Posts Tagged ‘Johna Ashbery vertaling in Afrikaans’

John Ashbery. Vertaling in Afrikaans

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

 

John Ashbery vertaling uit Engels in Afrikaans. Vert. deur Hendrik van Blerk

 

Stiller Beter

 

Beswaarlik verdra, lewende op die kantlyn

In ons tegnologiese maatskappy, is ons altyd uit noodsaak gered

Op die rant van vernietiging, soos heldinne in Orlando Furioso

Voor die tyd aanbreek om weer heel voor te begin.

Daar was altyd donderweer in die bosse, ‘n geritsel van kinkels,

En Angelika, in die Ingres-skildery, oorweeg

Die kleurvolle dog klein monstertjie digby haar toon asof sy wonder of die vergeet

Van die hele spulletjie dalk op die uiteinde die enigste oplossing sou wees.

En dan het die uur altyd aangebreek wanneer

Happy Hooligan in sy geroeste groen voertuig

Die weg af geploeg kom, net om te verseker als is O.K.,

Maar teen daardie tyd was ons in ‘n ander hoofstuk en verward

Oor hoe om hierdie jongste inligting te ontvang.

Was dit inligting? Was ons dit nie eerder aan die uitreageer

Ten bate van iemand anders nie, gedagtes in ‘n denke

Met oorgenoeg ruimte vir ons probleempies (so het hulle begin lyk),

Ons daaglikse penarie oor kos en die huur en rekeninge om te betaal?

Om dit alles te verminder tot ‘n klein variant,

Uiteindelik vry uit te stap, minuskuul op ‘n reuse plato –

Dít was ons ambisie: Klein wees en helder en vry.

Helaas taan die somer se energie vinnig

‘n Oogwink en dis weg. En nie meer

Kan ons die nodige rëelings tref, eenvoudig al dan nie.

Ons ster meer skitterend miskien toe dit nog water bevat het.

Nou is daar selfs daarvan meer geen sprake nie, maar slegs

Van vasklou aan die harde aarde ten einde nie afgegooi te word nie,

Met ‘n droom soms, ‘n visie: ‘n janfrederik vlieg

Oor die boonste hoek van die venster, jy vee jou hare weg

En kannie mooi sien nie, of ‘n wond sal teen

Die skatlike gesigte van ander flits, amper soos:

Dít is wat jy wou hoor, so hoekom

Het jy daaraan gedink om na iets anders te luister? Ons is almal praters

Dis waar, maar onder die gepraat lê

Die bewegende en die wil nie beweeg wees nie, die los

Betekenis, slordig en eenvoudig soos ‘n dorsvloer.

 

Dié was dan enkele hindernisse van die weg,

Tog al het ons geweet dat die weg hindernisse wás en niks anders nie

Was dit steeds ‘n skok toe, amper ’n kwarteeu later,

Die helderheid van die reëls jou bygeval het vir die eerste maal.

Hulle was die spelers, en ons wat toe nog gesukkel het met die spel

Was blootweg toeskouers, ofskoon onderworpe aan sy wisselvallighede

En bewegend daarmee saam die tranerige stadion uit, op skouers gedra, eindelik.

Nag na nag keer hierdie boodskap terug, herhaal

In die flikkerende gloeilampe van die lug, bo ons gestel, ons ontneem,

Nietemin oor en oor ons s’n tot die einde wat agter betekenis is,

Die wese van ons sinne, in die klimaat wat hulle koester,

Nie vir ons om te besit, soos ’n boek, nie maar vir bystand en soms

Afstand, alleen en radeloos.

Maar die fantasie maak dit ons s’n, ‘n soort draadsittery

Opgehef tot die vlak van ‘n estetiese ideaal. Dié was oomblikke, jare,

Stewig van die realiteit, gesigte, noembare gebeurtenisse, soene, heldedade,

Maar soos die vriendelike begin van ‘n meetkundige reeks

Nie té gerusstellend nie, asof betekenis eendag opsy gegooi sou kon word

As dit ontgroei is. Beter, het jy gesê, om só te bly koes

In die vroeë lesse, aangesien die belofte van geleerdheid

Waan is, en ek het saamgestem, en bygevoeg dat

More die sin van wat alreeds geleer is, sal wysig,

Dat die leerproses op hierdie wyse uitgebrei word, sodat vanuit hierdie standpunt

Nie een van ons ooit ’n kollege-graad behaal nie,

Want tyd is ‘n emulsie, en waarskynlik is die gedagte aan nimmer grootword

Die skitterendste soort van volwassenheid vir ons, tans in ieder geval.

