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Archive for the ‘South African Poets’ Category


Quite recently I’ve translated a poem written by Wayne Visser into Afrikaans. The poem can be found here with Wayne’s comments:

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/ek-weet-van-n-plek-in-afrika/

A couple of days ago, he asked me to translate this poem: “I am an African” into Afrikaans and I felt it was an honour to be asked by him to do it. I’ve tried my best, as all my Afrikaans-bloggers know I’m no expert in translations, but I do try to convey the “message” of the poem, but sometimes, specially when not asked to do a translation, I might want to change the poem slightly to what I like, although I will keep the overall “message”, like the poem written by Wordsworth…”I wandered lonely like a cloud.”  Wayne also understands Afrikaans. He liked my interpretation of Wordsworth’s poem and I felt happy that a professional poet could also view his opinion, as you would agree that you sometimes don’t know really if you do any poem justice by translating it. I’ve done some translations from Afrikaans to English too and if you want to read some poems of some of South Africa’s best poets…you can click on the page that says…”my poems-gedigte” and read a few there. You will find Eugene Marais’s poem…”The dance of the rain” and Totius’s poem…”oh the painful thought..” and some others too. I do like to write my own too, which you will find on that page too. I want to stress it out …that I’m no professional, so enjoy whatever you find here and there’s always poetry sites where you can find poems written by professionals! Today, Sunday 7th Sept 2008,  I had two people putting in “Is Wayne Visser an Afrikaans writer” in  a search and were directed to my blog…as far as I could see, he doesn’t write in Afrikaans, I couldn’t find any of his poems or works in Afrikaans, but he does understand the Language…he speaks Afrikaans too. I do hope this helps, you can contact him via his website address…link at the bottom of this post – and email him!

Image: DK-images…Langebaan, Cape Town

Ek is van Afrika

Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek daar gebore is
Maar omdat my hart met Afrika klop
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat my gelaat donker is
Maar omdat Afrika my gedagtes omgrens
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek van haar leef
Maar omdat my siel tuis is – in Afrika

Wanneer Afrika oor haar kinders ween
Is my wange deur traandruppels deurweek
Wanneer Afrika haar voorvaders eer
Buig my hoof in respek daarheen
Wanneer Afrika oor haar slagoffers rou
Is my hande in gebed gevou
Wanneer Afrika haar oorwinnings vier
Dans ek op die maat van die oorwinningslied

Ek is van Afrika
Met haar asemrowende ylblou lugruimtes
Laat sy die toekoms skitterend skyn
Ek is van Afrika
Waar ek gegroet word asof familie
En ek ervaar die gevoel van meervoudig
Ek is van Afrika
Want haar wildheid bring vertroosting vir my siel
En bring my nader na die bron van Lewe

Wanneer Afrika-musiek in die wind weerklink
Volg my polsslag die ritmiese klop
En word ek een met die klank
Wanneer die Afrika-kleure in die son glinster
Verdrink my sintuie in haar reënboog
En is ek die natuur se pallet
Wanneer die Afrika-verhale om die vure op-klink
Volg my voete hul tydlose ‘wink
En is ek die spore van die verle’

Ek is van Afrika
Want sy’s die krip van geboorte
En troetel die oer-oue wysheid
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy leef in die skadu van die wêreld
En brand met ‘n gloeiende inspirasie
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy is die land van môre
En ek eer haar tydlose geskenke

©Nikita — 2nd September 2008

The English version:
I Am An African

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa

When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing

I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life

When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history

I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Copywright: Wayne Visser – 2005

Read more of his poetry at: www.waynevisser.com

Images: hotelsbible.com/travellog 19

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English readers: you can find my translation of this first poem on “My Poems-gedigte” page on top of my blog. I hope you will enjoy it.

EENSAAMHEID – JAN F.E. CELLIERS
My vuurtjie en ek is op wag –
my vuurtjie en ek alleen;
die awend-ster
wink al van ver,
en die velde slaap omheen.

En stadigies sterwe die dag,
soos een in sy armoed verlaat,
ongesien, ongeag,
sonder suggie of lag,
waar niemand van weet of van praat.

Nou bly die lug alom
in stil aanbidding staan –
geen tampende bel
wat die ure tel:
net die sterre wat kom en gaan.

Die osse, met koppe gebuie,
herkoue nog stil in die nag,
tot één vir één buk
en gaan lê by sy juk,
met `n sug, ná die trek van die dag.

My vuurtjie is al wat nog leef
in die eindeloos ruim met my,
en sy stemmetjie dwaal
soos `n deuntjie wat draal
om dae lank verby,

om jonkheids blye môre
en laggies lank verlewe.
Dan voel ek `n traan
in my oë staan
en ek fluister: “Heer, vergewe!”

