Melanie Grobler – vertaling in Engels

Translation to English by the author

Melanie Grobler

Melanie Grobler was born in Warmbaths (Bela Bela) and grew up in Rustenburg, Transvaal.  She studied at the University of Pretoria: BA in Psychology and Philosophy and completed a degree of Doctor of History of Art in 2002.

Melanie Grobler’s first volume of poetry, Tye en Swye in die lewe van Hester H was published in 1991. She received the Rapport Prize for this collection. In her poetry she predominately writes about the “self” in the playing fields of politics, of the ancestors and in her own private family life. Die Waterbreker was published in 2004. In this work the journey of the conscious of the self is explored. She questions the role of the “self” in the household. Instead of writing about the biological, she extends her interest to the ancestral poets. Her third volume of poetry, Deur ruite van die reis, was published towards the end of 2013. In this collection the poet writes about a voyage with all its symbolic associations with water; the unconscious, female qualities, archetypal, primordial and creativity. The poet is the figure head plunging through the water.

Melanie Grobler is currently living and working in Pringle Bay.

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 Origami

 

On the bough of a big leaf maple

in the crepuscular shadows

 

sat a glossy black crow with a hump

on its forehead and a curved beak

 

a sub species, Corvus japonensis

a black bird stretching its wings

 

he is the magical ancestor who shape shifts

into the beautiful origami.

 

(Tr. by the author, 2015)

.

 

Seacoast

 

Seacoast – deep breathing along the beach

years sucked down along the coastline

to the gray embankment of sleep

where the undertow is running stronger

the woman sways when the cry comes

stronger than the trembling of being alive

shivering further along the coastal path

footsteps crunching on the gravel

and stumbling in the tangled seaweed

pocked by salt, back to her darkest dreams

that flood the half-moon of the bay

the soft backwash on the swaying gray shore

staggering shuddering as she reaches out towards first light

just before the expected hour of the winter’s morning.

 

Daybreak under the weighted cry of the night keeper’s eyes.

 

Seacoast – deep breathing along the boulders

years sucked down along the beach

but a sudden and unexpected change in weather

become days of plummeting and tossing of fish bones in the breakers

delusional winds, smothered birds caught in the undertow of rain

leaden water hanging in the sky

the woman watches the rain spatter against the panes

today of all days, she does not deserved

this continual gray drip on the roof of reeds

cursing the bleak conditions she sends it along a coastal path

to a body of water resilient against ocean storms

a river miraculously flowing away from the sea

becoming stream, becoming furrow, becoming landscape

woman looking at the downpour for seconds, minutes, hours.

 

Daybreak under the weighted cry of the night keeper’s eyes

 

( © Melanie Grobler.  Translation of unpublished Afrikaans poem: Seekus.)
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