Posts Tagged ‘vertaling van gilbert gibson’

gilbert gibson – vertaling in Engels

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

gilbert gibson – vertaal deur/translated by marcelle olivier


Gilbert Gibson

Gilbert Gibson

Gilbert Gibson was born in 1963 and grew up on a farm between Winburg and Marquard in the Free State. He completed his schooling at Marquard High School and studied Medicine at the University of the Orange Free State. He now practises as a physician in Bloemfontein, maintaining a keen interest in cardiovascular risk-factors and sleep-related illnesses. Gibson’s poetry first appeared in Standpunte and Tydskrif vir Letterkunde while still at school. His debut work, Boomplaats, was published in 2005 and was awarded the Protea Poetry Prize in 2006; this was followed in 2007 by Kaplyn. His most recent collection, oogensiklopedie, published in 2009 by Tafelberg, won the 2010 ATKV Poetry Prize.



toemaar die donker man  *


ralefathla, whom i thought about

just the other day, comes to visit unexpectedly

it is the first time that i have seen him


in thirty years seen his body

boyish and dark-skinned and

thin with the dust in front of the

farmshop where we play soccer

me and lehata of daina and                                          

mpailo the child of april who

crashed with the tractor and

motsie against sagarume who was agnes


tsehla’s son both him and his                                       

mother died last year and

mohlabi ratikwane and tiele the

brother of mpailo. and ralefathla

agnes’ other child who asked that


i remove my shoes when we

start playing otherwise the white kid

will trample on his feet. he brings


greetings from dikopi madia his

deceased father’s brother who wants

to enquire about the hire of an open

plot of land and of cattle.

when he leaves he will go with a


taxi as far as welkom to

look for a job because the mine

where he worked closed


i want to put myself over the dark man’s shoulders,

but the arms hang unwilling and

lame at the inner as he

walks in front of those who live

and those who already died.


en route to the car

i am spurred and booted.                                                         

i kick at a small stone



(From: Kaplyn, Tafelberg Pubishers, 2007)

(Tr. by marcelle olivier)


* The title of a poem by Ingrid Jonker from Rook en oker, APB, 1964



on my wall


there is another photograph in which you are holding

a bunch of flowers in your hand. the flowers are lit from behind. as a result

in front of you finely burns a silver ring.

in the background is a building.

from the south it looks like pillars of light

supporting you from underneath.

you are wearing the dress many pearls sewed

your arms are bent / your neck bowed

the eyes look down / the hair tied back

the nose ends blind / the lips relaxed.

i see you on this photo

even if my seeing should close                                

and find you then in white-and-pitch

against interior windows.


(From: boomplaats, Tafelberg Publishers, 2009)

(Tr. by marcelle olivier)



the lost son


some children even before birth are lost. which is why

in the deep of dark nights, or in front of branches

chafing at the windowsill, or in gutters that gush with

dampening  roofrain to the shimmer of paving stones,                          

there is the expectation of absence.


in the setting of the moon the unborn

longing becomes like a wound licked at licked at by a dog.

the safe sheep

lost bring him home

and this poem

has nothing more to report



(From: oogensiklopedie, Tafelberg Publishers, 2009)

(Tr. by marcelle olivier)



Wildeals ¹*


as a child i sometimes stole away from inside the airtense

house; towards the outhouse on the final pages

of the yard (of another time evidence),

and sat there for ages


and did nothing. just an old magazine

(like the landbouweekblad²),

and a blue square of light sifting in

though a hole in the corrugated iron roof hut.       


and sparrows in the pepper trees

outside, and a fly that airs in past the

slit-left-open door, and dreams

of how I and mother and father                      


would live here always                                

(this in 1970, may)



•1.             African wormwood

•2.             Landbouweekblad = name of a magazine for farmers


(From: boomplaats, Tafelberg Publishers, 2005)

(Tr. by marcelle olivier)


marcelle olivier is a scholar and poet. She was born in Durban in 1978 and raised in Graaff-Reinet and Stellenbosch. She completed an undergraduate degree in Drama and an Honours degree in English Literature at the University of Stellenbosch, and subsequently attended Oxford University on a Commonwealth Scholarship. Her masters and doctoral research at Oxford focused on feminist and gender theories in Archaeology, and prehistoric African rock art; her teaching interests also include human evolution and cultural anthropology. She has published both in South Africa and the UK, and currently lives and works in Cambridge.