Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

(1940 / Vryheid)

Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali
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Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali was born in Kwabhanya (Vryheid), KwaZulu-Natal in 1940. After completing secondary school in he went to Soweto hoping to study social work. Apartheid legislation prevented his enrolment but he studied via correspondence, obtaining a diploma with Premier School of Journalism and Authorship, affiliated to London University. He worked as a messenger in Johannesburg, drawing on his observations of the city to write the poems that became his first collection, Sounds of a Cowhide Drum. Published by Lionel Abrahams of Renoster in 1971, with a foreword written by Nadine Gordimer, this book went on to become the best-selling poetry book in South African history. more »

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Comments about Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

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  • Nomkhosi ndaba(9/10/2018 9:55:00 AM)

    I knew him by his poem a newly born calf in grade 11 in 2001 still looking for more of is poems.

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  • Edouardo Katz(4/24/2018 8:01:00 AM)

    Nobody can beat Mtshali, the poet among poets.

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Best Poem of Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

The Shepherd And His Flock

The rays of the sun
are like a pair of scissors
cutting the blanket
of the dawn from the sky.

The young shepherd
drives the master's sheep
from the paddock
into the veld.

His bare feet
kick the grass
and spill the dew
like diamonds
on a cutter's table
A lamb strays away
enchanted by the marvels
of summer morning
The ram
rebukes the ewe
"Woman! Woman!
Watch over the child!"

The sun wings up
on flaming petal
of a sunflower.

He perches on an ant heap
to play the reed flute
and to salute
the ...

Read the full of The Shepherd And His Flock

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