Die slapende velde lê wyd,
en wyer die donker see,
wat my vuurtjie en my
vanawend skei
van die wêreld se vreug en wee;

ek weet daar`s fees vanaand
in menig verligte saal,
maar geeneen wat my mis
by die dans en die dis –
`n balling vergeet en verdwaal.

Maar al is ek, ver van die skaar,
in eensaamheids wonings getrede,
ek voel my soos een
met die Heer alleen –
`n kind aan Sy boesem tevrede.

image: digitalcameraclub.co.za

I’ve read something this morning on Zee’s blog that reminded me about this poem : “Eensaamheid” by Jan F E Celliers I also came accross this poem on a  website and it also reminded me about this very same poem! “Eensaamheid” means…”loneliness…or…solitude…”

Ver op hoë berge
Pagina: 431/431

Ver op hoë berge, o-o-o…
Sit ek eensaam in die nag,
by my vuurtjie stil op wag,
ver op hoë berge.

‘k Denk nou kom my liefste, o-o-o…
k’ Sie van verre kom die wa,
die my liefste skat daar dra,
ver op hoë berge.

Droom is weer voorbij nou, o-o-o…
‘k Sit weer eensaam in die nag,
by my vuurtjie stil op wag,
ver op hoë berge.
http://www.carpegeel.be/lied.aspx?id=857

Read on WIKIPEDIA more about him.
Kliek 
HIER vir meer gedigte deur Celliers…
Enjoy the music of Sweet People …terwyl jy  “Eensaamheid” lees

On THIS LINK on my blog- you can read two poems of Jan FE Celliers.

Afrikaanse kindergedig!
Digter? Wie kan help?  Titel?
Daar stap ‘n klein mannetjie
In die rigting van die klotsende waterstroompie
Hy het ‘n emmer in sy handjie
En jy hoor net:die suisende windjie!

Hy stap, voete slepend
Hy stap, tande knersend
Hy draf, voete knarsend
Hy draf, hande swaaiend

Oppad hoor hy ‘n kwetterende voëltjie
Hy val skielik: kaplaks!
Daar lê hy onderstebo op die bruggie
“Ai”, sê hy, “dis seer”, vervlaks!

Nou loop ons klein ou mannetjie
Baie stadig, hy sien hy ‘n bobbejaan
Wat al blaffend en al strompelend
KADOEF! en PARDOEF!
Teen ‘n boomstomp kom gejaa’n

Die kabbellende rivierstroompie
Stroom al jubelend oor die klippies
Daarnaas is ‘n verdwaalde lam
Hy blêr! Ai tog! Dis ‘n ram!

Oppad terug stap die mannetjie
Met sy kleine, swaaiende kannetjie
Geluidloos deur die woud heen en weer
Wat het geword van die brullende
En krakende donderweer?

