Posts Tagged ‘Sophia de Mello Breyner’

Louis Esterhuizen. Met die gedig as argitektoniese konstruksie

Thursday, July 18th, 2013


Watter verrassende ontdekking is die 94-jarige Portugese digter, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, se gedigte op Poetry International Web nie … Ook haar siening van die digkuns is op sigself inspirerend; ‘n siening wat besonder baie aan dié van haar Poolse tydgenoot, Wisława Szymborska, herinner en as sulks soortgelyke gedigte tot gevolg het.

In sy essay oor Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen se digkuns haal haar vertaler, Richard Zenith haar soos volg aan: “Poetry is something inexhaustible, something vital. It begins with our relationship to things, to daily living, and this relationship is mythic. Without mythic thought, man is unable to inhabit the world.” En dit is juis hierdie ‘konkrete’ ingesteldheid wat die leser so aan Szymborska herinner. “Poetry,” sê sy, “is my understanding with the universe, my way of relating to things, my participation in reality, my encounter with voices and images. That is why the poem speaks not of an ideal life but of a concrete one: the angle of a window, the resonance of streets, cities and rooms, the shade cast by a wall, a sudden face, the stars’ silence, distance and brightness, the night’s breathing, the scent of the linden and of oregano.”


Interessant genoeg beskou Sophia (haar skrywersnaam) die klassieke Portugese argitektuur as die vernaamste invloed op haar eie digkuns: “The whitewashed stone houses, the palaces and simpler structures, the façades with their glazed tiles, which are a legacy from the Moors, full of reflections, like mirrors, full of imagination, our imaginations interacting with the tiles – I think that all of this enters into my poetry.”


Fassinerend. Gaan lees gerus die oorsig op Poetry International Web. Daar is ook heelwat verse wat jy kan geniet, plus die reeds genoemde essay, “In the Name of Things” deur Richard Zenith, wat in 2004 verskyn het.

By wyse van lusmaker volg twee van Sophia se verse hieronder.






Green-muscled ocean
Idol of many arms like an octopus
Convulsive incorruptible chaos
Ordered tumult
Contorted dancer
Surrounding the taut ships

We traversed row on row of horses
Shaking their manes in the trade winds

The sea turned suddenly very young and very old
Revealing beaches
And a people
Of just-created men still the colour of clay
Still naked still in awe


© Sophia de Mello Breyner (Uit: Obra Poética III, 1991: Caminho, Lissabon)

© Vertaling: 2004, Richard Zenith




Banished from sin and the sacred
Now they inhabit the humble intimacy
Of daily life. They are
The leaky faucet the late bus
The soup that boils over
The lost pen the vacuum that doesn’t vacuum
The taxi that doesn’t come the mislaid receipt
Shoving pushing waiting
Bureaucratic madness

Without shouting or staring
Without bristly serpent hair
With the meticulous hands of the day-to-day
They undo us

They’re the peculiar wonder of the modern world
Faceless and maskless
Nameless and breathless
The thousand-headed hydras of efficiency gone haywire

They no longer pursue desecrators and parricides
They prefer innocent victims
Who did nothing to provoke them
Thanks to them the day loses its smooth expanses
Its juice of ripe fruits
Its fragrance of flowers
Its high-sea passion
And time is transformed
Into toil and the rush
Against time


© Sophia de Mello Breyner (Uit: Obra Poética III, 1991: Caminho, Lissabon)

© Vertaling: 2004, Richard Zenith