Original Articles

Aspects of defamiliarization in W.M.R. Sigwavhulimu's poetry

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 11, issue 1, 1991 , pages: 36–39
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.1991.10586887
Author(s): N.A. MilubiDepartment of Tshivenda, Republic of South Africa


The purpose of this article is to reflect on the nature of W.M.R. Sigwavhulimu's poetry. His poetry touches a number of crucial aspects of human existence and is assessed against the background of the basic tenents of Russian Formalism. The concept of ‘ostranenie’ is realized in Sigwavhulimu's poetry through the employment of compound expressions, archaic expressions, diction and the astute use of well-known techniques such as symbols, metaphors, antithesis and repetition that characterize his poetry. His fascinating way of using ‘defamiliarization’ has left an indelible impact on the readers and it has rendered him one of the best poets in Tshivenda.

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