Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels

Breyten Breytenbach. Translated to English by / vert. deur Waldemar Gouws


embarrassing knowledge of nightfall

(or a shy look on darkness)


what would be the difference

between halt and shalt

in particular since one should be moving haltingly

along to reach that far row of fruit trees

on the road to mount darkness


no hurry

clarity will dawn unaided

in the black firmament above

where embers at the camp down sites

of a host of light lives ago

are still aglow


but as you climb to the top of the mountain

to witness the oneness of heaven and earth

being disconcerted then

a wind in the eyes

smell of starsmoke somewhere

crickets lower down a kloof

the dark of the moon a chip of invisibility

and the choppy awareness that dying itself is eternal?


hardly up and about

and matter-of-factness flouted

already deluded to think that light could be understood

in the light of concerns

and hence to write twilight conscious

that all existence will come to doom

in the stench of the dead baboon?


isn’t this a disgrace?


(c) Tr. by Waldemar Gouws / 2015 of the unpublished poem ‘skaamkennis van die aand’ of Breyten Breytenbach

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