Posts Tagged ‘Michael Chapdelaine’


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…


‘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

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…


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.


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
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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