Posts Tagged ‘C.P. Kavafis vertalings’

C.P. Kavafis. Vertaling in Afrikaans

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

C.P. Kavafis, vert. in Afrikaans deur DW Gouws.

 

Om die moeite te gedoen het

– C.P. Kavafis (1863-1933)

 

Ek’s amper ‘n rondloper en platsak.

Hierdie fatale stad, Antiochië,

het al my geld verslind:

hierdie fatale stad met sy spandabelrige lewe.

 

Maar ek’s jonk en perdfris.

‘n Wonderbaarlike meester van Grieks,

en ken Aristoteles en Plato van ‘n kant af,

asook enige redenaar, digter, of ander skrywer wat jy maar kan noem.

Oor militêre sake is ek nie oningelig nie,

en ek het vriende onder die senior staande offisiere.

Ek dra gewis ook kennis van administratiewe aangeleenthede.

Ek was verlede jaar ses maande lank in Alexandrië;

iets weet ek (en dit is nuttig) van wat daar aangaan:

die korrupsie, en die drek, en die res daarvan.

 

Dus glo ek ek is heeltemal

bevoeg om hierdie land te dien,

my geliefde vaderland, Sirië.

 

In watter amp hulle my ook al plaas sal ek trag

om nuttig vir die land te wees. Dít is my bedoeling.

Maar nou weer, as hulle my hinder met hul stelsels –

ons ken hulle, die wat so oulik is: is dit nou nodig om daaroor te praat? –

as hulle my pla is dit nie my skuld nie.

 

Ek sal my eers tot Zabinas rig,

en indien daardie idioot my nie waardeer nie,

sal ek na sy teëstander gaan, Gripos.

En as daardie imbesiel my nie aanstel nie,

gaan ek terstond na Hirkanos toe.

 

In ieder geval, een van die drie sal my wil hê.

 

En my gewete is gesus

oor my onverskilligheid rakende die keuse:

hulle drie skaad Sirië in dieselfde mate.

 

Dog, ‘n verrinneweerde man, dis nie my skuld nie.

Ek probeer net, arme bliksem, om kop bo water te hou.

Die almagtige gode moes eintlik die moeite gedoen het

om ‘n vierde ene te skep, ‘n eerlike man.

Graag sou ek saam met hom wou gaan.

 

( Vert. deur DW Gouws uit die Engels, van Edmund Keeley en Philip Sherrard se 1966-vertaling van Kavafis se Grieks)

 

To Have Taken the Trouble

 

I’m almost a vagabond and penniless.

This fatal city, Antioch,

has devoured all my money:

this fatal city with its extravagant life.

 

But I’m young and in excellent health.

A prodigious master of Greek,

I know Aristotle and Plato through and through,

as well as whatever orator, poet, or other author you may mention.

Of military affairs I am not ignorant,

and I have friends among the senior regular officers.

I have a certain knowledge also of administrative matters.

I spent six months in Alexandria last year;

something I know (and this is useful) about what goes on there:

the corruption, and the dirt, and the rest of it.

 

So I believe I am completely

qualified to serve this country,

my beloved fatherland, Syria.

 

In whatever job they put me I shall endeavour

to be useful to the country. That is my purpose.

But again, if they hinder me with their systems –

we know them, these smart ones: need we speak of it now? –

if they hinder me it’s not my fault.

 

I will address myself to Zabinas first,

And if that idiot doesn’t appreciate me,

I shall go to his rival, Grypos.

And if that imbecile doesn’t appoint me,

I shall go at once to Hyrcanus.

 

In any case one of the three will want me.

 

And my conscience is quiet

about my indifference to the choice:

the three of them damage Syria to the same extent.

 

But, a ruined man, it’s not my fault.

I’m only trying, poor devil, to make ends meet.

The almighty gods ought to have taken the trouble

to create a fourth, an honest man.

Gladly I’d have gone along with him.