Father of South African poetry – Thomas Pringle




 Cape of Storms- Thomas Pringle

O Cape of Storms! although thy front be dark,
And bleak thy naked cliffs and cheerless vales,
And perilous thy fierce and faithless gales
To stanchest mariner and stoutest bark;
And though along thy coasts with grief I mark
The servile and the slave, and him who wails
An exile’s lot – and blush to hear thy tales
Of sin and sorrow and oppression stark:-
Yet, spite of physical and moral ill,
And after all I’ve seen and suffered here,
There are strong links that bind me to thee still,
And render even thy rocks and deserts dear;
Here dwell kind hearts which time nor place can chill-
Loved Kindered and congenial Friends sincere.


The poet despite the bad memories, proves that goodness prevails, The Cape and It’s people have left an impression on him so strong that “bind” him to Cape. The poet considers the harshness of the Cape Colony: its bleak mountains, its gales and shipwrecks, and its slavery and other civil crimes. He nevertheless concludes that there are some strong links which hold him to the Cape, links of family and friends.


Italian Petrarchan Sonnet – Octave and Sestet, separated by conjunction “Yet” which indicates a change in the poem.

Octave: Negative aspects associated with the Cape.
Sestet: “Yet” strong feelings of the bonds he made with both the people and the land bind him to the Cape.

  1.  Physical- Landscape & Weather
  2. Social Ills – Slavery & Oppression
  3. Personal suffering- Loss of livelihood yet has a strong bond with the Cape in spite of negativity



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