Posts Tagged ‘Bester Meyer vertaling’

Joan Hambidge. Vertaling in Engels

Monday, July 26th, 2021

 

Joan Hambidge Vertaling van Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Bester Meyer.

 

Dreams divulge scars

 

As in a scene similar

to an Etienne Leroux novel

there is a party with men being penguined.

I am a guest, uninvited,

I am drinking champagne and wine

at a round table, everything arranged

like the deckchairs on the Titanic

(remember, it is only a dream).

I am not seeing the hostess,

but I see her husband. Another woman

whose face I cannot recognise

is commenting on the

feculent nature of everything. I am leaving

the merriment without notice and at the hotel

right next to the celebration

a carpet is glowing with distorted design.

I am wearing an animal mask;

nobody has yet recognised me.

When I try taking the poem back

to its place of origin,

my friend warns:

“Take heed, the poem

divulges your fingerprints.”

The whole night it haunted me.

Who is this poem belonging to?

Is it me or to this surrealistic dream?

There are no dreams, only nightmares,

it’s chiselled against a wall somewhere.

 

 

Death of a ladies’ man (1934−2016)

 

My feculent love relationships

syncopate with your dream-diffluent songs.

At first the black lingering records

in so long Marianne

and your longing for her,

and the equally unknown Suzanne;

and later, the grey tapes crinkling

breaking from too much rewind,

until CDs with their crystal-clear recordings

which danced us until the end of love …

Your waltzes becoming mine

in the Tower of Song.

There is a crack (a crack) in everything

you sing − that’s how the light gets in.

It becomes a cure, a motto.

Between so many vassals

my poem is a helpless calque

of your timeless words.

Ring the bells that still can ring.

I am greeting you, mister Cohen,

lifting my fedora up to you:

the unique troubadour

of the melancholic word

with your gritty, subsonic voice.

 

*

 

Drome verklap letsels

 

In ʼn tafereel nes

Sewe dae by die Silbersteins

is daar ʼn party met mans gepikkewyn.

Ek is ʼn gas, ongenooid,

ek drink van die sjampanje en wyn

op ʼn ronde tafel, als gerangskik

soos die dekstoele op die Titanic

(onthou, dit is net ʼn droom).

Die gasvrou sien ek nie,

haar man wel. ʼn Ander vrou

sonder herkenbare gesig

lewer kommentaar

op die troebel aard van als. Ek verlaat

die feestelikheid ongesiens en by die hotel

langs die viering

gloei daar ʼn mat me skewe patrone.

Ek het ʼn dieremasker op;

niemand het my nog gewaar nie.

Toe ek die gedig wil terugneem

na die plek van oorsprong,

waarsku my vriend:

Oppas, die vers

verklap jou vingerafdrukke.”

Die hele nag lank kwel dit my.

Aan wie behoort hierdie gedig?

Aan my of aan die surrealistiese droom?

Daar is geen drome nie, net nagmerries,

staan daar teen ʼn muur gebeitel.

 

 

Death of a ladies’ man (1934−2016)

 

My troebel liefdesverhoudings

sinkopeer met jou droomvervloeide songs.

Eers die swart langspeelplate dralend

in ʼn vaarwel aan Marianne

en jou versugting na haar,

daardie ewe onbekende Suzanne;

dan later die grys tapes wat frommel

en breek van te veel rewind,

tot die CD’s met helder klankopnames

waarop ons dans tot aan die einde, die einde …

Jou walse word my eie

in die Toring van Sang.

Daar was ʼn kraak in alles,

maar dis hoe die lig

kon deurbreek, so sing jy.

Dit word ʼn kuur, ʼn devies.

Tussen soveel vasalle

is my gedig ʼn onbeholpe calque

van jou tydlose woorde,

Lui die klokke wat steeds kan lui.

Ek groet jou, meneer Cohen,

lig my fedora vir jou:

eenmalige troebadoer

van die mankolieke woord

met jou grinterige, subsoniese stem.

 

Bron: Hambidge, J. Konfessies, Kaarte en Konterfeitsels, Imprimatur 2021.

 

 

Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels

Friday, July 9th, 2021

 

Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling van Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Bester Meyer

 

3.25 (the grave of feathers)

 

open all the windows on wide

let our house evacuate herself

on the wind

on the wind to the ocean

because our love is going to die

 

even if the house only gave birth to a dove

it would already be enough

even if the dove only leaves flight

behind on the wind

it would already be enough

because our love is going to die

 

when last did we walk together

through the height of the treetops

through the trees on the wind

on the wind to the ocean

to the ocean of our dying love?