Ek weet! Die sissende slange
En kwakende padda
Het almal op skrik gejaag
KABOEM! Daar blits hy
SJADOEF! Daar flits hy

~~~~~~

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English readers… I translated an English poem wich I posted 2 days ago…”I know a place”…by Wayne Visser…in Afrikaans…you can read the poem at the bottom of this post in English. One Afrikaans-blogger has asked me for a translation as he’s thought that this poem would be fantastic  in Afrikaans  too….and I would like to agree with him, although Wayne’s poem is already a very good poem to describe your feelings/places about Africa and I believe only a person who knows Africa can describe it the way Wayne has done. I’ve sent him an email to respond on the translation I’ve done and he has responded…you can read his comments…he also responded in Afrikaans, saying that Afrikaans is a beautiful language for poetry…which I’ve said many times to my chess player friends…I do love English poetry too, but my favourite poems are without doubt the Afrikaans poems….not because it’s my mother tongue, but for the reason that Afrikaans is such a rich language and you can play with words a lot more than the English language.

As a native-speaking English person I know how much Afrikaans people are constantly ripped off by the English. Having a completely mixed up family I am also lucky to be completely bilingual. This all means that i have the best of both worlds, which I would like to share a bit of.

Afrikaans is an extremely expressive and descriptive language with words that can’t even possibly be translated into English…This is what meggwilson says on HER BLOG here…

  Visit Wayne’s website HERE to read his English poems…
 

 Nadat ek Wayne se gedig geplaas het, het Bib my gevra vir ‘n vertaling en gedink dat dit net so mooi gedig in Afrikaans kan wees. Wel, ek het probeer en ek glo ek sal nog oor die volgende paar dae “werk”/skaaf aan wat ek nou hier plaas. Ek het geen idee of Wayne Afrikaans magtig is nie en sal graag wou hê hy moet self ook ‘n vertaling doen, sou hy Afrikaanssprekend ook wees…ek het hom nou gekontak per email en hom gevra vir sy kommentaar …laat ons sien of hy gaan reageer…
nuusberig…nuusberig…nuusberig…Wayne het ‘n boodskap gelos oor die plasing van sy gedig, jy kan dit in die “kommentaar-blok” lees…


Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
 Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar ek die son op my rug voel skyn
En die sand tussen my tone speel
Waar ek die seemeeu op die windjie hoor
En  golwe op  eindlose strande breek

 

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die berge die blou lug ontmoet
En valleie die groen wingerde huisves
Waar bome hul pers kleed sprei
En die bosveld sy room kleed dra
Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die dondergode hul stemme laat hoor
En sien ek hul weerligspiese neerdaal
Waar ek die reuk van reenwolke intrek
En die soet van die stowwerige doudruppels proe
Dis ‘n wildernis, die plek
Van Evolusie en dinosorusse
Waar lewe begin het, hier was die eerste mens
Van lewende fossiele en olifante
Waar leeus brul en springboktroppe spring
Dis die plek van swaarkry
Van woestyne en doringbome
Waar paaie doodloop en jagters jag
Van horisonne en grense
Waar reise begin en sonsondergange bloei
Dis die plek van vryheid
Van ontdekkings en pioniers
Waar donkerte geskuil – en die lig deurgebreek het
Van ware legendes en wonderwerke
Waar dagbreek begin en hoop helder brand

My hart is tuis in Afrika
Waar die tromme se ritme in my klop
En  tydlose liedere in my ore sing
Waar die reenboogmis in my oë skyn
En vriende se glimlagte my welkom heet

My gedagtes ontspan in Afrika
Waar die mense na aan die aarde leef
En seisoene die veranderde gemoed aandui
Waar besige markte handel dryf
En die Skepping sy stadige gang steeds gaan

My siel is gelukkig in Afrika
Haar strome bring lewe in my are
Haar winde bring genesing vir my drome
Wanneer haar verhaal vertel is
Verenig dit ons in ons noodlot.

© Nikita…Mei 2008

Image:digitalekameraklub.co.za

image: digitalekameraklub.co.za

I know a place in Africa…
Inspiring poetry written by Wayne Visser,
a South African currently based in Nottingham, UK.

I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And Creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one

© 2006 Wayne Visser

Hierdie ou het op sy blog die gedig geplaas sonder enige erkenning aan die vertaling wat ek gedoen het of die verwysing na Wayne Visser se gedig! Ten spyte van ‘n boodskap wat ek hom gelaat het, ignoreer hy dit steeds.
http://www.suid-afrikaners.co.za/magazine/read/ek-weet-van-n-plek-in-afrika_14.html

Image: digitalekameraklub.co.za

 

images:digitalekameraklub.co.za

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It’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged poetry! I love poetry, as I said before…on this link here on my ..blogger-blog I once blogged one of Wayne’s poems and I want to blog it here too…as I do love South Africa –which is part of Africa…one secondary school child argued with me a few weeks ago about our country’s name..said that..there isn’t a “West Africa” as a country nor “East Africa” as a country, so how can I say that I am from South Africa and I say “South Africa” is a country! hehehe…Wayne visited my blogger blog-post and left me a message at that particular post…so let’s see if he will find this one too…lol! 
I came across Meggwilson’s blog where she says exactly what I’ve said so many times…even on my blog too….

As a native-speaking English person I know how much Afrikaans people are constantly ripped off by the English. Having a completely mixed up family I am also lucky to be completely bilingual. This all means that i have the best of both worlds, which I would like to share a bit of.

Afrikaans is an extremely expressive and descriptive language with words that can’t even possibly be translated into English…you can read it HERE ….


I’ve translated this poem of Wayne in Afrikaans on this link and you can also read Wayne’s comments about the translation on this link.

I know a place in Africa…
Inspiring poetry written by Wayne Visser,
a South African currently based in Nottingham, UK.

I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And Creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one

© 2006 Wayne Visser

 

Image:flickr

I am an African…

This poem was written by Wayne Visser.

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa

When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing

I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life

When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of music
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history

I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

© 2005 Wayne Visser


Please click
HERE to visit Wayne’s site.

On this image you can see Wayne…image from his site.

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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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Today…15th October 2008…I’ve received this msg from Wayne Visser…(see his poem and site in this entry too….(poem about Africa)…and if you’re interested in his request…then please contact him…he’s looking for people writing poems..but about Africa!

Hello again I thought I’d let you (and your lekker vriende) know that I’ve launched a “Poets of Africa” blog – http://poetsofafrica.blogspot.com/.Just email me on wayne@waynevisser.com and I will give permission for you to post. www.waynevisser.com

 Afrikaanse digters welkom!    
Kwa heri Wayne”
Links will open in a new window.

Today…21st March 2008… is World Poetry Day! I do love poems, I love to read poems and I like to write my own too. On my blog at the top you will now find a page saying…”My poems…gedigte”…a few of my own poems…also you will find a couple of English poems which I’ve translated from Afrikaans…beautiful poems…one from a famous writer/poet/scientist/naturalist…Eugene Marais…”The Dance of the Rain..” take a look and enjoy! also one by Totius…his little daughter died after being struck by lightning..in his arms and he wrote a poem about her…very sad poem….or you can read it  HERE …the link will open in a new window.
You can also read “The Dance of the Rain” on  THIS LINK it’s a very powerful/beautiful poem…full of metaphors…and read about Eugene Marais and the Rain Queen…on that link. The link will open in a new window.

enjoy…the Dance of the Rain!..originally in Afrikaans…”Die Dans van die Reën” by Eugene Marais. If you click on the page saying…”My Poems/gedigte”…you will find more of Wayne Visser’s poems also one which he has asked me to translate…and some of my own poems too, also the poem of the girl that was struck by lightning is to be found on that page. – see the top of my blog for the page-link and I’ve translated Wordsworth’s poem (from English to Afrikaans)…I wandered like a lonely cloud…


Image:tploy.com

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!
©~~ Nikita

This next poem was written in Afrikaans by Ingrid Jonker and adapted by e.e. cummings…many of her wonderful poems were translated in English and other languages. I love her poems!

 

 

Image:johnfenzel.typepad.com
Somewhere I have never travelled – Iewers het ek nooit gereis nie
Ingrid Jonker
…..adapted by e.e. cummings
+
somewhere I have never travelled,
gladly beyond any experience,
your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which I cannot touch because they are too near
~~~~~
iewers het ek nooit gereis nie daardie groen verte
verby alle herinneringe jou oë dra hul stilte
in jou geringste gebaar is daar iets wat my omsluit
of wat ek nie durf aanraak nie iets te ná
~~~~
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself
as Spring opens(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
~~~~
jou oë van landskappe sal my maklik blootlê
al het ek my hart gesluit soos twee hande
jy ontvou my keer op keer soos die lente
bedrewe en heimlik haar eerste roos
~~~~
or if your wish be to close me, I and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
~~~~
en as jy my sou verlaat geslote dan
sou my voorhoof sluit mooi en onmiddelik
soos die hart van ‘n blom sou droom
van ‘n wit sneeu wat alles oral bedek
~~~~
nothing which we are to perceive in this world
equals the power of intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
~~~~
niks wat ons in hierdie wêreld kan versin
ewenaar die krag van jou broosheid die tekstuur
van jou oë tref my die groen van sy veld
een bevestig die ewige en die vir altyd met elke sug
~~~~
(I do not know what it is about you that closes and opens;
only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
~~~~
ek weet nie wat dit is wat jou laat vou
en ontvou nie ek verstaan net êrens op my reise
die stem van jou oë is dieper as alle rose
nee nie eens die reën nie het sulke hande
On THIS LINK you can read more about Ingrid…a link to Wikipedia…there’s a Youtube-song to watch…Afrikaans song…one of Ingrid’s poems…and there’s another song to listen to! The link will open in a new window.
and….on
THIS LINK you can read more about e e cummings…the link will open in a new window.
If you’re a teacher THIS SITE is really a great site to use for poetry/literacy…try it- the link will open in a new window.

