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Confluences of Lithoko, religious and traditional beliefs and western poetry in modern Sesotho poetry (MSP) : an intertextual perspective.

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From an intertextual perspective, this study analyses the lithoko, religious beliefs and practices and western poetry confluences in modern Sesotho poetry. In this analysis, modern Sesotho poetry texts covering a period of seventy-nine years (79) from 1931 to 2010 have been selected. Of the utmost importance in the analysis are the intertextual manifestations in modern Sesotho poetry. These include the lithoko oralformulaic style in modern Sesotho poetry which focuses on form, structure and content. The study also looks into echoes of texts indicative of religious beliefs and practices (both local and foreign) in modern Sesotho poetry, the host-parasite relationship between Western poetry and modern Sesotho poetry, the emerging trends and the evaluation of modern Sesotho poetry in relation to its poeticness or literariness. In order to address the above intentions of the study, the qualitative library approach was employed to critically examine the identified intertextual features from the population of twelve (12) modern Sesotho poetry texts selected through both the cluster and purposive sampling techniques. The following are the findings of the study on the issues investigated: modern Sesotho poetry is an intertext as texts from lithoko Christian, traditional beliefs and practices as well as western poetry are present in it at varying levels of form structure, content and traditional images in virtually recognizable forms as Barthes (1981: 39) asserts that the literary position of any text is an intertext in which other texts are present in varying levels and more or less recognizable forms. Both proto, transitional and open forms attributed to lithoko and western poetry are present in modern Sesotho poetry. Modern Sesotho poetry has also been found to have diverse emergent trends not only in terms of structural forms but also in content and linguistic devices in the form of traditional imagery. As an intertext, modern Sesotho poetry has emerged to be poetic considering aspects of poetic function and poetic language as elements of poetry in the evaluation of its poeticness. The study concludes that modern Sesotho poetry is an intertext which is a text of convergence where the presence of the four predecessors is manifested at varying levels and in more or less recognizable forms.


Doctor of Philosophy in IsiZulu. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2015.


Laudatory poetry, Sotho., Intertextuality in the Bible., Poetry, Modern., Theses -- isiZulu., Modern Sesotho poetry (MSP), Lithoko : Sotho praise-poems