 

dove, invisible angel

who are flying with the soul of our house

this house of our love

becomes small and proud

a yacht in the harbour

sailing over the green

with the wind in your chambers

with the wind from the ocean

and the heart of our love

 

in the direction of a warm and riper south

where the mountain is building a home

where orange blossoms are shining in the wind

and married to the scent of the sea

 

where then could our love be entombed

as dwelling in the mountain

under the singing trees

the nests of angels

perfected by the wind

a wind of ocean and doves?

 

it’s only there that our love can be laid to rest

in a monastery of doves

and ships of the wind

in a house of houses

with the decomposing fire

chained to the sweet orange orchards

and the soft-veiled-scent of the sea

in the feathered white sails of the wind

 

here in the land of mountained summer

here the spirit of our love was shattered

death through exhaustion

of traveling too long a journey  

and it’s only the wind

the wind from the ocean

that knows and protects

the errant of her ways

 

 *

 

4.1      (the nature of death is envy)

 

I shall apply that which I was taught in the east to reunite

with you sooner. What was I taught in the east? For three

years I was locked up in a room without any light and I was

taught to walk like the wind. My eyes are walking-sticks on

reach to the stars, because stars are only rocks. I will start

a revolt and go home. You will see me coming from afar

and water will drip down your cheeks so that I may cleanse

myself from the body’s dust. And when we have eaten the

knifed calf, you would come and lay down on my chest and

ask what I brought along with me? I would tell you: death. You

walked quite far to find this death? Sure, but now I know it is

mine. Yet, when you went away, death stayed behind; and

now that you are back, it is here once more, I can feel him

quietly pulsing in my body like a shadow at night. Then I

would jump up; start breaking all the plates, throwing out the

wine, shouting: Death! you have abjured me! Death! you’re

a whore!

 

 

 7.8

 

Our bounteous God of everything that is sweet and of beauty,

Concealed be thy name in us forever and therefore holy,

Let the republic be arriving day by day,

Let the others’ will be shift –

Let loose! Let ease!

So that we too may have a voice,

A voice, like a sea

Which dwells on the heavenly coastline of our Still mountains

 

Give that today we earn our livelihood of daily bread

And the butter, the honey, the wine, the stillness,

The stillness of wine,

And leadeth us into multiple earthed temptation

So that the love can spring forth from body to body

Like the little flames of is – is from mountain to mountain

Bramble bushes of fire be brought on to the whitest moon

 

But let us deliver ourselves from all kinds of evil

And pay the scores with the guilt of centuries’

Piled up exploiting, plunder and defrauding and

May the last rich man perish, poisoned by his greed

 

Because we own the realms of mankind, its power

and majesty,

From now until the end of all eternity just as eternal

As the shadows and the border posts of our human race

When the earth is ripped godly from the heavenly realm

 

Aa men! Aa men! Aa men!

 

8.2

 

like I said

the only road on which I am allowed to meet myself

now runs

through you

 

like I said

the only road by which I am allowed to escape from myself

now runs

through you

 

like I said

you are now

my solitary door

in you I want to come and go

 

Brontekste:

 

3.25 (die graf vol vere)

 

maak al die vensters oop

laat ons huis haar ontruim

op die wind

op die wind na die see

want ons liefde gaan sterf

 

selfs al baar die huis net ʼn duif

dan is dit reeds genoeg

selfs al laat die duif net ʼn vlug

op die wind

op die wind na die see

dan is dit reeds genoeg

want ons liefde gaan sterf

 

wanneer laas het ons saam

deur die boomtoppe geloop

deur die bome op die wind

op die wind na die see

na die see van ons sterwende liefde?

 

duif, onsigbare engel

jy wat vlieg met die gees van ons huis

van ons huis van liefde

word klein en trots

ʼn seilskip in die hawe

en vaar oor die groen

met die wind in jou kamers

met die wind van die see

en die hart van ons liefde

 

weg na ʼn warmer ʼn ryper suide

waar ʼn berg sy huis bou

waar lemoenbloeisels straal in die wind

en trou met die geur van die see

 

waar dan kan ons liefde begrawe lê

as gehuisves in die berg

onder singende bome

engele se neste

volmaak van wind

van ʼn wind met duiwe en see?

 

en dáár kan ons liefde ter aarde bestel word

in ʼn klooster van duiwe

en skepe van wind

in ʼn huis van huise

met die vuur van ontbinding

gebind in die soet van boorde lemoen

en die sluiersagte ruik van die see

in die wind se veerwit seile

 

hier in die land van berge somer

hier het ons liefde die gees gegee

dood aan uitputting

van ʼn té lange reis

en net die wind

net die wind van die see

weet en bewaar

haar dolende weë

 

 *

 

4.1   (die wese van dood is afguns)

 

Ek sal dit wat ek in die ooste geleer het goed toepas om

gouer by jou te kom. Wat het ek in die ooste geleer? Vir

drie jaar opgesluit in ʼn kamer sonder lig het ek geleer

om soos die wind te loop. My oë is wandelstokke op voel

na sterre, want sterre is net klippe. Ek sal in opstand

kom en huis toe gaan. Jy sal my van ver sien aankom en

water sal oor jou wange stroom sodat ek die stof van my

lyf sal kan was. En as ons die gemeste kalf geëet het sal

jy op my bors kom lê en vra wat het jy saamgebring?

