Zandra Bezuidenhout – vertaling in Engels

Zandra Bezuidenhout – vertaal deur/ translated by Michiel Heyns 

Zandra Bezuidenhout

Zandra Bezuidenhout

Zandra Bezuidenhout was born and raised in the Strand. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch. Later she continued her studies at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Leiden, and in 2005 she was awarded a doctorate on contemporary poetry by Afrikaans- and Dutch-speaking women. She has also published short stories, articles, columns and reviews. Her debut collection, dansmusieke (2000) was awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize, and a second collection, Aardling, was published by Protea Boekhuis in 2006. She has worked inter alia as translator, teacher and part-time lecturer, and is presently a free-lance language practitioner.

 

 

 

MIDDLE WORLD         

 

In the sanctioned no-man’s-land

liminals live sans plot or plan

in search of newer narratives

contra custom and constitution

in a communitas of in-between.

 

For years he sojourns neither-nor,

shuns the groove, neutral and anonymous.

the squatter appropriates

alternative spaces on the edge

beyond initiation

patrolling the threshold,

returning home with foreign spoils,

presents credentials as creole:

resident alien traitor-celeb

always something to declare

ranting at the customs desk.

 

(Uncollected)

(Tr. by Michiel Heyns)

 

 

TANGO

 

Break  me softly

            make my hair cascade

              all the way to the small of my back

 

Let my leg tendril

            round the warm pillar of your body

                         and swing me

                                       support me

                                                     arrest me        

till I swirl around you

               and you make my head hang down, hang down.

 

For I glow to the measure of violins

             and thrill to the boom of the bass;

                         sob with the sparse bandoneon

                                       and flare like the paired pianos.

 

Let the fringes whip my calves

            stretch my foot like the paw of a cat

split my shimmering frock

             make me tumble and fall like octaves.

Lift me higher than the keening of accordions

catch me low in the gasp

of seconds.

 

I want to tame you in the tease of the tango,

flirt with the lasso of love;

your arrogant neck I want to clasp

in the grip of my silverest shoes.            

 

(From: Dansmusieke. Suider Kollege Uitgewers, 2000)

(Tr. by Michiel Heyns)

 

 

SUMMER HOLIDAY

 

It was the year of Cliff Richard

seven singles jukebox the Beach Boys

and we California clones all Seventeen

girls twirly soft-serve cones in white swimwear

young men cock-of-the-walk on milk-white beaches         

breeze of Brylcream and coconut oil

shoulders thighs smeared to noonday shine

lips of coral-orange by flicker-waters                            

deeper in the swelling surge we two

rocking on a tractor tube 

with droplets of sun and water in our lashes

our hair plastered seaweed-smooth;

bodies tanned bamboo-brown and comely in each other’s eyes

till after the springtide

when the evening wind cools us

amongst the sandy dunes.

 

(From Aardling. 2006. Protea Boekhuis)

(Tr. by Michiel Heyns)

 

 

SIGNIFICATION

 

Humans cherish the shadow:

inhabit the twilight of a tent,

linger under a canopy of leaves

or in the sombre confines of a hut.

Others shelter in the cupola

of cathedral or cave;

paint the setting sun

and celebrate the coming of dusk

with a foaming calabash 

or twirl a glass of gin around;

nurse at night a darker bourbon,

contemplate the curvature of the earth – 

roll on the tongue  

notions of signification.

 

But the sun’s eclipse!

Commotion!

The haze of the penumbra

shrinks to a red membrane,

whirls around the smoky fruit

hanging from the palm of heaven:

death’s head, ghost lantern, black balloon.

Snakes flee and owls and birds

hoot-hoot how drear the day;

light years distant wild dogs howl, shiny-eyed 

comets whistle among the stars. 

 

Humans gaze into the black pupil of a cyclops,

notate their small catharses;

wonder how many dark suns yet

before we, writing for our lives,

of fright and shadow die.

 

(From Aardling. 2006. Protea Boekhuis)

(Tr. by Michiel Heyns)

Translator:

Michiel Heyns grew up in various towns and cities all over South Africa, and studied at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cambridge. He lectured in English at the University of Stellenbosch until 2003, when he took retirement to write full-time. Apart from a book on the nineteenth-century novel and many critical essays, one of which won the English Academy’s Thomas Pringle Award for Criticism, he has published four novels: The Children’s Day, The Reluctant Passenger, The Typewriter’s Tale and Bodies Politic (a fifth, Lost Ground, is due out in 2011). He translated Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat, which won the 2007 Sunday Times Fiction Award. For this translation he was awarded the English Academy’s Sol Plaatje Prize for Translation 2008 and the South African Institute of Translators’ Award for Literary Translation. His translations of Etienne van Heerden’s 30 Nagte in Amsterdam and Chris Barnard’s Boendoe were published in 2011. He reviews books for the South African Sunday Independent, and was awarded the English Academy’s Thomas Pringle Award for Reviewing in 2006 and again in 2010. 

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