Anxious Competition: Exploring the Poetic Imaginarium of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Malawi

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10418

Keywords:

COVID-19, resilience, contagion, poetic imaginarium, COVID-19; resilience; contagion; poetic imaginarium; hope

Abstract

As I write this article in mid-September 2021, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 4.7 million people and over 228 million others have been infected worldwide. This article explores the poetic imaginarium of the coronavirus, focusing on how selected Malawian poets imagine the devastation wrought on human beings by the pandemic in their poetry. Specifically, it considers how selected poems in Walking the Battlefield: An Anthology of Malawian Poetry on the COVID-19 Pandemic—a book edited by Martin Juwa, William Mpina and Beaton Galafa—explore the chaos, shock and bewilderment brought on by COVID-19. I also argue that a reading of the poems allows for an opening up of a discursive debate on the hope and indomitable resilience of the human spirit when confronted by life-threatening contagions.

Opsomming

Terwyl ek hierdie referaat in mid-September 2021 skryf, het die ernstige akute respiratoriese sindroom koronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)-pandemie reeds die lewens van bykans 4.7 miljoen mense geëis en meer as 228 miljoen is wêreldwyd geïnfekteer. Hierdie referaat verken die poëtiese verbeeldingswêreld van die koronavirus, en fokus op gekose Malawiese digters wat in hul poësie die vernietiging wat die pandemie in mense se lewens veroorsaak, in hul verbeelding ervaar. Dit besin spesifiek oor hoe gekose gedigte in Walking the Battlefield: An Anthology of Malawian Poetry on the COVID-19 Pandemic—’n boek wat deur Martin Juwa, William Mpina en Beaton Galafa geredigeer is—die chaos, skok en verbystering verken wat deur COVID-19 teweeggebring is. Ek voer ook aan dat ’n voorlesing van die gedigte ’n beredeneerde debat moontlik maak oor die hoop en onblusbare veerkragtigheid van die menslike gees wanneer dit deur lewensbedreigende aansteeklike siektes gekonfronteer word.

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Published

2022-03-16

How to Cite

Tembo, N. . (2022). Anxious Competition: Exploring the Poetic Imaginarium of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Malawi. Journal of Literary Studies, 38(1), 18 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10418