Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
19 Crossandra Street, Malabar, Port Elizabeth 6020
Many of Arthur Nortje’s poems are vivid portrayals of the inner conflicts and turmoil, which he had to endure during various phases of his life. Through his poems Nortje is able to illustrate how the inner conflicts and turmoil in his psyche are created by the oppressive apartheid system, his identity as a Coloured (mixed race), his turbulent relationship with his loved one, his experiences in exile and his alcohol and drug addiction. The conflict within the self, threaten to overwhelm him to such an extent, that he virtually teeters on the brink of mental instability. It is thus evident that his poems depict his traumatic inner conflicts, continuous struggle with the self and his on-going battle to come to terms with the reality of his existence as the marginalised other. It is with these concerns in mind that this article aims to demonstrate how and to what extent the inner conflicts and turmoil within the self are highlighted in his collection of poems in Anatomy of Dark.