Die dood sal ek sê. Jy het ver geloop om die dood te vind?

Ja maar nou weet ek dis myne. Tog, toe jy weggegaan het

het die dood agtergebly; noudat jy terug is is dit weer

hier en ek voel hom rustig in my lyf soos ʼn skadu in

die nag. Dan sal ek opspring en al die borde breek en die

wyn uitgooi en skree: Dood! jy het my verloën! Dood! jou

hoer!

 

*

 

7.8

 

Onse milde God van alles wat soet en mooi is,

Laat U naam altyd in ons geberg bly en daarom heilig,

Laat die republiek tog nou reeds kom,

Laat ander hul wil verskiet –

Gee skiet! Gee skiet!

Sodat ons ook ʼn sê mag hê,

ʼn Sê soos ʼn see

Wat om die kuste van ons hemelse Stilberge lê

 

Gee dat ons vandag ons daaglikse brood mag verdien

En die botter, die konfyt, die wyn, die stilte,

Die stilte van wyn,

En lei ons in versoeking van velerlei aard

Sodat die liefde van lyf na lyf kan spring

Soos die vlammetjies van is – is van berg na berg

Braambosse van vuur tot aan die witste maan bring

 

Maar laat ons ons verlos van die bose

Dat ons af kan reken met die skuld van eeue

Se opgebergde uitbuiting, se geroof, se verneuke,

En die laaste rykman vrek, aan sy geld vergif

 

Want aan ons behoort die menseryk, die krag

en die heerlikheid,

Van nou af tot in alle ewigheid net so ewig

Soos die skadu’s en grensposte van die mens

As hy goddelik die aarde uit die hemel skeur

 

Aa mens! Aa mens! Aa mens!

 

 *

 

 8.2     

 

soos ek sê

die enigste pad waarop ek myself mag ontmoet

loop nou

deur jou

 

soos ek sê

die enigste pad waarlangs ek van myself mag ontsnap

loop nou

deur jou

 

 

soos ek sê

jy is nou

my enigste deur

en in jou wil ek kom en gaan

 

 

Bron: Breytenbach, B. Lotus 1970. Van Buren-uitgewers (Edms) Bpk.

 

 

Francisco X. Alarcón. Vertaling in Afrikaans.

Monday, June 28th, 2021

 

Francisco X. Alarcón vertaling van Spaans via Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Bester Meyer.

 

Gebed

 

ek bid vir ʼn god

as medepligtige

om nagte deur te bring

in skandlik-e

onkuis-huise

en laat te slaap

op Saterdae

 

ʼn god

wat fluitend

deur die strate draal

en sidder

voor die mond

van sy beminde

 

ʼn god

wat in ry staan

by die ingang

van bioskoopteaters

en hou van ʼn

koppie boeretroos

 

ʼn god

wat bloed spuug

van tuberkulose

en nie eers

genoeg

busgeld het nie

 

ʼn god

wat bewusteloos

gelaat word

deur die knuppel

van ʼn poliesman

by ʼn versetoptog

 

ʼn god

wat pis

uit vrees

vir die flikkerende

elektrodes

van marteling

 

ʼn god

wat seerkry

tot murg

en been

en op die lug

af byt in pyn

 

ʼn werklose god

ʼn stakende god

ʼn verhongerde god

ʼn voortvlugtende god

ʼn verbande god

ʼn verwoede god

 

ʼn god

wat ver-

andering

begeer uit

die tronk

van bestel

 

ek bid vir

ʼn meer godlik-e

god

 

*

 

Prayer/Oracion – Francisco X. Alarcón

(Translated to English by Francisco Aragón)

 

I want a god

as my accomplice

who spends nights

in houses

of ill repute

and gets up late

on Saturdays

 

a god

who whistles

through the streets

and trembles

before the lips

of his lover

 

a god

who waits in line

at the entrance

of movie houses

and likes to drink

café au lait

 

a god

who spits

blood from

tuberculosis and

doesn’t even have

enough for bus fare

 

a god

knocked

unconscious

by the billy club

of a policeman

at a demonstration

 

a god

who pisses

out of fear

before the flaring

electrodes

of torture

 

a god

who hurts

to the last

bone and

bites the air

in pain

 

a jobless god

a striking god

a hungry god

a fugitive god

an exiled god

an enraged god

 

a god

who longs

from jail

for a change

in the order

of things

 

I want a

more godlike

god

 

Bron: Francisco X. Alarcón, From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche (University of Arizona Press, 2002)

