Desmond Painter. Gyorgi Petri leer my ‘n bietjie dankbaarheid

Gyorgy Petri

Gyorgi Petri

Hierdie tyd van die jaar doen mense soos ek, universiteitsdosente, ernstige beplanning vir die modules wat gedurende die semester aangebied moet word. Daar’s ‘n duisend-en-een dinge om aan te dink; ‘n duisend-en-twee wat verkeerd kan loop.

Een van my grootste kopsere in hierdie verband is openbare vakansiedae en lang neweke. Hulle maak dit nie net moeilik om werk betyds af te handel nie, maar ook om verskillende groepe studente se lesings en tutoriale te sinchroniseer. Veral as jy, soos ons in sielkunde, groot getalle studente het en lesings dus moet herhaal. Ek sit en staar nou al twee weke lank na die almanak, en meer spesifiek na die logistieke nagmerrie wat April 2011 beloof om te wees… Elke tweede dag van daardie maand is hierdie jaar klaarblyklik ‘n openbare vakansiedag! Chaos!

Maar net toe ek vanoggend weer wil begin gal braak oor die administratiewe las wat hierdie nasionale lyfwegsteek te weeg gaan bring, ontdek ek heel toevallig ‘n heel relevante en boonop pragtige gedig van die Hongaarse digter Gyorgi Petri – een om te memoriseer en in April vir myself te sit en prewel…

 

 

Gratitude – Gyorgi Petri

 

The idiotic silence of state holidays

is no different

from that of Catholic Sundays.

People in collective idleness

is even more repellent

than they are when purpose has harnessed them.

 

Today I will not

in my old ungrateful way

let gratuitous love decay in me.

In the vacuum of streets

what helps me to escape

is the memory of your face and thighs,

your warmth,

the fish-death smell of your groin.

 

You looked for a bathroom in vain.

The bed was uncomfortable

like a roof ridge.

The mattress smelt of insecticide,

the new scent of your body mingling with it.

 

I woke to a cannonade

(a round number of years ago

something happened). You were still asleep.

Your glasses, your patent leather bag

on the floor, your dress on the window-catch

hung inside out – so practical.

 

One strap of your black slip

had slithered off.

And a gentle light was wavering

on the downs of your neck, on your collar-bones,

as the cannon went on booming

 

and on a spring poking through

the armchair’s cover

fine dust was trembling.

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