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To read a lily - poetry by Nicolette van der Walt
If the flower had a voice it would sing with Nicolette’s poetic translations from the soul.
About the author
Nicolette’s first poetry book, “fire lily: flower of the flame” was published by Magdalena & Co in 2007. Her creative writing is also published in numerous international nthologies: “as die son kom oogknip” (Afrikaans poems); “Eyes of the Poet”; “Feeling is First – A Poetry Anthology”; “On Viewless Wings I”; “On Viewless Wings II”; “On Viewless Wings III”; “On Viewless Wings IV - A Sweet Unrest”; “Brother, My Cup”; “Aquillrelle Anthology 100 – Book One”; “Float like a Butterfly, Sing like a Tree”; “Poets Amongst Us – Aquillrelle Poetry Three, an Anthology” and “Best of the Enchanting Verses 2012”. Her poem “in altissimo” was judged the bestshort poem in the On Viewless Wings I Anthology. Her poems “from my first to my last body” and “like flowering vines do” were respectively chosen as champion poem and highly commended from 600+ poems by Dr Bruce Dawe, well-known Australian poet.
Nicolette has also been published in several online literary magazines and publications:
“The Enchanting Verses Literary Review Issue XIV”; “Stemme – Voices (First Facebook Poetry book) by EPublikasies EPublishers”
Nicolette lives in Cape Town, South Africa and is the National Manager of Social Work at ACVV National Council. She holds several post-graduate qualifications in social work and anagement, and is the author of several professional training programs and manuals in the field of child protection and social development.
Other books by Nicolette van der Walt:
fire lily: flower of the flame
past pretence, past the verse with its agility
I address a calla lily to you:
let this flower, native
to the earth that carries me,
do all the talking, its whiter words
to flow under your eyes,
Nicolette dares to write of love as reverently and intelligently as she bares her own journey through the landscape of loss and life experience.
If the flower had a voice it would sing with Nicolette’s poetic translations from the soul. There is no other poet who writes with such eloquence and transparency from the heart of a falling petal or the weeping of a crushed hope. She captures the biography of a flower so delightfully that it is hard not to melt in the sun or sigh like a swollen moon each time a flower closes or opens.
There is more to Nicolette’s poetry than flowers, doves and love. She also writes with fearless insight from the volcanic ash of the earth; of the unleashed desires and broken terrains of heart ache and loss where the echoed haunting of longing and unjust abandonment is multi-layered but surprisingly simple with its cast of nets and waves.
You will find solace beneath the surface of Nicolette’s poetry and you will feel inclined to embrace her words with a subdued passion; not because there is anything quiet about it, but because Nicolette has found the hush between heartbeats. The silence that frightens many is the very place from where she translates the emotion with stunning lyrical notability.
Every flower, lover, bird, feather and child is restored to dignity even in their hour of loss; they are all reunited with the Beloved and given the gift of being known, as the Divine in an earthly grace might recognize one. Nicolette writes a profound love story woven deeply from the threads of her own heart.
Poet, Author & Artist
Foreword & Acknowledgments
This book is a collection of voices. Mostly it is the voice of my own heart’s summons; flowers gathered from gardens within and around me but, as amongst other stated by Pablo Neruda, all poems are made from language in which other voices are heard. There are echoes of the works of other poets in my writing and I acknowledge the influence, inspiration and in some cases direct excerpts from the works of master poets such as Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Rumi, Yehuda Amichai, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Jane Hirshfield, Antjie Krog, Breyten Breytenbach, Michael Ondaatje, E E Cummings, Louis Esterhuizen, Marlise Joubert, Ingrid Jonker, as well as the old haiku masters and many other classical and contemporary poets from South Africa and across the world.
A special note of thanks to Yossi Faybish and Sonja Smolec of the Aquillrelle team for the opportunity to publish, for their amazing creativity and dedication, especially in helping promote the poetic arts – I salute you! My heartfelt thanks also to friends in poetry who have upported my writing through many, many years and helped to bring out the best poet in me: Wanda Lea Brayton, Zayra Yves, Marc Creamore, Karen Harris, Allyce May George and every other poet from Allpoetry who have been instrumental in helping shape my voice. I offer gratitude to Mary Virgin Kerkes and Guy Munson for collaborating with me on two poems that I’ve included in this volume. I have immense respect for your talent.
It is with love that I wish to thank my children & grandson, my family, friends and colleagues, and my soul mate and “Table Mountain”, Alan, for your love and affection. In the classroom of the heart, you are my teachers. Last but not least, I thank you for purchasing this book. I hope that the love gathered within these pages will touch and inspire you to tend to the lilies within yourself, so that they too can bloom and reach the highest hour of the heart and soul.
Contact the author: nicolettemvdw@
Other books by Nicolette van der Walt: fire lily: flower of the flame
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Aquillrelle is a site dedicated to every poet amongst us – encouraging the type of poetry which is a mix of talent, beauty and expression power. We do it by organizing poetry contests open to all, and biased by nothing but down to earth creativity.