Jelleke Wierenga. Die Land van Wol en Hare

Noudat Philip de Vos sy sonde bely het, kan ek seker ook uit die kas klim. Ek bely dat ek hoë vreugde ervaar in die skeppings van manne en vroue wat waarskynlik deur weinig as poëte beskou sou word. Nou die dag noem ek die naam Roald Dahl teenoor wat ek gemeen het ’n nie onintelligente mens is nie, en hierdie nie onintelligente mens vra: “Ronald wie?”

As die Weltschmerz knaag (’n vriend noem hulle die Welsh rats, oftewel die Walliese rotte), die lug bot is en ek my wil vergryp aan ongeoorloofde dinge, is dit sulke tyd. Dan reik my hand en hart uit nie na die Klaagliedere van Jeremia nie, nie na die hoë skoonheid van N.P. van Wyk Louw nie, nie na die lieflike smartlikhede van Fernando Pessoa nie, maar na W.O. Kühne se Huppelkind. Vandat ek die eerste keer die Wolman se liedjie oor die Land van Wol en Hare gehoor het – halfpad duskant anderkant – was ek betower:

Die wêreld is ’n ronde bol,
van binne is hy hol.
En in die middel, vol gevare,
lê die Land van Wol en Hare

Onder is bo
en agter voor –
dit is alles baie snaaks.
Ons het dit al verander,
en dit bly nog so
in die Land van Wol en Hare.

Hoe klink dit so na die NSA?

En verder:

Verkeerd is reg,
goed is sleg
en soet is baie bitter,
maar swart is wit
en
swarter baie witter.
As jy opstaan, bly jy sit
in die Land van Wol en hare.

Nou klink dit nog meer na die NSA.

Nou maar Roald Dahl se Songs and Verse oopmaak vir ’n sluk antidoot:

Augustus Gloop! Augustus Gloop!
The great big greedy nincompoop!
How long could we allow this beast
To gorge and nuzzle, feed and feast
On everything he wanted to?
Great Scott! It simply wouldn’t do!
However long this pig might live,
We’re positive he’d never give
Even the smallest bit of fun
Or happiness to anyone.
So what we do in cases such
As this, we use the gentle touch,
And carefully we take the brat
And turn him into something that
Will give great pleasure to us all –
A doll, for instance, or a ball,

Or marbles or a rocking horse.
But this revolting boy, of course,
Was so unutterably vile,
So greedy, foul, and infantile,
He left a most disgusting taste
Inside our mouths, and so in haste

We chose a thing that, come what may,
Would take the nasty taste away.

Die kind wat ek nog is

Die kind wat ek nog is

Dié liedjie word gesing deur die Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ek is dol op Roald Dahl se skerp humor en onwrikbare verbintenis tot sê-dit-soos-dit-is. Ek het sy hele versameling kinderboeke. Maar ek is verstom dat die een of ander kinderregte-organisasie nog nie sy boeke verbied gekry het nie. Ek meen, is dit politiek korrek om te praat van ’n seuntjie – die onskuldige skepseltjie – se “enormous stomach”? Is dit nou humanisties en opvoedkundig verantwoordbaar om na ’n arme sieletjie te verwys as ’n “nincompoop”, ’n “beast”, ’n “pig”, “revolting” en “vile”? A nee a, skrywers moet versigtiger met woorde omgaan – hulle kan ongekende en lewensverwoestende skade aan fragiele psiges aanrig.

Ag, maar my verworde siel kan nie help om te jubel oor die lot van die kougomkouende Violet Beauregarde in die einste Charlie and the Chocolate Factory nie …

Dear friends, we surely all agree
There’s almost nothing worse to see
Than some repulsive little bum
Who’s always chewing chewing-gum.
(It’s very near as bad as those
Who sit around and pick the nose.)

… en te giggel van plesier oor die lot van die bedorwe Veruca Salt nie …

Veruca Salt, the little brute,
Has just gone down the rubbish chute
(And as we very rightly thought
That in a case like this we ought
To see the thing completely through,
We’ve polished off her parents, too).

… en hande te vryf oor die lot van die verwaande, alleswetende, pistoolbehangde Mike Teavee nie. Die liedjie oor Mike Teavee behoort in sy geheel aan elke ouer, onderwyser en skool gestuur te word. Ongelukkig is die hele vers te lank om hier weer te gee, dus net ’n voorsmaak:

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set –
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.

Die kind wat ek nog is

Een van die baie kinders in my kop

Een van my ander groot gunstelingdigters is Dr Seuss (wat nie ’n regte doktor of dokter blyk te wees nie). Ek is eenvoudig versot op sy rymstories met hul humor, intelligensie en lewenswysheid. My groot omnibus Your Favourite Dr. Seuss en Dr. Seuss’ Animal Antics is kosbare besittings waarin ek gereeld lees om my kop reg te kry:

And, so far as I know,
Katroo is the only place Birthday Birds grow.
This bird has a brain. He’s most beautifully brained
With the brainiest bird-brain that’s ever been trained.
He was trained by the most splendid Club in this nation,
The Katroo Happy Birthday Asso-see-eye-ation.
And, whether your name is Pete, Polly or Paul,
When your birthday comes round, he’s in charge of it all.

If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, well then what would you be?
You might
be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that … Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all. No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just isn’t present.
But you … You ARE YOU! And, now isn’t that pleasant!

En hoe sal ek nou die “beautifully brained” Philip de Vos nalaat … dekades al verkneukel ek my in sy slimstout verse. Hier langs my lê sy Daar’s bitterals in die heuningwals

Die treurlied van muskiet
is vol droewige verdriet
en ieder aand se dreunlied
’n snot-en-trane weenlied.
As jy vanaand so snoesigsoet
en vol van bloed daar lê,
luister na wat gogga
in die donkerte wil sê
maar moet hom
nimmer klap nie –
sý weemoed
is g’n grap nie,
want as hy zoem
en as hy zoei
en duik
hier om jou ore,
dan gaan daar
met ’n enk’le klap
’n lydingslied verlore.

Ag, daar’s nog vele, maar ek vrees vele kan verveeld raak. Uit die goedheid van my hart skryf ek ten slotte giggelpille voor vir dae goor: Annie Schmidt se Die spree met foete, uit Nederlands vertaal en verwerk deur onse Philip.

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5 Kommentare op “Jelleke Wierenga. Die Land van Wol en Hare”

  1. Desmond Painter :

    Baie oulike foto van jou!

  2. Wysneus :

    Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
    Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

    Except when you don’t.
    Because, sometimes, you won’t.

    I’m sorry to say so
    but, sadly, it’s true
    that Bang-ups
    and Hang-ups
    can happen to you.

    You can get all hung up
    in a prickle-ly perch.
    And your gang will fly on.
    You’ll be left in a Lurch.

    You’ll come down from the Lurch
    with an unpleasant bump.
    And the chances are, then,
    that you’ll be in a Slump.

    And when you’re in a Slump,
    you’re not in for much fun.
    Un-slumping yourself
    is not easily done.

    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
    Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
    A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
    Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
    How much can you lose? How much can you win?

    And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
    or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
    Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
    Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
    for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

  3. Out there things can happen
    and frequently do
    to people as brainy
    and footsy as you.

    And when things start to happen,
    don’t worry. Don’t stew.
    Just go right along.
    You’ll start happening too.

  4. Rene Bohnen :

    Oh, the places you’ll go!

  5. Philip de Vos :

    Dankie Jelleke vir al jou mooi woorde. Om kind te kon bly, was seker vir my ‘n gawe, maar is soms tog seker baie frustrerend vir iemand wat elke dag met my moet saamleef.