Arja Salafranca's Reviews > Separating the Seas

Separating the Seas by Kobus Moolman
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Feb 11, 12


Kobus Moolman is very much a minimalist, paring down words to the point that images form clearly and succinctly. There is no fat in Moolman’s poetry and this lends it a stark, almost bare power.

Here are a few examples of Moolman’s use of simplicity. Auto de fe: “Hills are wan in the distance/ grass is dry and yellow./Somewhere an old fire burns/a dead man’s dreams.” Or Dawn quietly and beautifully rendered: “Just past Newcastle/ the dark lifts slowly/to allow a
small morning in.”

No confessional practitioner, the poet is obliquely hidden in the third person in poems such as
Self-portrait in a window and He: a writer’s biography in eight parts. Moolman is also not a political poet, but the realities of life are simply and effectively brought to light in Cost of Living, which lists various items of foodstuffs and When there is no food: “What I do/when there is no food in the house/ is to put water on the stove …/then we drink the water and go
to bed.”
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