Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems


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Here, they were also allowed to keep small animals and continued exploring the veld and beach. They picked fruit from plants in the veld, gathered shellfish from the rock pools, played with tadpoles in the stream behind their house and buried small objects called 'secrets' in the ground.

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It is not surprising that Gordon's Bay is one of the spaces that would later gain symbolic importance in Ingrid's poetry. According to Louise Viljoen, "Ingrid's early years, spent in the company of her mother and grandmother, had a profound influence on the rest of their lives. Theirs was a home that gave the two girls tender and loving care but also exposed them to the suffering brought about by nervous disorder, illness and death. It was also an unconventional upbringing that allowed them to some degree to move outside the constraints of Afrikaner society of the day.

Although their grandmother upheld strict religious values, their mother did not keep them on a tight rein. They could read what they liked, they were not as housebound as most children then and they treated other races with less of the prejudice and condescension usual at the time. They had little contact with their well off relations, who seemed to lead more regulated and ordered lives.

A shadow was cast over this idyllic time by the increasing mental illness of Ingrid's mother.


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During their first year in the Strand, Beatrice Jonker suffered a mental breakdown and was committed to Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town. The trauma of this experience affected Ingrid deeply and strengthened her bond with her grandmother, who was the only person she could talk to about it.

Annie Cilliers also encouraged Ingrid's talents as a writer by reading her granddaughter's first poems to the Coloured congregations she preached to on Sundays. Soon after her mental breakdown, Beatrice Jonker was also diagnosed with cancer. As she lay dying, Ingrid and Anna visited their mother as often as possible.

They often shared news with her about boys that they felt unable to discuss with their devout grandmother. After two years in hospital, Beatrice Jonker died of cancer on 6 August Ingrid later wrote, "My moeder, sterwend, was so sonnig soos 'n liewenheersbesie, so geheime, so verassend, so teer. Also according to Viljoen, "Beatrice's death brought an end to Ingrid's life within the intimacy of the maternal family. After the death of their mother in August, the two girls stayed on with their grandmother until their father Abraham came to fetch them in December and took them to live with him in Cape Town.

The loss of two mothers within such a short space of time must have had an incalculable effect on Ingrid Surreptitiously, Anna wrote their father a letter to say that they would prefer to stay with their grandmother and go to one of the local schools because they did not have clothes that were grand enough for Cape Town. But the letter had no effect and they had to leave their grandmother behind when Abraham fetched them. Although Ouma Annie died only in or , the children rarely saw her after that painful farewell during which Ingrid tried to hold on to her grandmother's hand as long as possible.

Until the death of their mother, Anna and Ingrid's contact with their father had been minimal. According to Anna's memoirs, Abraham had once visited them in Durbanville, brought a red top for Ingrid, but otherwise refused to acknowledge her presence. In the years since his divorce from Beatrice, Abraham Jonker had briefly remarried one Barbara Gill before his third marriage to Lulu Brewis, an author of children's books, in At the time Abraham fetched Anna and Ingrid, his own house was not large enough to accommodate them.

For this reason, both girls were put into lodgings in Central Cape Town. Both girls were brought to his Plumstead home on Sundays to spend time with their father, stepmother, half-brother Koos, and half-sister Suzanne. According to Louise Viljoen, "Anna and Ingrid each gave different accounts of their time in this house. According to Anna's, they were given a nice room with a balcony. She also remembered that though her father worked hard he made time for them when he could, reading them poetry and teaching Ingrid to waltz around the dining room table.

Ingrid, on the other hand, later told Jack Cope and Laurens van der Post that they had to sit apart from the rest of the family at the dinner table and eat the food given to the servants. Although it is difficult to gauge where the line between truth and fiction lies in these accounts, life with their stepmother Lulu was not easy for the two young girls.

Although Lulu was kind to the girls when they were still boarding in Cape Town, things changed once they went to live with the family in Plumstead.

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In an interview, Anna once painted a dark picture of emotional deprivation and misunderstanding. The two young girls' self confidence was constantly undermined by snide remarks and there was little understanding for their physical needs as young girls entering puberty. Other friends also spoke of Ingrid's hostility to her stepmother. Although there was no love lost between the two girls and their stepmother, they had a good relationship with their much younger step- siblings, Koos and Suzanne.

