Slim Volumes

Slim VolumesOne of of the bundles of poetry I found in the old storage container was Komas uit ‘n Bamboesstok (Comas from a Bamboo Stalk), by D J Opperman. He wrote these poems after having been in a coma for seven months, and it is dedicated to his wife “Donata“, and three daughters “Fantina, Bellela and Moreta“, himself (Marco Polo) miraculously returned from kidney failure. I wanted to see if it was possible to somewhat authentically translate some of his poems into English. I am sure it has been done by someone more accomplished than me, but have not checked. The fun lies in doing it myself. I will do my next post on the two poems I chose from the bundle…

In my browsings to discover more about Opperman, I came across a little verse about a de Villiers (Viljee) family member! I have translated it as such:

On a Sunday afternoon the widow Viljee strolls slow

clad like a black scarecrow

next to the sea, with two collie hounds in tow

viljee

And then I came across these delightful verses in a posting about D J Opperman:

Met apologia (With apology)

Teks:
Op ’n Sondagmiddag loop die weduwee Viljee
in swart geklee
met twee kolliehonde langs die see.

C. M. van den Heever: O skemervloeiing van die najaarsee! Jou Sondagende branders plooi en val en langs twee meeue dwaal ek geweduwee maar ewig ruis om my die Al.

I. D. du Plessis:
My twee windhonde draf
soos fezze langs die see;
ek vra Ali en Allah af
waar is meneer Viljee?

W. E. G. Louw:
Droef kyk my oë
deur die trane heen,
soos amandelbloeisels
deur die eerste reën;
ek rou oor die duine,
my bleek hande waai,
en ’n hond byt sy stert, soos hy draai, soos hy draai …

N. P. van Wyk Louw I:
O God! làngs U skríklike water
stap die weduwee Viljee
met dié weet: die waan en die waansin word later
twee honde wat dráf waar sy trèe.

N. P. van Wyk Louw II:
Op ’n Sabbatmiddag
(die dag is goed)
lê la veuve de Villiers
die heilige snol
bo die boulevard
(a) aars-e-lende om te kies
effens be-swaard
tussen twee kol-lies(te)

Uys Krige:
O wee,
o wee,
in swart geklee
op’n Sondagmiddag
loop die we-
duwee
Viljee
met twee,
net twee
kolliehonde langs die see,
die see,
die see …

Elisabeth Eybers:
Portret van ’n weduwee Sy staar na die blou are op haar hand terwyl sy in die Sondagmiddag wat neerskyn op die rustelose strand, geduldig sit of loop en peins: Nou dat die vreemde bloeisel van herinnering – skaars liefde, skaars geluk – nog vir haar bly sal sy uit hierdie aardse wisseling en haar verlies tog weer die sterkte kry. So het sy klaarheid in haar gees gevind en so geweet die middag langs die see sy sal aan die twee kinders wat haar bind haar hele lewe wy as weduwee; en word sy later weer deur een gevra wat sal sy vir hom antwoord: Nee of Ja?

Ernst van Heerden:
In lanferwimpels tree, haar wandelstok ’n swaard, die weduwee Viljee in grandiose vaart verby die sinderende kaai. Waarheen die bruingepeesde spiere, die slink en wulpse draai van haar kaniene diere?

S. J. Pretorius:
O Here! ek word so opgewonne as ek die arme honne so kaalpoot sien draf, maar wat kan ek, we- duwee Viljee, doen met my pullover en staf?

(H/T to the  Stellenbosch Writers’ Website)

I studied many of these poets long ago at school. Translating their nuances and styles would be a  feat, but reading their interpreted styles for the same little verse I had translated made me laugh.

Another meander in this tale. I also came across a map of the old Huguenot wine farms in Fransche Hoek (French Corner), from whence most of my de Villiers family sprang. They were prolific! Of course, wine is in our blood…

Farms

The old Family Farms

Wine Farms

Advertisements

About michelledevilliersart

Dribbler, scribbler, dabbler, doodler, dreamer...
This entry was posted in #amreading, Illustration, language, photos, poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Slim Volumes

  1. Link Police says:

    die Viljee huldeblyke is ‘n kosbare vonds, skreesnaaks met ‘n traan

  2. Pingback: Peepholes to the Past | michelledevilliersartandstories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s