Thursday 14 April 2016

Eva Gerlach poem 'Maar de mier dan' in English translation

But the ant

I said to someone
Don’t think it will pass,
that if you pass on or away,
the grass will just come up as usual,
the magpie just pick up prunings
in its mouth, build a nest,
it’s not that easy at all.

No. When you’re no longer there,
when I no longer have your wakery
and sleepsomeness, all will
fall through. For then there will be
no more reason for things
to exist.

And someone began to laugh,
what’s with you, he said, still always
wanting to get somewhere, still
always convinced that in presence
a truth lives greater than that
of just the address?

But the ant, I cried, the way it
runs over the ground, how it
carries its grains of sand, eggs,
builds its nest under the plant, but the fruit
and the root that grows in the sand?

Someone wrote his name on
me right over mine, someone buried himself
in me somewhere I wasn’t aware
it was me.
Then he escaped, then

he never showed up and I stood in the light,
bursting white from my bark and spreading my branches.

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