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The Attribute of Poetry

by Elisa Galgut

The Attribute of Poetry received judges’ commendation in the 2016 Ingrid Jonker Prize. Galgut’s collection was described as "a stunning debut" that "moves with great ease from the personal to the philosophical".

These deeply felt poems are at once plain-speaking and alive with complexity; Galgut's elegant response to both pain and loveliness is inspiring. Elisa Galgut teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD in Philosophy from Rutgers University and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her poetry has appeared in local literary journals and anthologies. She lives in Cape Town.

ISBN 9781928215028 | 44 pages | 210 x 148 mm | 2015 | Modjaji Books, South Africa | Paperback


eBook ISBN: 9781928215165


The Attribute of Poetry offers a feast of thought and image. Elisa Galgut’s poetry seems both new and old, fresh in its ingenuity and mature in the wisdom of its deliberations. In these ‘incantations of creation’ (to borrow a line from one of the poems) a quiet yet powerful voice speaks to us; and we cannot but be moved by it.”

David Medalie

“Poetry-lovers who share – and which poetry-lover does not? – Sir Philip Sidney’s view that great poetry should be a ‘medicine of cherries’ will delight in the publication of Elisa Galgut’s debut anthology, for its union of erudition and passion, technical excellence and emotional power, ensures that it is both immensely entertaining and thought-provoking. In Elisa Galgut’s poetry, the imaginary gardens are exquisitely crafted, and the toads within them are strikingly real. Quirky, poignant, probing, meditative, her voice is genuinely original. Discerning readers should celebrate the arrival of this remarkable philosopher-poet!”

Digby Ricci



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