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Harrismith

This pic is from the BBC’s website, taken near Harrismith, South Africa

When I was at Primary School I had to know this poem. I’ve translated this poem as I’ve thought it’s just a brilliant poem to be shared and enjoyed by English readers too. Update 2011: I was lucky that this translation was chosen as part of a Reading Series in South Africa. I’ve just received my booklet from the publishers in South Afria. The series: Enchanted Stone Series – Wonderful Verses by F. Viljoen & L. Southey. The book is a Reader 3 Level 6-book.


This is my translation of the poem…”Dans van die reen”

Read my translation on this link too…

http://allpoetry.com/opoem/121576-Eugene-Marais-The-Dance-of-the-Rain

‘n Vriendelike versoek: Indien jy van my vertaling van die gedig hou, kan jy asseblief ook so gaaf en vriendelik wees en die Kopiereg-reel gehoorsaam en erkenning gee aan die vertaler van die gedig? Baie dankie, ek sal dit waardeer. Ek het die moeite aangegaan om die gedig te vertaal en dink darem dat dit net goeie maniere is om ook erkenning te gee waar nodig.

English readers: If you enjoy this translation of my poem and you would like to use it on your site – or somewhere else: It’s just good manners and being polite to acknowledge the person who translated the poem! There is the law of copyright and I think we should all obey it. Nikita is my nickname I use for the blog, my own Afrikaans poems and poems I translate. Thank you for your consideration.

The Dance of the Rain
Song of the violinist: Jan Konterdans
translated by:Nikita

The Dance of the Rain
Oh, the dance of our Sister!
First, over the hilltop she peeps stealthily
and her eyes are shy
and she laughs softly
From afar she begs with her one hand
her wrist-bands shimmering and her bead-work sparkling
softly she calls
She tells the wind about the dance
and she invites it, because the yard is spacious and the wedding large
The big game rush about the plains
they gather on the hilltop
their nostrils flared-up
and they swallow the wind
and they crouch to see her tracks in the sand
The small game, deep down under the floor, hear the rhythm of her feet
and they creep, come closer and sing softly
“Our Sister! Our Sister! You’ve come! You’ve come!”
and her bead-work shake,
and her copper wrist-bands shine in the disappearance of the sun
On her forehead, rests the eagle’s plume
She decends down from the hilltop
She spreads her ashened cloak with both arms
the breath of the wind disappears
Oh, the dance of our Sister!
©~~Christa (translator) pen name: Nikita
—————

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn

O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]

On THIS LINK you can read more about him and read one of his books online…”The Soul of the White Ant”… a study of termites…

termite

Read HERE on BBC about the death of the rain queen in 2005. She was the sixth rain queen…Makobo Modjadji, the rain queen of the Balobedu people.  And… THIS is the “valley” of the rain queen.

rainqueen1

Rain Queen Modjaji

More about the Rain Queens on this link…..Please click HERE to read more and to see whereabouts the Rain Queen lives!

Visitors to the area always brought Modjadji gifts and tribute, including cattle and their daughters as wives, to appease her so that she would bring rain to their regions. The custom is allied to an emphasis on fertility of the land and the population. The name Lobedu is thought to derive from the practice, referring to the daughters or sisters who were lost to their families. The Rain Queen extends her influence through her wives, because they link her politically to other families or villages. Her status as marrying women does not appear to indicate lesbianism, but rather the queen’s unique ability to control others.
During the Mfecane, which took place in the early 19th century, Modjadji moved her tribe further south into the fertile Molototsi Valley, where they founded the present day Kingdom
p1270864.jpg
In South Africa they sell these little African dolls and I love them.I want to call this doll my little “rain queen.”
Read on THIS LINK about the Balobedu people.
Beautiful song! called the “Rain Dance”.- by Adiemus


This song’s title is also called…”Rain Dance”-by Michael Chapdelaine

 

6/3/2015 Found on Poem Hunter – my translation!

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Image…Wikipedia
Click HERE on this post to read my translation of his poem “Dans van die reën” in English…The link will open in a new window. “The Dance of the rain”…and you can read about this book on the link too.

Dance_in_rain_peerflydotcom

EUGÈNE Marais was a South African poet, a story-teller, a journalist, a lawyer, a psychologist, a natural scientist, a drug-addict, and a great genius — an abused and forgotten genius, and the world is the worse off for that.”
Read “Soul of the Ant” HERE online.

 

Eugene Marais was one of  South Africa’s more talented writers/poets. I love his poems although I haven’t read his books. I borrowed “The Soul of the Ant” one day – when I was at Primary – but I guess I was too young to read such a book, so I didn’t finish it and read only the first few pages. Some of his poems is about nature like the ‘Winter’s Night’ (translated in English here) and the “Dans van die reën” which is -translated: ‘Dance of the rain.‘ In this poem, he describes the animals’ reaction when the rain is on its way and he describes the rain and her ‘dance.‘ Marais is just brilliant in the way he played with words/metaphors etc. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1936.
Read
HERE on Wiki  more about him. The link will open in a new window.
On the bottom of this post you will find a link to a post on my blog – in English – about Eugene Marais…he was a naturalist, scientist, writer and poet. He made a study of  ants and you can see the book he wrote “The soul of the Ant” on that link…and his other book…”The soul of the Ape”
 

Author: Julee Dickerson Thompson
ISBN: 865432597
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Africa World Press (March 1997)

The following translation of Marais’ “Winternag” is by J. W. Marchant:

“Winter’s Night”

O the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, is like beckoning hands.

O East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Eguene N Marais
WINTERNAG
by Eugene Marais

O koud is die windjie
en skraal.
En blink in die dof-lig
en kaal,
so wyd as die Heer se genade,
le die velde in sterlig en skade
En hoog in die rande,
versprei in die brande,
is die grassaad aan roere
soos winkende hande.

O treurig die wysie
op die ooswind se maat,
soos die lied van ‘n meisie
in haar liefde verlaat.
In elk’ grashalm se vou
blink ‘n druppel van dou,
en vinnig verbleek dit
tot ryp in die kou!

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn
O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]
Read on THIS LINK on my blog more about Eugene Marais…Article in English…The link will open in a new window.

dvdreen_laurinda

I don’t know Laurinda Hofmeyr’s music, but she’s got an album with the song…”Dans van die reen”. I hope one of my blogger-visitors from SA would be able to tell me more…

Snitte:
1. Lied van die bruidegom – Johan Myburg
2. 26 November 1975 – Breyten Breytenbach
3. Op reis na die Suide – Breyten breytenbach
4. Inbrand – Breyten Breytenbach
5. Die dans van die reën – Eugène N. Marais
6. Kind – Rabindranath Tagore
7. Ek sal sterf en na my vader gaan – Breyten Breytenbach
8. ‘n Halwe engel – Breyten Breytenbach
9. Last grave at Dimbaza – Fanie Olivier
10. Die reis – Breyten Breytenbach
11. Lied van die bruidegom (improvisasie)

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