Posts Tagged ‘Marius Crous translations’

Marius Crous – vertaling in Engels

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Marius Crous – vertaal deur/translated by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt

Marius Crous

Marius Crous

Marius Crous  was born in 1965. His first volume of poetry, Brief uit die kolonies, appeared in 2003 and won the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize. His second volume, Aan ‘n beentjie sit en kluif, appeared in 2006. In addition to a doctorate in Afrikaans and Dutch, he has also been awarded MA degrees in Afrikaans and Dutch and in English. He has also completed the Creative Writing Course at the University of Stellenbosch under Professor Marlene van Niekerk. Crous teaches Afrikaans and Dutch at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.








 madam mother of the nations

your troops brought


there atlas still holds the world

above his head on the roof

of the former bordello

at evening your troops

accosted women in the ditches

luring the girls

to where they lay half-naked like lizards

under a cloud of smoke and drink

your troops told our sons

that sometimes it is good to lie down

with a man as a woman would

your troops bequeathed the dead colour

of their eyes in the locations

look how many yellow-haired children play by the stream


madam we see your smile on our stamps

your face hangs against office walls

apparently you are also a mother of four

come comfort us

when the troops’ beatings

bloom red-purple on our faces

young girls wear a swathe of ribs

the stink of diarrhoea dispels the smell of food

the bootprints that your departing troops

left in the damp sand still linger

weep for us madam

here there are no more tears


(From: Brief uit die kolonies, Protea Boekhuis, 2003)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)





After two paintings by Marlene Dumas



 I recall the wetness of the blue and red paint

on my hands and across my stomach

remembering the children’s-bible-stare of my mother

his eyes looking at the blue sea on my stomach

my hand the red boat heading for harbour


and I remember his hands too turbulent for my sea

his boat too huge for my harbour

his mouth that could swear like a seaman


I recall how I smeared my body with the paint

grubbed around between my legs to yank his boat out

rolled on my mother’s bed the sheets stained with paint


and still as a painter I brush with my fingers

over the cut marks on my belly and legs

still smeared and painted over only

as mother teaches me



against his neck he feels

her haunches soft her panties

pink as the milkshake on the table

in suit and tie he is on all fours in his socks

barefoot she kicks his flanks

she squeezes her legs open and closed

to spur him on

she moans exuberantly

horsey your neck hairs scratch me

horsey it tickles my kitty


(From: versindaba www, 2010)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)





sometimes I walk down the old street again

your street our street

I wait for the gate to slide open

or look up at the lace curtains

filthy sieves catching wicked dreams


I might hear the balcony door slam


the same tyke still runs from front gate

to side gate to front gate across the road

on the dot from the kitchens comes

the smell of

burnt meat

the two foreigners still beside their designer window box

hunkering over your jalopy’s oil blotches

a grease-stained black model


sometimes I let the keys drop

deliberately I struggle with the lock

wish you would come round the corner once more

waving to me with inky fingers

and everything will be again as it should


(From: versindaba www, 2010)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)



Van Staden’s River                                                      


at night rising from the open throat

hoarse the voices

of those that eddy

in the acid of his stomach


for ever indigestible dollops

that will never be heaved up

into the river’s spewing mouth


(From: versindaba www, 2010)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)



Tony Ullyatt was born in Nottingham, and educated in India, Sudan, and Kenya before coming to do an undergraduate degree in English and French in Durban, South Africa. After finishing a Master’s degree in English at the University of Auckland, he wrote a PhD on American poetry at Unisa. He has further Master’s degrees in Psychology, Myth Studies, and Applied Language Studies. He also has a PhD in Myth Studies. He has won prizes for his radio drama and poetry as well as the FNB/Vita Award for Translation. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of the North-West’s Potchefstroom campus.

Gisela Ullyatt was born in Bloemfontein, where she studied at the University of the Free State. After completing an Honours degree and a Master’s degree in German, she finished a Master’s degree in English (Applied Language Studies) as well as a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Her poetry has appeared in journals both locally and internationally, and she is a prize-winning short-story writer. Through the University of the North-West, she is currently working on a PhD which undertakes a Buddhist reading of Mary Oliver’s poetry.