Andries Gerhardus Visser

[Singer of the Suikerbosrand] (1 March 1878 - 10 June 1929 / Fraserburg)

Biography of Andries Gerhardus Visser

Andries Gerhardus Visser poet

Andries Gerhardus Visser was a well-known early Afrikaans poet. He was popularly known as the "Singer of the Suikerbosrand".


Visser was born on the farm Zaaifontein in the Fraserburg district of South Africa. An intense drought drove his parents from their farm in Carnarvon and he was born in a tent in the farmyard, under the shadow of a pear tree. He attended school in Daljosafat at the same time as two other notable writers, Jacob Daniël du Toit and Francois de Malherbe. He received teacher's training at Normaal College in Cape Town en studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1901 to 1906.He worked as a doctor in Carnarvon (1907–1909), Steytlerville (1909–1916) and Heidelberg (1916–1929). He became close friends with the poet Eugene Marais while in Heidelberg.He married twice; in 1913 with Lettie Conradie, who died in 1920, and again in 1927 with Marie de Villiers. He died on the 10th of June 1929.

Literary career

Visser was already published at eighteen in Ons Kleintji. His work is not regarded as part of the Eerste Taalbeweging, rather as the part of the poetry from the period until 1930. He twice won the prestigious Hertzog Prize for literature, for both his first and second anthologies. His verse is notably simple and musical, making use of traditional verse forms such as the rondeel, intertextual references and techniques such as the switching of idioms, epigrams and spellings.

Andries Gerhardus Visser's Works:


Gedigte. (J.L. Van Schaik, 1925).
Rose van herinnering en ander gedigte. (J.L. van Schaik, 1927).
Die purper iris, en ander nagelate gedigte. (Nasionale Pers, 1930).
Uit ons prille jeug. (Nasionale Pers, 1948).
Bloemlesing uit die gedigte. (Van Schaik, 1955).
Kinderkeur. (Van Schaik, 1967).
Roos en lanset: ’n keuse uit A.G. Visser. (Van Schaik, 1978).
Versamelde gedigte. (Tafelberg, 1981).

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