 

*

 

Oración / Paidir

Oración

Quiero un dios

de cómplice
que se trasnoche

en tugurios

de mala fama

y los sábados

se levante tarde

 

un dios

que chifle

por las calles

y tiemble

ante los labios

de su amor

 

un dios

que haga cola

a la entrada

de los cines

y tome café

con leche

 

un dios

que escupa

sangre de

tuberculoso

y no tenga

ni para el camión

 

un dios

que se desmaya

de un macanazo

de policía

de un mitín

de protesta

 

un dios

que se orine

de miedo ante

el resplandor

de los electrodos

de tortura

 

un dios

que le punce

hasta el último

hueso

y muerde el aire

de dolor

 

un dios desempleado

un dios en huelga

un dios hambriento

un dios fugitivo

un dios en exilio

un dios encabronado

 

un dios

que anhele

desde la cárcel

un cambio

en el orden

de las cosas

 

quiero

un dios

más dios

 

Magmoed Darwiesj Vertaling in Afrikaans

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

 

Magmoed Darwiesj. Vertaling van Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Bester Meyer

 

En hy het teruggekom in ʼn kis

 

Terug by die huis vertel hulle ’n storie –

Hulle vertel ’n storie van hartseer

oor ’n vriend van my

wat ons verlaat het

en teruggekom het in ’n kis.

 

Sy naam was …

maar moenie sy naam vermeld nie!

 

Hou dit in julle harte

om te verhoed dat dit

in die lug sal wegkwyn soos as.

 

Laat dit ’n oop wond wees

wat nie verbind kan word nie.

 

Ek is o so bang geliefdes.

Ek is o so bang verweesdes.

Ek is bang dat ons sy naam sal vergeet

in die skare name.

Ek is bang dat dit sal agterbly

in die winter se windvlae.

Ek is bang dat ons wonde

in ons harte sal sluimer.

in ons harte sal sluimer.

 

 

Terug by die huis vertel hulle ’n storie –

Hulle vertel ’n storie van hartseer

oor ’n vriend van my

wat ons verlaat het

en teruggekom het in ’n kis.

 

Toe hy by die deur uitgeglip het

het hy nie vir sy moeder totsiens gesê nie.

Hy het nie met ʼn Sien jou môre! gegroet nie.

Hy het as ʼn Muhajer na die doderyk gegaan.

Hy het uitgesluip terwyl die hele familie nog geslaap het

en het nie ʼn boodskap gelos – soos wat ʼn reisiger – sou doen nie.

Hy het nie − om twyfel uit die weg te ruim – gesê:

Ek sal terugkeer – nie.

En hy het nie ʼn woordjie neergeskryf

om sy moeder se nag te verhelder nie.

 

Sy moeder, die een wat met die hemel en dinge praat

en sê: O kopkussing van hierdie bed

                          O sak klere –

                        O nag en sterre

                        en God en wolke –

Het julle nie ʼn swerfling gewaar nie?

Sy oë is twee sterre.

Sy hande is twee mandjies blomme.

Sy bors ʼn kussing vir sterre en die maan.

Sy hare ʼn swaai vir die wind en blomme.

Het julle nie ʼn swerfling gewaar nie?

Hy is ʼn reisiger wat nie weet hoe om te reis nie.

Hy het sonder proviand gegaan −

 

Wie sal hierdie jong man voed

as hy honger word oppad?

Wie sal hom as vreemdeling genade betoon?

My hart breek vir jou, jy,

met hierdie booshede op jou pad.

My hart sal met jou wees:

O jong man – O my seun!

 

Vertel vir haar: O nag en sterre

                         en paaie en wolke –

Sê vir haar: Jy sal nooit die antwoord

                               kan verduur nie!

Want die wond is groter as jou trane

groter as jou hartseer en jou lyding −

Jy sal dit nie kan verduur nie.

Jy sal nie geduldig kan wag nie,

want hy het gesterf, en hy was jonk!

 

Moet nie die trane verdelg nie,

want trane, liewe moeder, het wortels

wat elke dag met die nag praat en sê:

O karavaan van die nag, waar kom jy vandaan?

Soos die paaie van die dood met die trane van reisigers gevloed word

só word die paaie van smart verhinder

as jy vir ʼn oomblik of twee kan stop om jou voorkop en oë af te vee

ter gedagtenis aan hulle wie se lot voor ons beskik is.

Ons geliefdes – Al Muhajereen

o moeder van my vriend,

moet nie die trane verdelg nie.

Los ʼn paar trane in die put van jou hart

want môre mag sy broer, sy vader, sy vriend of ek sterf.

Hou ten minste twee trane ter gedagtenis aan dié wat môre sal sterf.

 

Terug by die huis sê hulle baie van my vriend –

van hoe die koeëls sy bors en wange en gesig gebrand het.

