“When Day Is Done” by Yvonne Engela


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Time marches on for all of us. Childhood. Growing up. Romance. Sorrow. Heartbreak. Melancholy. Marriage. Divorce. Death. Work – always work. Unlike most people, some write about it to analyze our feelings and thoughts, to expel them, or to share.

Yvonne Lorraine (van der Westhuizen) Engela was born in the Eastern Cape in South Africa in 1934. Between 1953 and 1972, she eagerly wrote poetry in both her home language Afrikaans, and in English. She never thought her poetry would ever be good enough to publish. Life was far too hectic. She had to work hard and continuously to support a husband, and later a child. being a single mother was never easy, and she was a humble person. Later on, she put it all away and didn’t talk about it anymore. Her child brought her the joy and happiness that nobody else could. Life went on…

Then one day, at 79 years of age, she died suddenly. Not long after her death, her daughter began to clean up and process her belongings – and found a stash of old notebooks full of poetry written in her youth. And she read them – and realized what a treasure trove her mother had left her. A look inside her mother’s soul, as a young woman, and as a talented writer and poet…

Yvonne had underestimated herself. How many writers or poets in the world had ever written equally as well in two languages? In English and Afrikaans? There can’t be many.


  • Published: April 11, 2018
  • Words: 8,900
  • Author: Yvonne Lorraine Engela (Edited by Christina Engela)

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