Writing Career


1950

Yvonne van der Westhuizen (1934-2013) was a bilingual South African poet who grew up speaking Afrikaans as her first language, and although she had passed basic English at school, only began to master it after leaving school. Her earliest short fiction and poetry was written in Afrikaans (1953), with her first poetry in English only appearing in 1956.

In 1955 she married Theo Engela, who was also a gifted Afrikaans writer, who had been educated at an English-medium school. What is striking about Yvonne’s poetry is that she composed poems in Afrikaans AND English to an EQUAL standard, which is a rare thing indeed!

Yvonne (van der Westhuizen) Engela is today a completely unknown South African poet, because she never actively pursued publication for any of her works on her own. She kept her poetry – some handwritten, some typed on manual typewriters – in a bottom drawer in her wardrobe until her death at the age of 79 on October  24, 2013! As a result, Yvonne’s works are completely new South African poems in Afrikaans and English, which have never been seen before!

After her death, her daughter Christina – herself an accomplished writer – found them, and began to type her mother’s poetry from her old, yellowed notebooks from more than half a century ago – and plans to release a collection of her poetry  – after all, how many poets in South African history could write beautiful poetry in English AND in Afrikaans to an equal standard? Not many.

There are 104 poems in Afrikaans, 84 in English – a total of 188 written between 1953 and 1971 on file.

Bibliography:

Short Fiction:

  1. By Die Graf Van n Onbekende (1953)
  2. Die Jare Daarna

Poetry:

Afrikaans:

1 As
2 Bacchus
3 Bedenkinge
4 Berus (1959)
5 Bevryding
6 Die Bande Wat My Bind
7 Die Bedrieer
8 Die Belydenis (1959)
9 Die Boemelaar
10 Die Dwarse Moet
11 Die Gondstad (1959)
12 Die Harlekyn
13 Die Kalmende Vriend
14 Die Lig – En Vryheid
15 Die Mens
16 Die Moordenaar
17 Die Nag
18 Die Onsterflike Siel
19 Die Ou-jong Kind
20 Die Plaas
21 Die Slim Haas
22 Die Toeskouer
23 Die Veld
24 Die Verlatene
25 Die Verlede
26 Die Vriend
27 Die Vriendelike Nag
28 Die Weegskaal
29 Die Wind
30 Dof Is Die Oog Wat Op More Wag
31 Eensaamheid
32 Egte Skoonheid
33 Ek Het Jou Lief
34 Ek Lewe Nie Omdat Ek Wil Nie
35 Ek Maak Perels Bymekaar
36 Ek Voel So Allen Vanaand
37 Ek Wonder Of Jy Soms Dink Aan My
38 Ek Wis Nie Wat Makeer
39 Elke Dag
40 Engela Du Plooi
41 Gee My Jou Liefde (1959)
42 Herinneringe
43 Hoe Heerlik Is Dit Om Te Leef?
44 Hoe Kan Jy Lag?
45 Hoe Kon Jy?
46 Hoe Land Die Son?
47 Hoe Lank?
48 Hoe Lank Kan Wees n Nag?
49 Hoe Leef En Sonder Strewe
50 Hoe Stadig Tog Kan Tyd Omgaan?
51 In Die Maanlig
52 In Gedagtenis Van… (1957)
53 In My Drome (1959)
54 In My Liefde Het Ek Jou Gefaal
55 Ironie
56 Jock
57 Jou Oe
58 Jy Was So Jonk En Vol Lewenslus
59 Kontran (1959)
60 Kroeg Lewe
61 Lente (1958)
62 Levergeefs
63 Liefde
64 Liefling Van Weleer
65 Ligte Skoonheid
66 Moederliefde
67 My Gebed
68 My Moeder
69 My Vriend – Die Dood (1959)
70 n Klug
71 n Rosie
72 n Skippie Skommel Op Die See
73 n Versugting
74 n Vroumens
75 Nag (1956)
76 Net Eenmaal
77 Onthulling (1958)
78 Ontnugtering
79 Op n Vreemde Wee
80 Op n Soel Somers Dag
81 Reen
82 Romine
83 Sal Ons – Kan Ons
84 Sal Ons Ooit Veilig Land?
85 Smart (1958)
86 So Maak Die Mens
87 Soekend
88 Soos Die Son Wat Ondergaan
89 Soos n Blom Wat Eers Gekneus Moet Word
90 Stirling Castle (1955)
91 Te Laat (1959)
92 Toe Ek Nog Was n Kindjie
93 Velange
94 Veragting (1958)
95 Verlange
96 Verslae
97 Vir Jou
98 Vryheid
99 Waar Liefde Het Gebloei
100 Waarom? (1958)
101 Waarom?
102 Weemoed
103 Ween Met Die Wind (1959)
104 Wensduik

English:

1 2
2 A Little Love
3 A Man (1956)
4 A Prayer
5 A Time
6 Africa
7 Alone
8 Bacchus
9 Beloved (1959)
10 Bondage
11 Desolation
12 Desolation 2
13 Despair (1964)
14 Disillusionment
15 Doubts In The Night
16 Escape
17 Farewell (1956)
18 Hearts Can Break
19 Hope
20 Hospital Life (1956)
21 Husbands
22 I Am The Master Of My Soul (1956)
23 I Fell In Love With You (1956)
24 I Hear A Song And I Am Sad
25 If
26 If On A Rubbish Heap Can Grow A Rose
27 In My Sleep I Cried (1964)
28 In You I Have Found
29 Lady Bacchus
30 Life
31 Man
32 Many A Dream Has Paid Its Toll
33 Memory
34 Memory V – Farewell
35 Memory’s Request – The Flirt (1964)
36 Musts
37 My Friend
38 My Heart And Mind (1956)
39 My Mother (1963)
40 My Soul Is Filled With Grief
41 My Stillborn Child
42 My Wish (1964)
43 No Use
44 Oh Night
45 Once
46 One Alone (1964)
47 Out Of Step
48 Passion
49 Recognition (1971)
50 Rejection
51 Retribution
52 Solitude (1964)
53 Someone’s Died (1964)
54 Surprise
55 Sweet Nineteen (1957)
56 The Dear Departed
57 The Dream
58 The Faithful Wife (1965)
59 The Foolish Heart (1964)
60 The Innocent (1964)
61 The Kiss (1964)
62 The Mock Brandy Glass (1964)
63 The Moon Was Bright
64 The Moon Was Full
65 The Mute Lover (1964)
66 The Night Is Still (1956)
67 The Ocean
68 The Parting
69 The Philanderer
70 The Rake
71 The Square Peg
72 The Tormented Virgin (1964)
73 The Vagabond
74 The Victim
75 Thou And Me (1959)
76 Time (1956)
77 Time
78 Weeping Goddess
79 What Price Glory?
80 What Purpose?
81 What Use?
82 When Day Is Done (1959)
83 When We Meet Again (1956)
84 Why? (1964)

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