Posts Tagged ‘Dan Wylie’

Desmond Painter. Oor vaders en digters, geboorte en dood

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Seamus Heaney

My en Claire se dogtertjie, Hania, is gisteroggend gebore, dus was my gedagtes by nuwe lewe eerder as die dood. Dit was nogtans hartseer om te lees dat Seamus Heaney op dieselfde pragtige oggend oorlede is.

Tydens my jare by die Rhodes Universiteit, iewers in die vroeë 2000s, het Heaney ʼn eredoktorsgraad daar ontvang. Hy het ʼn mooi openbare lesing oor ‘The Guttural Muse’ gelewer en sy gedigte aangrypend by kerslig voorgelees in die katedraal.

Wat my egter sal bybly is ʼn kort ontmoeting met Heaney, bemiddel deur plaaslike digter en Engelsdosent, Dan Wylie. Ek kan nie veel van die gesprek onthou nie, behalwe dat Heaney vriendelik en toeganklik was, en dat hy, toe hy verneem dat ek en my vriendin Afrikaans is, gesê het: ‘Ah, your own guttaral muse…’

Wanneer Hania veilig tuis is sal ek vir haar hierdie gedig van Heaney lees:

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Follower – Seamus Heaney

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.