Dennis Brutus

(1924 - 2009 / Harare, Zimbabwe)

Biography of Dennis Brutus

Dennis Vincent Brutus (28 November 1924 – 26 December 2009) was a South African activist, educator, journalist and poet best known for his campaign to have apartheid South Africa banned from the Olympic Games.
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia), to South African parents, Brutus was of indigenous Khoi, Dutch, French, English, German and Malaysian ancestry. His parents moved back home to Port Elizabeth when he was aged four, and young Brutus was classified under South Africa’s apartheid racial code as "coloured".
Brutus was a graduate of the University of Fort Hare (BA, 1946) and of the University of the Witwatersrand, where he studied law. He taught English and Afrikaans at several high schools in South Africa after 1948, but was eventually dismissed for his vocal criticism of apartheid. He served on the faculty of the University of Denver, Northwestern University and University of Pittsburgh, and was a Professor Emeritus from the last institution.
In 2008, Brutus was awarded the Lifetime Honorary Award by the South African Department of Arts and Culture for his lifelong dedication to African and world poetry and literary arts.

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Longing

Can the heart compute desire's trajectory
Or logic obtuse with semantic ambiguities
This simple ache's expletive detonation?

This is the wordless ultimate ballistic
Impacting past Science's reason, past logic
To blast the heart's defensive mechanism.

O my heart, my lost hope love, my dear

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