Moet dit nie probeer verklaar nie.

Ek het die wond gesien.

Ek het die wond se dimensies aangegaap.

My hart het gebreek vir ons kinders en elke moeder wat ʼn bed vasgryp.

 

O broeders van die martelaars moet nie soveel keer vra

wanneer ons seuns van die slagveld sal terugkeer nie.

Moet nie vra oor hulle swerftog na die kruin van die berg nie,

vra eerder wanneer die mans sal wakker word.

 

 

 

Muhajer (meervoud: Muhajereen) – ʼn Persoon wat migreer om ʼn spirituele verpligting na te kom. Word gebruik met betrekking tot vlugtelinge wat moes vlug om vervolging as gevolg van geloofsoortuiging te ontkom of rakende diegene wat veg vir vryheid. In die Islam tradisie verwys dit ook na die Hijrah.

  

Uit ʼn woonkamer in die Gaza:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxkOTHTidNg

 

*

 

They are telling a Story Back Home – Mahmoud Darwish

 

They are telling a story back home,

They are telling the story in sorrow,

About this friend of mine who left,

and came back in a coffin.

His name was…..

Don’t mention his name!

Keep it in our hearts,

Don’t let the word be wasted in the air like the ashes.

Let it be an open wound,

That can’t be bandaged up.

I’m afraid, o’ my loved ones,

I’m afraid, o’ orphans,

I’m afraid that we may forget him in the crowd of names.

I’m afraid he may be lost in the gusts of winter.

I’m afraid that our wounds will slumber in our hearts.

I’m afraid they will slumber.

 

They are telling a story back home,

They are telling the story in sorrow,

About this friend of mine who left,

and came back in a coffin.

As he slipped out the door,

He didn’t say ‘Farewell!’ to his mother.

To the loved ones and the friends,

He didn’t say, ‘See you tomorrow!’

He left as a ‘Muhajer’ to the lands of death,

He snuck out while the whole family was asleep,

And he didn’t leave a message,

As travellers usually do,

saying ‘I will return’,

To silence the doubts.

And he didn’t write a word,

To light the night of his mother,

Who is talking to the heavens and things,

Who is saying, “O’ pillow of the bed! Bag of clothes! O’ night! O’ stars! O’ Lord! O’ Clouds!

Haven’t you seen a wanderer?

Whose eyes are two stars,

whose hands are two baskets of flowers,

whose chest is a pillow for the stars and the moon,

whose hair is a swing for the winds and the flowers,

Haven’t you seen a wanderer?

A traveler who doesn’t know how to travel?

He left without provisions,

Who will feed this young man,

if he gets hungry along his way?

Who will have mercy on a stranger?

My heart feels for you,

with the evils of the road

My heart is with you

O’ young man! O’ my son!

 

Tell her o’ night o’ stars o’ roads o’ clouds!

Tell her, ‘You will never be able to bear the answer’,

For the wound is greater than the tears,

greater than the sadness and the suffering,

You won’t be able to bear it,

You won’t be very patient,

Because…

Because he died, and he was young!

O’ mother of he,

Do not uproot the tears,

because tears, o’ my mother, have roots,

that talk to night every day,

saying, ‘O’ caravan of the night, where are you crossing from?’

As the roads of death are flooded by the tears over travellers,

the roads of sadness would be blocked if you stopped,

for two moments to wipe the forehead and the eyes,

and carry a souvenir for those who fulfilled their destiny before us

Our loved ones, ‘Al Muhajereen’,

O’ mother of he,

Do not uproot the tears,

And leave a couple tears in the well of the heart

Because in a tomorrow, his brother, his dad, or his friend – myself – may die.

Keep for us, those who will die in a tomorrow, at least two tears…

Two tears..

 

They are telling a lot about my friend back home,

Of the burns of the bullets in his cheeks, and chest, and face.

Do not explain the matter,

I have seen his wound,

I have gazed at its dimensions a lot.

My heart feels for our children,

and each mother hugging the bed,

O’ brothers of the martyr,

Do not ask so much,

When will our son return from the battlefield.

Do not ask about his walk to the summit of the mountains,

But ask when will the men wake up.

 

Bronverwysing: https://polarabicpoetry.tumblr.com/post/94714524746/

 

Yehuda Amichai. Vertaling in Afrikaans / Bester Meyer. Die uitvindsel van woordsweef

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

 

                                                                                                             

Dis ʼn Jammerte, Ons was so ʼn Goeie Uitvindsel

deur Yehuda Amichai (soos vertaal deur Bester Meyer)

 

Hulle het ons bene

By die heup afgesit.

Wat my aanbetref

Is hulle almal snydokters. Almal van hulle.

 

Hulle het ons ontmantel

Van mekaar vervreem.

