Ina Rousseau – vertaal deur die outeur
[ http://versindaba.co.za/2009/07/13/ina-rousseau-in-engels/ (Daniel Hugo) ]
Uit die niet
kom staan voor my ’n kropduif
wat probeer om my blik van my boek
te lok. En sodra ek wonder
wat in liefdesnaam hy by my soek,
begin hy iets by my te bedel
wat ek sweerlik self ontbeer:
Hy vra vir my kroepoek.
En as ek vir hom sê skoert,
herhaal hy maar weer kroepoek.
So: kroepoek kroepoek kroepoek.
Pleitend eers, maar spoedig
bot, asof hy op my vloek.
(c) Ina Rousseau
I went to De Waal Park to read.
A pigeon appeared from nowhere,
making silly noises at my feet,
apparantly to make me look
at him, in stead of at my book.
And just as I was wondering
what the dickens he was up to,
he started to beg something from me
which – cross my heart – I did not have:
He asked me for krupuk.
And when I ordered him to scoot,
he simply continued asking krupuk.
Like this: krupuk krupuk krupuk.
Plaintive at first, he soon became
distinctly curt, as though the word
was being uttered as a curse.
(Vertaling: Ina Rousseau)
Uit: ’n Onbekende jaartal (1995)
The healers (“Die helers”)
Also on this morning in early summer
the onslaught is being perpetuated:
the fabric of our country
is being torn, the seams
unpicked with little hooks of stainless steel –
but outside in the garden,
in a herbaceous border, fragrant
with the exudations of jasmine and heliotrope,
birds is busy
knotting a long strip of Flemish lace
out of sound.
One morning I had a tiff with Sis Genis.
We were both six.
“It is!” I shouted, and she: “It isn’t!”
What was this tiff about between me and Sis
before we knew the word tiff exists?
“Tis.” “Tisn’t.” “Tis.” “Tisn’t.”
Then a grownup hissed:
“For heaven’s sake, stop this tiff!”
I caught the word in a net.
Out of nowhere –
no, not nowhere: out of my small past,
a raindrop swooped down into the summer day,
round and shimmery,
and shattered into fragments
against a window pane: Tiff.
And then another one: Tiff.
And then another. And another.
And yet another one: Tiff, tiff, tiff- tiff.
And then a whole swarm: thousands
of transparent, juicy water berries
whacking and bursting against window glass
and splitting open with hissy sounds:
Tiff-tiff-tiff-tiff-tiff . . .
More and more of them, swifter and swifter
until they were welded together
into one endless fabric of lispy sounds,
veiling the city,
silvery, grey and cool, blowing outwards
wider and wider
over the East Rand and the West Rand,
and very soon encompassing my universe:
Tifftifftifftiff . . .
And that is how a word, brand new and juicy,
spattered into my life when I was six
on the day of my tiff with Sis Genis.
That summer (“Daardie somer”)
That summer it sometimes happened before
daybreak that some insect or bird
made noises in the fig tree
which sounded like knitting needles of steel
It used to amuse us.
That summer you built a sundial
on the southern side of the garden
and the sun burnished you like
a farmer. Your arms were ochre.
It was the summer of the plethora of roses
and on the grass behind the house
our picnic meals of bread and fish –
of the evil against your flesh
exposed by the colour test of Hiss.
Towards twilight there was tumult,
but after twenty minutes the thunder
rolled away out of the landscape,
slowly crumbling into nothingness
behind the mountain range. The clouds
melted, and above the cypresses
the stars were once more punching holes
into the indogo. Then, suddenly,
there was this extravaganza,
almost too grotesque te be true:
a full moon hovering on the horizon,
hauntingly huge, the hue of saffron,
like a sun
setting in the Tanqua Karoo.
The cherry tree (“Die kersieboom”)
Until recently he was scarcely more than
fragile scaffolding, a growing enigma.
Now he has become a sweetmeat factory,
a flourishing firm with many branches.
He markets his products in the season
of the rununcula and the rose:
the marble-sized ball-round ruby-red
containers crammed with fructose.