Thursday, February 12, 2004

The poet's friend

I always knew my mother was cool. She rose even higher in my regard when it slipped out that she is friends with Ina Rousseau, one of the leading Afrikaans poets of her generation. I remember being taught Rousseau in school, and recently rediscovered her. Here's a poem I read last night, from her debut collection "Die Verlate Tuin":
Die gestorwene

Vader en moeder het hy verlaat
om die aarde aan te kleef;
om deur die maande en jare en eeue
intiem met haar saam te leef:
een met haar vrugbare liggaam,
been van haar been en vlees van haar vlees

A quick translation:
The Departed One

Behind he left father and mother
to cleave unto the earth;
to live intimately with her
through months and years and centuries:
being one with her fertile body,
bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh.

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