Wat my aanbetref

Is hulle almal ingenieurs. Almal van hulle.

 

Dis ʼn jammerte.

Ons was so ʼn goeie

En liefdevolle uitvindsel.

ʼn Vliegmasjien geskep uit man en vrou.

Met vlerke en ieder al.

Ons het bo die aarde gesweefhang.

 

Ons het selfs ʼn bietjie gevlieg.

 

*

 

Die Uitvindsel van Woordsweef

deur Bester Meyer

 

miskien kon ons vlieg

toe ons jonk was –

voor die ek en die jy

die jood en die arabier

die wit en die swart

die ons en die hulle (?)

(in die Utopia van ʼn God)

 

miskien was daar vryheid in ons vlug

soos wanneer twee vreemdelinge vlug

om mekaar te vind

deur in hulle verdwynende liggame

Een te word,      dit:

as dit nie vir afwesigheid was nie

(as dit nie vir teenwoordigheid is nie)

 

kyk, óók die hulle is deur die vlug geskep

deur die rook en die oker

is die ons deur die hulle vervang

en die amputasie bloot ʼn onvermydelikheid

 

ʼn wending om ons finaal te leer

‘mense is voëls

wat nie kan vlieg nie’

en digters herhalers

van dit wat glo

nie gesê mag word nie –

 

maar nee, ons mag nie die vlug versaak nie

want die kuikens moet nou weer leer om te vlieg

in hierdie eeu van niksseggende (bo?)menslikheid

in hierdie outonome vervreemdingslandskap

waar die strewe na eenwo(o)rding

uitgewis word na gelang van (geval)

(geld en goed(ge)koop(te) weelde −)

 

en as dit dan beteken

dat die ons

(soos die ons van ouds)

vir oulaas die hand

van hulle arm moet afkap,

laat dit dan so wees

 

en laat die hand altyd aanhou

om ʼn paar woorde (na gelang van geval) neer te pen

in die sagte sand van (ʼn nuwe) medemenslikheid

wat dan straks weer môre deur die see uitgewis sal word:

 

ons moes swewe om te kon vlieg

en skrywe om te kon leef

 

 

 

 

A Pity, We Were Such a Good Invention

Yehuda Amichai

 

They amputated

Your thighs off my hips.

As far as I’m concerned

They are all surgeons. All of them.

 

They dismantle us

Each from the other.

As far as I’m concerned

They are all engineers. All of them.

 

A pity. We were such good

And loving invention.

An aeroplane made from man and wife.

Wings and everything.

We hovered a little above earth.

 

We even flew a little.

 

Amichai, Y. 2015. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai. Farrar Straus and Giroux. Soos vertaal in Engels deur Assia Gutmann.

 

Don Maclennan. Vertaling in Afrikaans

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

 

Don Maclennan. Vertaling van Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Bester Meyer

 

Die les in poësie

 

Terwyl ek tussen klasse op die balkon rook

pak ʼn gevoel van bedruktheid my −

luister na die rooivlerk-spreeus in die bome.

Ek kort ʼn oor vir my belydenis;

tog kyk ek eerder hoe my leerders die klas binnegaan.

Dis vroegsomer, en die stinkhout in die binneplein

is al reeds net so hoog soos my balkon,

besaai met gebreekte duifneste

en kalkhoudende stapeltjies mis.

 

*   *   *

 

Ek neem my leegheid na binne.

Teen die tyd is my leerders heel mak

en spreek my op my voornaam aan.

Aantreklik en intelligent glimlag hulle

− sonder enige afguns − vir hulle onderwyser,

die vier en sestigjarige gawe ou gek

met gevlekte tande, hangwange en ʼn bles.

Ek bewonder hulle energie, hulle gelaatstrekke,

hulle briljante tande, die straling van hul hare,

die jong mans se spiere

en die dametjies se aanloklike borste.

Ek bewonder hulle moed –

dat hulle in hierdie ontmoedigende tye

steeds wil weet wat die doel en betekenis

van die digkuns is.

Swier en skoonheid is deur die biologie aan hulle bemaak

en aan my – ʼn wankelrige gewaarwording van plig.

 

Ek gee my ongelouterde kinders Thomas Hardy:

‘Daar rakel ʼn uiting van eenvoud in hulle…

      En ons wonder, altyd die-wonder van hoekom ís ons hier?’

Hulle ken poësie al hul hele lewe lank,

het kundige opstelle daaroor geskryf.

“Sê my dan nou, wat dit is”, vra ek.

Hulle is stomgeslaan, soos diere

wat die gapende leegheid ruik

van wat hul eendag in die gesig sal staar.

Miskien het ek bloot my eie vrese

op hulle geprojekteer –

dat evolusie geen doel het nie,

dat gees en verstand, selfs god,

slegs woorde is wat ons gebruik

omdat ons nie verstaan nie.

