Desmond Painter. ‘n Vertalingsprojek op die internet

Hilda Hilst

Hilda Hilst

Ek hou erg baie van The Poetry Translation Centre se webblad. Hulle beskryf hulleself so: ‘The Poetry Translation Centre was established by the poet Sarah Maguire in 2004 to translate contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America to a high literary standard.

Poetry thrives on translation: it’s impossible to imagine English poetry without it. From Chaucer, via Wyatt, Dryden and Pope, to Ezra Pound’s Cathay, translation has been its life-blood.

But English poetry has yet to engage with the rich poetic traditions of the many languages now spoken in the UK; for Islamic communities in particular, poetry is a particularly significant art form. Our work aims to redress that deficiency.

By making their poetry at home in English, we aim to celebrate the cultures of communities that are frequently neglected and abused in the UK, inviting them to play a vital role in British cultural life.’

Hulle beskryf hulle werkwyse verder soos volg: ‘We only translate living poets from Africa, Asia or Latin America (though of course, they may now have moved elsewhere). All the poets we translate have already established a significant reputation in their own literary tradition. We never translate poems sent to us by the poet themselves, or by their family, friends and colleagues: no real poet ever asks to be translated.’

‘n Mens kan wel met voorstelle kom van digters wat hulle kan vertaal, asook by hulle aanklop as vertaler. Tans sien ek nog geen vertalings van Afrikaanse gedigte nie — en Afrikaans is tog ook nou een van die ‘many languages now spoken in the UK’, nie waar nie?

Hier is ‘n vertaling van ‘n gedig deur die Brasiliaanse digter Hilda Hilst (1930-2004) wat ek op die webblad gekry het:

 

from Ten Songs for a Friend – Hilda Hilst

VII

This mournfulness, this restlessness
the inner convulsions, an endless island,
solitude within, body dying —
all this I owe to you. And they were vast,
these plans — ships
great walls of ivory, fine words,
promises, promises. And it would be December,
a jade horse above the water,
doubly transparent, a line in mid-air —
all this undone by the trapdoor of time
in perfect silence. Some glass mornings
wind, the hollowed soul, a sun I can’t see —

this too I owe to you.

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