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One of South Africa’s greatest living poets selects from her most recent poems and also from the poems and the themes that best represent her from across her long career.
Part One of Skinned contains poems about writing, family and love poems. The poems in second part were chosen from a volume featuring a long epic poem based on the life of Lady Anne Barnard from Scotland, who accompanied her husband to Cape Town and lived in the castle there from 1797 until 1802. This volume was written during the height of apartheid and the poet chose Lady Anne as representative of the colonial vision. Part Three contains extracts from several speakers who lived in the land before the likes of lady Anne arrived. Krog includes here interviews with inhabitants of the stone desert, three re-workings of Bushmen or Xam narratives, as well as a translation of an oral Xhosa praise poem. Part Four represents the political turmoil of South Africa and the divisions within Africa. The poems come from volumes that explored how blacks and whites identifying with the oppressed were removed from official history. The present volume as a whole explores the necessity of “a change of tongue” in order to be.