The Turtle Dove Told Me
The Turtle Dove Told Me is the long awaited, debut collection of poetry from emerging South African poet and artist Thandi Sliepen.
The Turtle Dove Told Me
The Turtle Dove Told Me is the long awaited, debut collection of poetry from emerging South African poet and artist Thandi Sliepen. The first of a trilogy spanning the years 1990 – 2010, this collection traces her return to Africa at the age of 18 in search of her roots. The journey starts in Tanzania, then overland to Cape Town her home city which she had last seen in 1976. Her search takes her to a stretch of coast in the Ciskei and then to Clarens in the Eastern Free State where she finally finds what she has been searching for. Art, love and the healing embrace of land.
Thandi Sliepen is a self taught artist living in the Eastern Free State.
Born in 1971 in Mowbray, Cape Town she left South Africa in 1976 and immigrated with her family to New Zealand where she completed her formal education.
In 1990 she farewelled the antipodes and returned to Africa, first to Tanzania for 8 months and then back to her roots in South Africa. In 1992 Thandi met artist Martin Wessels and the stage was set for a life of Art. She moved into a cave on Martin’s property and started painting, sculpting and continued to write poetry prolifically.
Since then Thandi has lived and exhibited in various places around South Africa, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Thandi currently lives on a farm outside Ladybrand with her partner, photographer Glen Green and their two children.
“This poet is a visual artist and portraitist, and in the first part of her book, Sliepen’s words draw and colour the unique beauty of Africa with the eye of a painter.
In the second part, Sea, images of landscape and inhabitants dissolve, warp, weave, reshape as if viewed through restless waters before the poetry moves to narrative mood in sections of travel and search for peace, and a place that offers itself as home.
At the last, wandering and the wanderer are at rest; the past, imprisoner and imprisoned, has wings to free and be set free; and a turtle dove urges each one of us to “fly on/ fearful one / the world is full of beauty / where ever you may find it”.
This is the first in a trilogy tracing Sliepen’s return to Africa at the age of 18.” Moira Richards, Cape Times