Saturday, December 22, 2012

please note John Irons blog, and Elizabeth Eybers poem:

please note an addition to my list of blog links:

John Irons—

... his blog is filled with his wonderful translations from the verse of various countries—

I found it by looking via google for poems in English of the Afrikaans poet Elizabeth Eybers.


and: here's a trans by Jacquelyn Pope of Eybers, from PoChiMag:

Here's the trans I found, by John Irons (from his blog):

Poem by the Afrikaans poet
Elisabeth Eybers

The prayer of  stiffening souls

Make us immortal for one single hour,
grant us the folly of one mindless deed!
The eye that for no lasting goal would scour
but, feverish and wide, would only heed
what’s caught in a pale face – the instant’s flare –
not mourning for the ashes when it’s spent,
a scream that hangs there in the listless air
like blood-red rose held in a haze of scent!

Our hearts have never been so still, so bare...
The darkness like a wall begins to tower,
dividing us from life-and-death, and there
we talk of it while late-night hours recede...
Make us immortal for one single hour,
grant us the folly of one mindless deed!  



I quite liked this poem "for younger readers" :


poems of this genre which succeed (as this one does) are often more enjoyable and give more pleasure

and are yes better-written
than most of the "adult" verse in magazines and books . . .


Sunday, December 16, 2012

a poem by Erich Fried, trans. Stuart Hood:

Erich Fried on the pietistic hogwash of Khalil Gibran

Erich Fried:
THE PROPHET (on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet)
      (trans. Stuart Hood)

The prophet said: 
'Only when you drink of silence
will you truly sing
Only when you reach the mountain-top
will you begin to climb
Only when the earth embraces you
will you truly dance'

They made you drink
from the river of silence
but you did not sing
They drove you up
to the highest mountain-top
but you climbed no further
The earth has embraced
your limbs
but you do not dance

The prophet was a false prophet
he erred
or he lied

Those who drowned our dead
did not teach them
to sing
Those who cast down our dead
did not teach them
to climb
Those who bulldozed earth onto our dead
were not their dancing-masters
but their murderers

The murderers will sing
words that have barely changed
to the old tune
The murderers still climb
from peak
to higher peak
The murderers dance over graves
and dungeons

Smilingly the murderers
tolerate the sayings of the prophet
his homilies which still
make everything