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South African Journal of African Languages

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Symbolism in CLS Thobega’s poetry

J Manyaka

Abstract


This article discusses how CLS Thobega, one of the most prolifi c writers in Setswana, has, through hispoetry, embedded different aspects which have been emphasized through the use of symbolism. It canbe demonstrated that through his use of symbolism, he has been infl uenced by Christianity, politics, thetraditional Batswana way of life, and other factors. These aspects which have played a role in the poet’swork are the ones used in this article to discuss his symbolism. It should be noted that a symbol can betaken or interpreted univocally: it can refer to a single thing or have only one interpretation/meaning;or it can be multivocally (polysemically) interpreted, that is, it possesses a number of meanings/interpretations. One should also take note of the fact that symbols are said to be private or public. Privatesymbols are those subjective symbols where the interpretation relies on one’s personal understanding,whereas public ones are those where the interpretation is objective and depends on societal norms inunderstanding and interpretation (Jabbi, 1985:214).



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