Posts Tagged ‘Ampie Coetzee vertaling’

Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels.

Thursday, April 16th, 2020


Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling uit Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Ampie Coetzee





a tiny sheaf of inheritance,

farmyard- talk when like the song,

of  the swan the sun

surrenders in the blood-stained west

before the pale sickle moon,

and you know

the wanderer was at last

however godless

with best foot forward

and armed with words and sword


rhyming with the farm’s bleakness

just one more to pass on

at night time’s

cricket silence




making poems


making poems comes out of the tumbling thoughts

op the nightscape where dreams linger


it’s when you lie fully furrowed

in the complicated processes of deep sleep


that the deeper body arises for some wild dancing

through the wordscapes of moon and illusion


may the heart still wink and wobble a little longer

in god’s name do not wake me yet!


Uit: die windvanger, pp 109 en 114.  Human & Rousseau, 2007.



Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Breyten Breytenbach: Vertaling uit Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Ampie Coetzee.


when you let the mother-tongue


when you let the mother-tongue

wither in my mouth

you take away the world

darken my memory

causing me as a stranger

and without an own pair of shoes

to suffer the future

which I cannot mould anymore

but only interpret

and not penetrate


when you take the language

away from me

you rip my heart from my dreams

to replace it

with oral antics

of a tongue that can only

do the blind work of ants


when you file me as mere number of the masses

like a caged-in parrot

peck-pecking at his mirror

you make me an orphan

in the empty house of my fathers

without language to reflect my absence


(From: op weg na kû , p. 118. Human & Rousseau, 2019.)








Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020


Breyten Breytenbach: Vertaling uit Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Ampie Coetzee.


beloved, language


beloved, I’m writing to you in this tongue

because losing it leaves me wordless

it is a gruesome experience

to scratch in the graves of forebears

I am ashamed


this language, beloved

dissolves in the mouth as the last taste

of the pebble we used to suck against thirst,

disappears because it was in the mouth

of corrupted white people

even though in places it touched a universe


with meagre words

I want to sing about our love for a last time

from mouth to wound to merciless soil

I am ashamed that I now have to be ashamed


the mouth is too secret not to feel pain

I will scratch open the grave

and bury the pebble between your thighs

and swallow the last bit of spit.


death is never having to be thirsty again,

my beloved language


(“liefling,taal”, from die beginsel van stof, p.18.  Human & Rousseau 2011.)