Seamus Heaney. Vertaling in Afrikaans

 

Versindaba kompetisie vir vertaalde gedigte (38)

 

Seamus Heaney. Vertaling van Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Charl-Pierre Naudé.

 

Dood van ʼn natuurkundige

 

Heeljaar lank het die vlasdam in die hart

van die hoewe geëtter; swaar koppe groen vlas

was reeds vrot daar; afgetrek deur reusagtige klodders.

En daagliks het die strawwe son dit laat verwelk.

Borreltjies het delikaat geskuim terwyl brommers

ʼn sterk gaas van klank om die stank weef.

Daar was naaldekokers, en skoenlappers met kolle,

maar die beste van alles was die lou, dik slym

paddakuit wat soos geklonte water

in die skadu van die oewers gegroei het.

Elke lente by die huis het ek konfytflesse vol

van die gestippelde kwab op vensterbanke gerankskik

en op rakke by die skool, om dop te hou, en gewag

vir die vetter wordende spikkels om oop te sweer

tot ratse paddavissies wat rondswem. Juffrou Walls

het vertel hoe die pappapadda ʼn brulpadda

heet en hoe hy kwaak, hoe die mammapadda

honderde eiertjies lê en dié was mos

die paddakuit. Jy kon weervoorspellings maak

deur na paddas te kyk, wat geel in die son

en bruin in die reën is.

En een warm dag toe die veld geil van die koeimis

in die gras geruik het, besluit die paddas

om die vlasdam te bestorm; deur die heg het ek

geduik om ʼn gekwaak te hoor soos nooit

tevore nie. Die lug was ruig van die baskoor.

Groot boepenspaddas het die lengte van die dam

afgekleim en was oorgehaal vir aksie op hul kluite;

die los nekvelle het gepuls soos bolseile.

Sommiges het gespring: die geflap-en-plons

was obsene dreigemente. Ander

het soos moddergranate gereed gesit

en gepoep met hul stomp koppe.

Ek was naar, moes omdraai en hardloop. Die groot

slymkonings was daar vergader vir wraak

en ek het geweet as ek my hand

in die water doop sal die kuit daarna gryp.

 

***

 

Death of a Naturalist

Seamus Heaney

 

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart

Of the townland; green and heavy headed

Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.

Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.

Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles

Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.

There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,

But best of all was the warm thick slobber

Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water

In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring

I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied

Specks to range on window-sills at home,

On shelves at school, and wait and watch until

The fattening dots burst into nimble-

Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how

The daddy frog was called a bullfrog

And how he croaked and how the mammy frog

Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was

Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too

For they were yellow in the sun and brown

In rain.

Then one hot day when fields were rank

With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs

Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges

To a coarse croaking that I had not heard

Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.

Right down the dam gross-bellied frogs were cocked

On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:

The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat

Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.

I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings

Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew

That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.

 

Bronverwysing:

Heaney, Seamus. 1966. Uit: Death of a Naturalist. Faber & Faber.

 

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