Hoe kan ʼn mens ontdek wat siel is

in hierdie wurmagtige embrioniese aard?

Taal is ʼn ongestutte hek, en soos gedigte

is ons kosteloos-kortstondige verbygangers −

reëndruppels wat vlietend glinster in die son.

 

*   *   *

 

Hulle kyk na my met verwagting

− neem aan dat my swye

ʼn opvoedkundige oogmerk het:

hulle glo my nie wanneer ek

sê dat dit onkunde is nie.

Dat ek hulle nié sal toelaat om woorde

soos ‘transendentaal’ en ‘skoonheid’ te gebruik nie −

dat dit teenstrydig sal wees met my pligsbesef.

Hulle kan die antwoord net buite hulle bereik aanvoel.

Bedwelming oorstroom hulle buike,

hul ingewande, geslagsdele, en die gedig

sweef die groen môre gulhartig binne −

verwonderend word ons stilte vol(ge)maak.

En dan, amper buite bereik, vermeng sy

met die spreeus se gefluit,

en word ʼn ver-wonder-ing … vreemd.

 

*

 

The poetry lesson

Don Maclennan

 

Between classes I slide into depression,

take a smoke on the balcony,

listen to the redwing starlings in the trees.

I need someone to hear my confession;

instead I watch my students entering the room.

It’s early summer, and the stinkwood in the quad

have grown up to the level of my balcony

which is strewn with broken pigeon nests

and calciferous piles of droppings.

 

*    *    *

 

I bring my emptiness inside.

By now my students are domesticated

and call me by my christian name.

Attractive and intelligent, they smile

unenviously at their teacher,

the sixty-four year amiable old fool

with stained teeth, dewlap, and bald head.

I admire their vigour and their skin,

their brilliant teeth, their radiant hair,

the young men’s muscles

and the girls’ enticing breasts.

I admire their courage that they

at this unnerving time in history

still want to know

the purpose and meaning of poetry.

Biology confers on them such grace and beauty,

and on me a faltering sense of duty.

 

I give my unchastened children Thomas Hardy:

“Upon them stirs in lippings mere…

     We wonder, ever wonder, why we find us here’

They have known poetry all their lives,

have written learned essays on it.

“Now tell me what it is”, I ask them.

They are struck dumb, like animals

that smell a yawning emptiness

that waits beyond their years.

Perhaps I have projected onto them

some of my own fears –

that evolution has no purpose,

that mind and spirit, even god,

are only words we use

because we do not understand.

Where can you detect the soul

in our wormlike embryonic state?

Language is a postless gate:

like poems we are gratuitous and ephemeral,

raindrops glistening briefly in the sun.

 

*    *     *

 

They look at me expectantly

supposing that my silence

is a pedagogical device:

they don’t believe me

when I say it’s ignorance.

I will not let them use the words

‘transcend’ and ‘beauty’

because it goes against my sense of duty.

They sense an answer

just beyond their grasp.

Intoxication floods

their solar plexus, bowels and genitals,

and the poem floats free

into the green morning

amazed and filing our silence.

Almost out of range it mingles

with the whistles of the starlings,

and becomes astonishing and strange.

 

 Bronverwysing:

Maclennan, D. 2013. Collected Poems (edited by Dan Wylie). Robin Stuart-Clark.

 

Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling in Engels

Friday, January 15th, 2021

 

Versindaba kompetisie vir vertaalde gedigte (82)

 

Breyten Breytenbach. Vertaling van Afrikaans in Engels. Vert. deur Bester Meyer.

 

 6.14     the chameleoflage

 

writing –

the tongue skinned bare

but for you the heart

will (be) whisper-(s)ing again

on how to camouflage silence

in escaping death’s

darkwhistling-tongue

 

you would not know it

and I swear:

 

to rhyme is to

describe the rhyme

so that you may turn her over

and she be fed tongue-bait from your hand

in exchange for the caress of dreams

 

with the intention

(I swear that you don’t know)

as busying act of performance

to generate permittance

of her maidenhood

to be written down delivered

with both of us defamed

 

to consort with you

again and again

through your body and mine

 

and what more do you want to know?

 

how will writing ever teach me

to equip the heart

against my devouring

and feather-shedding

love for you?

 

6.14.1

 

you are so enchanting my beloved

that I would be incanting you ‘till loving-o’s

pleastay-with-me

would be converted

in prayer

to bend surrenderingly

to the body’s understanding

of love’s transgressions

handed in

received

 

***

 

6.14 die verkleursoetjies

Breyten Breytenbach

 

 

skrywe skil die tong kaal

maar vir jou fluistersing die hart weer

hoe om die stilte te kamoefleer

in die ontkoming aan dood

se donkerfluittaal

 

jy sal dit nie weet nie

en ek sweer:

 

om te dig is om

die gedig te beskryf

sodat jy haar om mag draai

om tong-aas uit jou hand te eet

in ruil vir die aai van drome

 

met die bedoeling

(ek sweer jy weet nie)

om vandaardoende

die vergunning te genereer

vir haar maagdelikheid

om neergepen bevry

ons albei te onteer

 

deur weer en weer

van lyf tot lyf

met jou te verkeer

 

wat méér wil jy weet?

