualise each
ear sensitively attuned your own vigorous expression, offering you a robust
response in words to see you through the night. See how they capture your
experience, bringing comfort and hope for each new morning.
The judges of the AVBOB Poetry Competition observed, yet again, that
this powerful river of poems represented voices from every community,
young and old. This collection contains a poem by a nine-year-old and an
83-year-old. The supreme efforts of all who entered the fifth AVBOB Poetry
Competition in 2021 are found in the top six poems in each language, with
three commissioned poems and a selection of Khoi and San poems.
Enjoy the mother-tongue magic from top-level poets in this gorgeous
anthology and be inspired to enter the next AVBOB Poetry Competition.
The page waits for you and your imagination…
There are two compilers of this anthology.
Johann de Lange made his debut with Akwarelle van die dors (1982) for which he received the Ingrid Jonker Prize. In 2009
he received the Hertzog Prize for Poetry for his volume of poetry, Die algebra van nood. He lives in Cape Town.
Prof Nxalati Charlotte Priscilla Golele was the founding chairperson of the Pan South African Language Board, and has served
the Xitsonga National Language and Research and Development Centre between 2005 and 2008. She is dedicated to the
development of African languages and elevation of their status.
210 mm x 148 mm / A5