Both Anna and Ingrid were used to wandering around on their own and always speaking their minds. Lulu Jonker, on the other hand expected them to conform to the strict Calvinist values of the Afrikaner middle class.

Poems about life. You can read the best life poems. Browse through all life poems.

Abraham Jonker seems to have been either powerless to intervene or too focused on his political career to take notice. He stated in a letter to her that, "There was in my childhood a period of passionate love for you. Baudelaire was educated in Lyon , where he boarded.

At fourteen he was described by a classmate as "much more refined and distinguished than any of our fellow pupils He began to frequent prostitutes and may have contracted gonorrhea and syphilis during this period. He also began to run up debts, mostly for clothes. Upon gaining his degree in , he told his brother "I don't feel I have a vocation for anything. His mother later recalled: "Oh, what grief! If Charles had let himself be guided by his stepfather, his career would have been very different He would not have left a name in literature, it is true, but we should have been happier, all three of us.


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His stepfather sent him on a voyage to Calcutta, India , in in the hope of ending his dissolute habits. The trip provided strong impressions of the sea, sailing, and exotic ports, that he later employed in his poetry. On returning to the taverns of Paris, he began to compose some of the poems of "Les Fleurs du Mal". At 21, he received a sizable inheritance but squandered much of it within a few years.

His family obtained a decree to place his property in trust, [10] which he resented bitterly, at one point arguing that allowing him to fail financially would have been the one sure way of teaching him to keep his finances in order. Baudelaire became known in artistic circles as a dandy and free-spender, going through much of his inheritance and allowance in a short period of time. During this time, Jeanne Duval became his mistress. She was rejected by his family. His mother thought Duval a "Black Venus" who "tortured him in every way" and drained him of money at every opportunity.

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He took part in the Revolutions of and wrote for a revolutionary newspaper. However, his interest in politics was passing, as he was later to note in his journals. In the early s, Baudelaire struggled with poor health, pressing debts, and irregular literary output.

He often moved from one lodging to another to escape creditors. He undertook many projects that he was unable to complete, though he did finish translations of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Upon the death of his stepfather in , Baudelaire received no mention in the will but he was heartened nonetheless that the division with his mother might now be mended. At 36 he wrote her: "believe that I belong to you absolutely, and that I belong only to you. Many of his critical opinions were novel in their time, including his championing of Delacroix , and some of his views seem remarkably in tune with the future theories of the Impressionist painters.

In , Baudelaire wrote his second Salon review, gaining additional credibility as an advocate and critic of Romanticism. His continued support of Delacroix as the foremost Romantic artist gained widespread notice. Baudelaire was a slow and very attentive worker. However he was often sidetracked by indolence , emotional distress and illness, and it was not until that he published his first and most famous volume of poems, Les Fleurs du mal The Flowers of Evil. The poems found a small, yet appreciative audience.

However, greater public attention was given to their subject matter. You are as unyielding as marble, and as penetrating as an English mist. The principal themes of sex and death were considered scandalous for the period. He also touched on lesbianism, sacred and profane love, metamorphosis, melancholy, the corruption of the city, lost innocence, the oppressiveness of living, and wine.

Notable in some poems is Baudelaire's use of imagery of the sense of smell and of fragrances, which is used to evoke feelings of nostalgia and past intimacy. The book, however, quickly became a byword for unwholesomeness among mainstream critics of the day. Some critics called a few of the poems "masterpieces of passion, art and poetry," but other poems were deemed to merit no less than legal action to suppress them. Habas led the charge against Baudelaire, writing in Le Figaro : "Everything in it which is not hideous is incomprehensible, everything one understands is putrid.

Beauty of conception and style is enough for me. But this book, whose title Fleurs du mal says everything, is clad, as you will see, in a cold and sinister beauty. It was created with rage and patience. Besides, the proof of its positive worth is in all the ill that they speak of it.

The book enrages people.

Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems
Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems Life Happens, and Death Too : Stories and Poems

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