Stolen Rivers by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

‘Stolen Rivers’ by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

Read the poem on page 282 of Seasons Come to Pass several times, and then answer the

questions that follow.

1. Read the poet’s biography on page 282 of Seasons Come to Pass. Her style is referred

to as part of the ‘spoken word’ movement. What does this mean? Keeping this in mind,

what type of style do you expect this poem to written in? I

2. Consult a dictionary to the find the meanings of the following words: ‘agenda’ (line 2),

‘consuming’ (line 4), ‘pillage’ (line 5), ‘redress’ (line 8), ‘enraged’ (line 9), and ‘etched’

(line 14). Also find the meanings of any other words in the poem that you may not

understand. Once you comprehend what all these words mean, read the poem again to

see how this affects your understanding of the poem as a whole.


3. Look carefully at lines 1-9, and give a summary of the events in these lines in your own


4. Line 10 marks a change in the poem with the words ‘And then’. Write a paragraph in

which you explain how the poem changes from line 10, both in terms of its content and its


5. This poem does not have a formal rhyme scheme. Instead, the poet uses recurring

sound devices to create rhythm. Find an example of a recurring sound device used in the

poem, and explain how this sound device is used to add rhythm. (See page 21 of Tutorial

Letter 501 for more information on different types of sound devices.)

6. Write a paragraph in which you explain the speaker’s thoughts as expressed in the final

three lines of the poem. Remember to link these lines to the rest of the poem in your


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