Desmond Painter. Terug na Turkye (‘n Voorwoord)

Niemand wat Turkye al ooit besoek het sal verbaas wees dat dit ‘n land van digters is nie. Om mee te begin, Istanboel is so blerrie mooi ‘n mens loop amper in ‘n soort geparfumeerde beswyming deur haar strate — van haar Moskees na haar markte, van haar statige, ouwêreldse houthuise na haar soutwater sloep, die Straat van Bosporus, vanwaar jy kan staan en kyk hoe sy haar dye oopvou en die nag opvlam soos ‘n uitslag op die skaamlippe van twee kontinente… As jy verstaan wat ek bedoel. ‘n Stad van vis en vye, van burkas en boeke, van minarette en melancholie. Van steunende, bulkende pontbote wat die heeldag tussen Oos en Wes navigeer.   

Istanboel

Istanboel

En dis maar net Istanboel. Kapadokya, in sentraal Turkye, is ‘n soort surrealistiese Karoo, ‘n klipperige koorsdroom, ‘n maanlandskap met appelkoosbome in die oksel van elke heuwel en berg. Soms wonder ek of die Europese onwilligheid om Turkye as EU-lid te aanvaar nie maar net is omdat hulle jaloers is op hierdie land, op die mense, op die diepte en trotse andersheid van hulle tradisies nie…

Kapadokya

Kapadokya

Mustafa Ziyalan (geb. 1959) is ‘n jonger Turkse digter. Hy skryf soos volg oor sy land: ‘Turkey is a country which is in many ways located – if not caught – in between: between Asia and Europe, between East and West, between the Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey, between fundamentalism and secularity.
Turkish is located between the written and spoken, perhaps with more emphasis on the spoken. This is illustrated best by its marked reliance on context. Who says what to whom is very important, perhaps more than it is the case in Western languages.

One of the most important, yet most elusive components of context in Turkish Poetry is perhaps “eda”, “the poetic tone”, “the poetic attitude”. This concept helped me a lot when I was translating Bertolt Brecht into Turkish. Without a suitable poetic tone, poetic attitude, Brecht’s poetry in most cases sounds very prosaic, almost “barren” when put into the context of Turkish Poetry, because the poetic tradition in Turkish is mostly one rich in metaphors, and images.’

Mustafa Ziyalan

Mustafa Yizalan

Oor vertaling (en die vertaling van sy eie werk) skryf Ziyalan soos volg: ‘What I did when translating my own poetry was in some instances just “raiding” it, creating poems totally different from the Turkish originals. I think translating one’s own poetry is a luxury one shouldn’t miss. It is my poetry anyway; I can go to the extreme of rewriting it from scratch, where it is barely -or hardly- a translation anymore.

When translating my own poems I at times chose the poetic equivalent which is most obvious to me. Murat Nemet-Nejat in his translations has chosen to unearth the more obscure, the more remotely possible. The “message” he has given me hasn’t been “tingling” – as some other poet said regarding the “message” he received from his translator today -, but rather “sobering”. It reminded me ultimately of the fact that every translation is an interpretation, a possibility among many which may justify more than one version.
Hier is een van sy gedigte, in Engelse omdigting:

 
We still live
The sea folated up the rivers
up to the sky, something presumed eternal
something like childhood is gone.

Our days — now slipping
you dive, you forgot the day, these days–
our days, those green, those blue
those berry-like days are long gone.

Cars are stuck, collapsed are the bridges
all ships hurled ashore, burning down to ashes

and gallows are made from the remaining trees

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2 Kommentare op “Desmond Painter. Terug na Turkye (‘n Voorwoord)”

  1. Leon Retief :

    Desmond, die tragedie van Kapadokya is dat dit ‘n skrikwekkende hoe insidensie van mesotelioom het, in sommige dorpies is tussen 1/3 en 1/2 van alle steftes aan hierdie siekte te wyte en dis ‘n besonder aaklige manier om te sterf. Die oorsaak is die mineraal erioniet wat in die rotse aldaar voorkom.

    Dan is dit ‘n ewe groot tragedie dat Turkye nou ooglopend aan die beweeg is na ‘n taamlik fundamentalistiese Islamitiese staat. Wat ‘n jammerte.

  2. Desmond Painter :

    Leon, dankie hiervoor. Ek was onbewus van die mesotelioom nie. Dit is so mooi daar, ek sou amper bereid wees om daaraan te sterf!! Nee, darem nie regtig nie.

    Wat laasgenoemde betref: inderdaad. Ek hou dinge fyn dop, en kry boodskappe van vriende wat daar woon (ek was die laaste paar jaar drie keer daar, en het baie kollegas in Istanboel en elders). As die merkery agter my is, volgende week, skryf ek weer iets oor Turkye vir die blog…

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