Elisabeth Eybers

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Taalles by Elisabeth Eybers as a wall poem in Leiden

Elisabeth Françoise Eybers (16 February 1915 – 1 December 2007) was a South African poet. Her poetry was mainly in Afrikaans, although she has translated some of her own work (and those of others) into English.

Eybers was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. She grew up in the town of Schweizer-Reneke, where her father was a Nederduits-Hervormde (Dutch Reformed) minister. After completing her high school studies there at the age of 16, she enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand for a Bachelor of Arts degree, which she achieved cum laude.

After her graduation she became a journalist. In 1937 Eybers married the businessman Albert Wessels, with whom she had three daughters and a son. Counted among the so-called Dertigers, she became the first Afrikaans woman to win the Hertzog Prize for poetry in 1934. She won the prize again in 1971.

Her work has received many other awards in both South Africa and the Netherlands, including the Constantijn Huygens Prize in 1978 and the P. C. Hooft Award in 1991.

Eybers' first collection of poems, Belydenis in die Skemering ("Confession at twilight"), was published in 1936. Her second collection, Die Stil Avontuur ("The silent adventure"), was published in 1939 and was mainly about being a mother.

Die Vrou en ander verse (The woman and other poems) was published in 1945 while her fourth poetry collection, Die Ander Dors (The other thirst) was published in 1946.

Many other poetry collections followed regularly, including:

  • Tussensang (In-between song), 1950
  • Helder Halfjaar (Bright half-year), 1956
  • Versamelde Gedigte (Collected poems), 1957
  • Neerslag (Precipitation), 1958
  • Balans (Balance), 1962
  • Onderdak (Under shelter), 1965
  • Kruis of Munt (Head or tail), 1973

More recent works include the bilingual Verbruikersverse/Consumer's verse (1997) en Winter-surplus (1999).

Translations of her poems have also been published in German, French, Italian and Hebrew.

The South African composer Cromwell Everson composed a song using Eybers' poem "Die Vreemde Dae".

After her divorce in 1961 she met Pieter Hennipman, with whom she stayed until his death in 1994.[1] She lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and she was buried at Zorgvlied cemetery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ena Jansen (1998) Afstand & verbintenis. p. 107

External links[edit]