image:worldgolf.com/images/destinations/africa/southafrica.jpg
This next poem is written by Wayne Visser…you can read about him on THIS LINK …the link will open in a new window.

I know a place in Africa…
Inspiring poetry written by Wayne Visser,
a South African currently based in Nottingham, UK.
I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And Creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one

© 2006 Wayne Visser

Enjoy this next poem by Edgar..Poe!

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allan Poe


Image…http://project1.caryacademy.org
 

The next poem…by Ingrid Jonker…
The Child
The child is not dead
The child lifts his fists against his mother
Who shouts Africa ! shouts the breath
Of freedom and the veld
In the locations of the cordoned heart
~~~
The child lifts his fists against his father
in the march of the generations
who shouts Africa ! shout the breath
of righteousness and blood
in the streets of his embattled pride
~~~
The child is not dead not at Langa
nor at Nyanga not at Orlando
nor at Sharpeville
nor at the police station at Philippi
where he lies with a bullet through his brain
~~~
The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers
on guard with rifles Saracens and batons
the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings
the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
the child grown to a man treks through all Africa
the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world
Without a pass

 

Ingrid Jonker March 1960
(Translation of: “Die Kind” ) Poems now owned by Simone Jonker…daughter of Ingrid

On THIS LINK you can see podcast-videos of her poems in both Afrikaans/English…worth visiting! The link will open in a new window.


Image: http://farm1.static.flickr.com

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