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Kerry Hammerton

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

How I became a poet by Annette Snyckers

Last year I challenged Annette Snyckers to write a series of essays with me in 2016…. here is her first one on becoming a poet. The challenge is simple we will write a number of personal essays on different topics through out the year..


How (I think) I became a Poet by Annette Snyckers

All children are poets at heart. Some are lucky, like me, and grow up close to nature. They carry with them forever the images that later inspire words. I grew up in a city on the edge of a nature reserve. We kept a half drum of dried mealies in the shed and my mother grew a patch of lucerne at the back of our terraced garden for the animals that came down to our fence. Today that would be frowned upon, considered meddling with Nature. But then it gave me a sense of responsibility, of caring for something – a sense of wonderment above all, as those blue-grey tongues of the Eland delicately licked the treats from my small hands. The reserve was one of the few “koppies” or flat-topped hills on the plains of the Free State. As there were no predators, I was allowed to climb the big tree on our side of the fence and let myself down along a low-hanging branch into the veld on the other side – into another world.

During the summer holidays we went camping… the rest of this essay can be found here:


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