 

hoe gaan die skrywe my ooit kan leer

om die hart te verhoed

dat my liefde vir jou

my verteer

en verveer?

 

 

16.14.1

 

so bekoorlik is jy my beminde

dat ek jou behoorlik tot die liefdes-o

se blyseblief

sou wou bekeer

in gebed

om te buk in oorgawe

aan die lyf se begrip

van liefhê se vergrype

in gegeë

ontvang

 

 

Bronverwysing:

Breytenbach, B. 2019. op weg na kû. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.

 

 

Ada Limón. Vertaling in Afrikaans

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

 

Versindaba kompetisie vir vertaalde gedigte (43)

 

Ada Limón. Vertaling van Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Bester Meyer.

 

Die Leiband

 

Ná die baring van bomme—vertakkings en vrees

die verwoede outomatiese masjiengewere ont-bind,

die sproeireën van koeëls ʼn skare in wat hande vashou,

dié dierlike hemel wat open in ʼn leiklip maag van metaal

wat slegs die onsegbare in elk van ons verslind, wat bly

oor? Selfs die verskuilde rivier-na-nêrens is vergiftig

oranje en versuur deur steenkoolmyn. Mens kan

nie anders as om mensdom te vrees nie, want om

die fondament van bog en die dodelike water in eie

longe op te doem, is vergiftigend?   Leser, ek wil sê:

Moetnie-doodnie! Selfs wanneer silwerig—vis na vis

pens op kom en die land afpeil op ʼn knetterende knater van haat,

is daar nie steeds iets wat sing nie? Waarheid is: Ek weet nie.

Maar partykeer—sweer-ek-hoor-dit—die wond maak toe

soos ʼn ou geroeste garage deur, en ek kan nog steeds sonder

te veel pyn my lewende ledemate die wêreld in beweeg,

ek kan my steeds verstom aan die hond wat nekbreek uitdaag

en reguit pad vat in die rigting van die storttrokke

want sy dink sy het hulle lief –

sy dink – sonder twyfel – die hard-dreunende goeters

sal haar óók lief hê—haar brose klein self vol lewe met begeerte

om haar godverdomde entoesiasme te deel

totdat ek – reddend – haar leiband terugpluk

want ek wil sy moet vir altyd oorleef. Moetnie-doodnie, sê ek,

en ons besluit om ʼn wyle langer te loop, stroombrekers

hoog en koorsagtig bo ons, winter op pad

om haar koue kadawer op hierdie stukkie grond neer te lê.

Miskien bons ons altyd ons liggame

in die rigting van dit wat vernietig, smekend vir liefde

vanuit hierdie vlietende verbygang van tyd, om net miskien,

soos dié hond gehoorsaam op my hakke, vreed-saam

te kan stap—ten minste tot die volgende trok ver-skyn.

 

***

 

The Leash

Ada Limón

 

After the birthing of bombs of forks and fear

the frantic automatic weapons unleashed,

the spray of bullets into a crowd holding hands,

that brute sky opening in a slate metal maw

that swallows only the unsayable in each of us, what’s

left? Even the hidden nowhere river is poisoned

orange and acidic by a coal mine. How can

you not fear humanity, want to lick the creek

bottom dry, to suck the deadly water up into

your own lungs, like venom? Reader, I want to

say: Don’t die. Even when silvery fish after fish

comes back belly up, and the country plummets

into a crepitating crater of hatred, isn’t there still

something singing? The truth is: I don’t know.

But sometimes, I swear I hear it, the wound closing

like a rusted-over garage door, and I can still move

my living limbs into the world without too much

pain, can still marvel at how the dog runs straight

toward the pickup trucks break-necking down

the road, because she thinks she loves them,

because she’s sure, without a doubt, that the loud

roaring things will love her back, her soft small self

alive with desire to share her goddamn enthusiasm,

until I yank the leash back to save her because

I want her to survive forever. Don’t die, I say,

and we decide to walk for a bit longer, starlings

high and fevered above us, winter coming to lay

her cold corpse down upon this little plot of earth.

Perhaps we are always hurtling our body towards

the thing that will obliterate us, begging for love

from the speeding passage of time, and so maybe,

like the dog obedient at my heels, we can walk together

peacefully, at least until the next truck comes.

 

 Bronverwysing:

Limón, A. 2018.The Carrying. Milkweed Editions.