N. P. van Wyk Louw

South African poet

1906   -   1970

country of citizenship: South Africa
language of expression: Afrikaans
educated at: University of Cape Town
occupation: poet, writer, university teacher, linguist
award received: honorary doctor of the University of Utrecht

Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw (11 June 1906 in Sutherland, formerly Cape Province, now Northern Cape Province in South Africa – 18 June 1970 in Johannesburg), almost universally known as N.P. van Wyk Louw, was an Afrikaans-language poet, playwright and scholar. He was the older brother of Afrikaans-language poet W.E.G. Louw. One of the Dertigers, or "Writers of the Thirties," N.P. van Wyk Louw produced among his most famous works his debut 1935 volume of poems, Alleenspraak ("Monologue"), the 1937 poetry collection Die halwe kring ("The Semicircle"), the verse epic Raka, and the 1956 tragedy Germanicus.N.P. van Wyk Louw is quoted on the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl, Western Cape Province; in his quote, he views Afrikaans as a bridge that connects Europe with Africa. The South African composer Cromwell Everson composed a song cycle, "Vier Liefdesliedjies" ("Four little love songs") that used three of Louw's poems: "Nagliedje", "Net altyd jy" and "Dennebosse" (respectively, "Little night song", "Only always you" and "Pine forest"). A collection of the correspondence between N.P. van Wyk and his brother W.E.G. Louw was published by Hemel & See Boeke in 2011 under the title "Briewe van W.E.G. en N.P. van Wyk Louw 1941-1970".
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