An analysis of selected poems from Sefalana sa menate by L.D. Raditladi with reference to Riffaterre's and Lotman's semiotics
Ntsonda, Manini Wilhelmina
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The aim of this study was to define a semiotics of poetry, to apply that semiotics to analyze seven poems by L.D. Raditladi and to determine how cultural elements are transformed in Raditladi's poems. The study comprises four chapters. The central problems, aims, central theoretical statement and method were outlined and motivated in the first chapter. The second chapter defined a theory of semiotics based on M. Riffaterre's views about the kinds of indirection in poetry and Y. Lotman's view of symbols. Chapter three analysed the indirection and the use of cultural symbols in seven poems from Raditladi's collection Sefalana sa menate (1984). The different variants of the central ideas of phrases (matrices) were traced in the poems. By using symbols and indirection, the poems do not so much express the ideas and emotions of the speaker and the hidden meanings behind the signs, but rather take the reader on fascinating journeys of meaning generation. The analysis of Raditladi's use of symbols revealed the cultural meaning of each poem. Raditladi's seven poems support the idea that symbols, images and indirection provide vital semiotic clues to a poem's significance. It was also shown that the speaker adopts different stances towards traditional Batswana cultural material, like irony, exaggeration, nostalgia and celebration.
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