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CAPE TOWN – AN ILLUSTRATED POEM (article first published : 2005-12-20)

Upon first opening Cape Town – an Illustrated Poem, I was struck, not by the poetry, but by the amazing collage of artwork that bursts out of the pages.

Julia Grey graduated with a first class in painting from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2002 and her artistic influence is evident throughout the book.

This determines the book’s character and captures Cape Town’s wealth of cultural diversity and youthful energy. Described in the publisher’s note as being “a personalised account of life in the Mother City”, one can quite comfortably adapt this to their own personal accounts as it embraces much of the feeling of Cape Town in the multitude of photographs, sketches, fabric samples and logos that decorate the book.

When reading the poetry, it becomes evident that the associations between pictures and words are bound to the poet’s interpretation of her city, and the message ultimately becomes one of a personal perspective. This doesn’t distract from the pleasure of reading this book as it is so full of colour and vibrancies and you can quite easily decide which you would prefer to pay more attention to, the artwork or the poetry.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book with a fresh new approach to poetry in South Africa. It exudes an overall positive message with a bounty of oomph.

Cape Town – an Illustrated Poem is published by Struik Publishers and is available at R150. - Ruby Bernard




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