#PoeticLicence: Poetry and destiny collide at Melville koppies

Rabbie Serumula, author, award-winning poet and journalist. Picture by Nokuthula Mbatha

Rabbie Serumula, author, award-winning poet and journalist. Picture by Nokuthula Mbatha

Published Jan 6, 2024


By Rabbie Serumula

My first close encounter of the word, kind, the uncharted emotional journey ignited by the power of poetic language, was in Melville. It was June 2013, I had just come back from a three-month stay in Cape Town for the last Independent Media cadet programme as an intern journalist.

Outside of the newsroom, I unearthed an eternity in poetry. Though I frequented the weekly Off The Wall open mic session at A Touch of Madness in Observatory, Cape Town - the Word N Sound Poetry Corner at The Lighthouse on 7th Street in Melville is where my first close encounter of the word kind took place.

It was not merely a chance encounter; it was destiny etched in the stars, a celestial dance. Call it fate. I am not sure how super your superstition is, but call it a good omen if you will. Melville is where poetry felt like home to me, it was my first intimate rendezvous with the world of words. Melville whispered to me the secrets of the world through the language of poetry.

Dear reader, I am humbled to inform you that Poetic Licence has broadened its horizon and cracked its cocoon. It has sprouted its wings. From poetry stages to these here pages of The Saturday Star and its digital platform likewise, flying back to nature. Returning to the roots like a tree revisiting its seed, completing the silent circle of growth in the embrace of nature's nurturing whispers.

This column has long been eager to see you, to once again meet you the reader in the flash. And so, by some serendipity, it branched its way to a poetry reading at Melville Koppies starting on Sunday, 14 January 2024, at 10:00 am and on the second Sunday of every month thereafter.

Picture the landscape alive with the spirit of words, merging with the last conserved remnants of Johannesburg's ridges as they were before the discovery of gold in 1886; a poetic dialogue with nature packaged as prose and poetry from your Saturday newspaper of choice.

Should you be in town, join us at the Koppies for Poetic Licence Sundays, a nature-inspired poetry reading featuring much of the editions you will and have read from this column. Now you know where to meet the Saturday Star outside of your subscription, your cellphone, your nearby store, the garage around your corner or the newspaper salesman at the intersection.

Intersecting at the seams, envision journalism and poetry, akin to siblings sharing the same narrative DNA. Journalism, the sturdy brother, navigates facts with precision, while poetry, the emotive sister, dances gracefully through the rhythm of emotions, together weaving a mosaic of the story of our shared human experience. Unpacking social ills, breaking spells of generational curses, healing through nature and love - a symphony echoing through the pages of The Saturday Star and now, the poetic embrace of Melville Koppies.

Saturday Star