En jy sien, ons was altwee reg, alhoewel niks

Op ‘n manier op niks uitgeloop het; die beliggamings

Van ons gehoorsaamheid aan die reëls en tuis rond kuier

het – wel, in sekere sin, “goeie burgers” van ons gemaak,

Die tande borsel en so meer, en leer om die welsyn te aanvaar

Van die moeilike oomblikke soos hulle uitgedeel word,

Want dít is aksie, hierdie nie seker wees nie, hierdie agtelosige

voorbereiery, skeef saai van sade in die voor,

Aanstaltes maak vir vergeet, en ewige terugkeer

na die vasmeer aan die begin, daardie dag so lank gelede.

 

 

Soonest Mended

John Ashbery

 

Barely tolerated, living on the margin

In our technological society, we were always having to be rescued

On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando Furioso

Before it was time to start all over again.

There would be thunder in the bushes, a rustling of coils,

And Angelica, in the Ingres painting, was considering

The colorful but small monster near her toe, as though wondering whether forgetting

The whole thing might not, in the end, be the only solution.

And then there always came a time when

Happy Hooligan in his rusted green automobile

Came plowing down the course, just to make sure everything was O.K.,

Only by that time we were in another chapter and confused

About how to receive this latest piece of information.

Was it information? Weren’t we rather acting this out

For someone else’s benefit, thoughts in a mind

With room enough and to spare for our little problems (so they began to seem),

Our daily quandary about food and the rent and bills to be paid?

To reduce all this to a small variant,

To step free at last, minuscule on the gigantic plateau—

This was our ambition: to be small and clear and free.

Alas, the summer’s energy wanes quickly,

A moment and it is gone. And no longer

May we make the necessary arrangements, simple as they are.

Our star was brighter perhaps when it had water in it.

Now there is no question even of that, but only

Of holding on to the hard earth so as not to get thrown off,

With an occasional dream, a vision: a robin flies across

The upper corner of the window, you brush your hair away

And cannot quite see, or a wound will flash

Against the sweet faces of the others, something like:

This is what you wanted to hear, so why

Did you think of listening to something else? We are all talkers

It is true, but underneath the talk lies

The moving and not wanting to be moved, the loose

Meaning, untidy and simple like a threshing floor.

 

These then were some hazards of the course,

Yet though we knew the course was hazards and nothing else

It was still a shock when, almost a quarter of a century later,

The clarity of the rules dawned on you for the first time.

They were the players, and we who had struggled at the game

Were merely spectators, though subject to its vicissitudes

And moving with it out of the tearful stadium, borne on shoulders, at last.

Night after night this message returns, repeated

In the flickering bulbs of the sky, raised past us, taken away from us,

Yet ours over and over until the end that is past truth,

The being of our sentences, in the climate that fostered them,

Not ours to own, like a book, but to be with, and sometimes

To be without, alone and desperate.

But the fantasy makes it ours, a kind of fence-sitting

Raised to the level of an esthetic ideal. These were moments, years,

Solid with reality, faces, namable events, kisses, heroic acts,

But like the friendly beginning of a geometrical progression

Not too reassuring, as though meaning could be cast aside some day

When it had been outgrown. Better, you said, to stay cowering

Like this in the early lessons, since the promise of learning

Is a delusion, and I agreed, adding that

Tomorrow would alter the sense of what had already been learned,

That the learning process is extended in this way, so that from this standpoint

None of us ever graduates from college,

For time is an emulsion, and probably thinking not to grow up

Is the brightest kind of maturity for us, right now at any rate.

And you see, both of us were right, though nothing

Has somehow come to nothing; the avatars

Of our conforming to the rules and living

Around the home have made—well, in a sense, “good citizens” of us,

Brushing the teeth and all that, and learning to accept

The charity of the hard moments as they are doled out,

For this is action, this not being sure, this careless

Preparing, sowing the seeds crooked in the furrow,

Making ready to forget, and always coming back

To the mooring of starting out, that day so long ago.

 

John Ashbery, “Soonest Mended” from The Double Dream of Spring. Copyright © 1966, 1970 by John Ashbery. Reprinted with the permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the author.

Source: The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry (Ecco Press, 1997), 231-233.

Accessed online: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47765/soonest-mended. 21 April 2020.

 

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