Friday, 13 July 2018

ALS: 'Spandoeken'


Famous Nijhoff poem (Ik ging naar Bommel om de brug te zien)

DE MOEDER DE VROUW

Ik ging naar Bommel om de brug te zien.
Ik zag de nieuwe brug. Twee overzijden
die elkaar vroeger schenen te vermijden
worden weer buren. Een minuut of tien
dat ik daar lag, in ’t gras, mijn thee gedronken
mijn hoofd vol van het landschap wijd en zijd –
laat mij daar midden uit de oneindigheid
een stem vernemen dat mijn oren klonken.

Het was een vrouw. Het schip dat zij bevoer
kwam langzaamaan stroom af door de brug gevaren.
Zij was alleen aan dek, zij stond bij ’t roer,

en wat zij zong hoorde ik dat psalmen waren.
O, dacht ik, o dat daar mijn moeder voer.
Prijs God zong zij, Zijn hand zal u bewaren.


‘THE OLD LADY’

I went to Bommel just to see the bridge.
I saw the new bridge. Two opposing shores
that shunned each other seemingly before
are neighbours once again. A grassy verge
I lay on, tea consumed, for some ten minutes
my head filled with the landscape far and wide –
when from that endlessness on every side
this voice came, and my ears resounded with it.

It was a woman. And the boat she steered
was passing downstream through the bridge quite slowly.
She stood there at the helm, alone on deck,

and what she sang were hymns, I now could hear.
Oh, I thought, oh, were mother there instead.
Praise God she sang, His hand shall safely hold thee.


Monday, 9 July 2018

'Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag...'

Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag

Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag at høre
fuglesang, som hjertet kunne røre,
i de dybe dale,
mellem nattergale
og de andre fugle små, som tale.


Der sad en lille fugl i bøgelunden,
sødt den sang i sommer-aftenstunden,
i de grønne sale,
mellem nattergale
og de andre fugle små, som tale.


Den sang så sødt om dejligst vang og vænge,
hvor kærminder gro, som græs i enge,
 
Den sang og sødt om bølger blå og hvide
under ø, hvor danske snekker skride,
 
Den sang om alt, hvad det er lyst at høre,
allerhelst, hvad hjertet dybt kan røre,
 
Den sang, som ingen andre fugle sjunge,
leged liflig med min moders tunge,
 
Den sang som talt ud af mit eget hjerte,
toner gav den al min fryd og smerte,
 
Da nynned jeg så småt i aftenstunden:
Flyv, Guldtop! flyv rundt i bøgelunden,
 
O, flyv fra Øresund til Danevirke!
syng til dans, til skole og til kirke,
 
På folkets modersmål, med Danmarks tunge,
syng, som ingen andre fugle sjunge,
 
Da mærke alle, som har mødre kære,
det er godt i Danemark at være,
 
Da gløder alt, hvad solen har bestrålet,
som det røde guld på modersmålet,
i de dybe dale,
mellem nattergale
og de andre fugle små, som tale.


I walked abroad one summer’s day

I walked abroad one summer’s day to hear
songs of birds that through my heart could sear,
in the deep, green dales,
midst the nightingales
and each bird that now my heart regales.


A little bird sat in the beech-tree grove,
sweet it sang in summer’s twilight mauve,
in the leafy vales,
midst the nightingales
and each bird that now my heart regales.


It sang so sweet of meadows lush and low,
where like grass forgetmenots do grow.

It sang so sweet of waves both blue and white
out at sea where Danish vessels glide,

It sang of everything one fain would hear,
most of all what through the heart can sear,
 
It sang as no bird else has ever sung,
played so grandly with my mother tongue,

It sang as if my heart itself did speak,
pain and joy were notes from its small beak,
 
And then I murmured in the twilight mauve:
Fly, Gold Crest! fly around your beech-tree grove,
 
Oh, fly from north to south, from west to east,
sing at every school, church, dance and feast,

In common Danish, in our mother tongue,
sing aloud like no bird else has sung,

Then all who hold their mothers dear will know
Denmark is a place where hearts can grow,

Then all will gleam that’s lit up by the sun,
like red gold gleams upon our mother tongue,
in the deep, green dales,
midst the nightingales
and each bird that now my heart regales.



Saturday, 7 July 2018

A Dèr Mouw 'high and low' poem: Parthenon and barrel organ


Ik sprak enthousiast over ’t Parthenon,
hoe ‘t op verende berg zweefde, als een blank
snaarinstrument, dat door zijn zuilen, rank,
de wereldlucht tot aan de horizon

maakte tot één akkoord van marmren klank -
toen plotseling een draaiorgel begon
door de open deuren, dwars over ’t balkon,
te spugen zijn kwijldraderig gejank.

En ’k dacht: Ja, Brahman is de Kunstenaar:
Hij, Shakespeares voorbeeld, zet vlak naast elkaar
het hoogverhevene en het laagkomieke.

En wat in Cyrano de Bergerac
de bakker zei, toen men zijn glaswerk brak,
dacht ik: Il casse tout, c’est magnifique.


I rhapsodised about the Parthenon,
afloat its springy mountain like some white
string instrument that through its columns, slight,
gathered the expanse of the world sky in one

great unifying chord of marble sound –
when suddenly a barrel organ, through
the open doors, across the terrace, spewed
its viscous slobber as its owner ground.

Yes, I thought, Brahman’s the Artist: he chose,
as later Shakespeare did, to juxtapose
the elevated and the tongue-in-cheek.

And what in Cyrano de Bergerac
the baker said, with all his glassware smashed,
I thought: Il casse tout, c’est magnifique.