Posts Tagged ‘Lina Spies vertalings’

Lina Spies – vertaling in Engels

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Lina Spies. Vertaal in Engels deur Helize van Vuuren.


A Paternoster for South Africa


Lord, hallow all the names

Of all the children of the land


Of them

who baked mud cakes from his earth,

chased rock rabbits in his ravines,

trod wool in his kraals.


I watched breathlessly:

black torsos bent over powerless animals

and sharp scissors which made me wait,

frightened of the slips, the blood, the pain.

But the careful black hands

seldom cut deeper than the white

and I could hand out the tokens

as the worker is worthy of his wages

according to the number he liberated

to wander lightly on the summer hills.


But the bales have long ago been sown closed and sent away,

the wool oil washed from my feet,

my legs no longer lame from treading.


Forgive us, the forgetful ones, the rested ones,

As we forgive them, the boisterous ones,

who never entered a kraal,

never rode a reed horse

or walked barefoot,


and Lord, see our hands:

look, around my white pulse is a bracelet of grass;

my dark playmate plaited it artfully

as I could never do…


To You belong the land

and the sun

and the sheep of his pastures


Give us loving hands, oh Lord,

and will You cut with care the inhibiting cloak

so that no unnecessary blood is spilled


and hand out Yourself the tokens


– Lina Spies “’n Paternoster vir Suid-Afrika”, Digby Vergenoeg, 1971)

(translated by Helize van Vuuren)