The Harvest of Knowledge

A picture of Engineering 1 at the University of Pretoria, taken in the fall at dusk.

And so it comes to pass that yet another semester of studying, regurgitation and suffering is done and dusted. All the hard work we put in sometimes seem to be in vain – but we soldier on. We barely scrape through to the next semester with a 53% average, we get countless supplementary exams and the workload is ever-increasing. But at last we can let out a sigh of relief, and we can once again kick up our feet and relax a bit; catch our breath. We don’t care if it’s a cold holiday, filled with cold fronts, curling up and wrapping ourself in a blanket, watching the cold news on the TV: we have wasting time, sport and partying to keep us occupied, and we will enjoy every moment of doing nothing. Thank you very much.

To the next generation of hard workers: the seeds that will bear fruits for all. Cheers!


The Harvest of Knowledge


The constant gathering of knowledge –

Like the foragers of times long ago

Is the sail catching the wind, the nudge:

The nourishment that makes us grow


In this jungle of bricks, cement and stone,

This ecosystem of ideas, and of culture

Is where we enrich our bodies to the bone

Where we scour this carcass like a vulture


We are 8-digit numbers – the code:

A supply of money, of a thirsty client

Far away from humble, austere abode

Listening, absorbing, and often silent


These buildings often simply drown out

Our small voices in this lonesome mass

As we shape our lives, with anxiety and doubt

As we try to fit in, living with pseudo-class


Like ants or bees we sweat and bleed

We build the nest, produce the honey

To free our people from chains: our creed,

To give life, love, opportunity and money


We’re the future workers of the city:

The scientists and entrepreneurs

Biologists and actors witty

The doctors and shy engineers


In this jungle of bricks, cement and stone

We enrich our country to the bone

As we gather knowledge and pioneer the way

Adding value to the dawn of a new day

June 2011 – Francois Hermanus Steyn


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