Prospero se skiereiland

May 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

Deur Roon Lewald

(Scroll down for an English Translation)

1. This isle is full of noises…

Jy wonder soms watter skalkse geeste
hierdie skraal vinger land geskep,
van die hand van Afrika geskei het
deur die hoe kneukels van sy berge

en geplaas het tussen wêreldmere
wat hier kop-aan-kop baklei oor
die besit van dié besondre plek,

waar hul wisselstryd van wind en weer
sy see- and bergtonele telkemaal vertower
en besiel met sy unieke plant- en dierelewe.

Beslis het kennis van dieselfde wit magié
Prospero bemag om deur luggeeste
na sy skipwraak op sy ruwe eiland

daardie prag van blomme, fyn-fyn reuke
en eteriese musiek te toor
wat die stomme Caliban se oog en oor
so geterg het.

2. Antarktika

Ligjuwele dans in die brandervog
oor die rotse aan die Punt se soom.
Ons vertroude wêreld eindig hier
aan Afrika se uitgestrekte toon.

Ver onderkant die suiderkim
skuil ‘n skaars bewoonde antipool
van hierdie weeldrige natuur

met sy eie, harde leweswette en
gebruike, ysig teen verandering
deur die mens verset.
As jy van hieraf suidwaarts tuur
hoor jy amper hoe sy gletserkuste
kalwend bars en blouwit berge uitstuur

o0r die diepgroen see
om skepe af  te weer;
ontsaglik mooi,
ontsettend groot:

Antarktika se krygsvloot
in die Suidermeer.

3. Kaapse driehoek

Waar haar slank vinger spelerig
‘n skuimspoor deur die golwe trek
vanaf die Punt tot aan die suiderkim,
kolk die see soos haar  twee vryers
om haar guns baklei.

Dis twee oseane wat
langs daardie skeidslyn stoei.
Leiklipgrou stamp nors Atlanticus
se koue branders ooswaarts aan.
Blougroen skommel Indicus
se warmer golwe weste-toe.

Maar die Kaapse nooi speel
los en vas met hulle. Haar nukke
laat die weer so vinnig omslaan
dat die mense sê sy’t
twee gesigte en twee name:

(i) Stormkaap
As sy wrede pret soek om haar op  te beur,
vluit sy na die Heer van Storms.
Dan stuur Atlantikus sy skuimwit rosse uit
om haar by die strand te haal.

Nou-nou hoor jy hulle lelik lag
deur die gedruis van wind en water
as hy sy stormbranders  aanpiets
vir haar pret. Met seevaarders
het Stormkaap op sulke dae
min genade.

(ii) Kaap van Goeie Hoop

Maar as haar hartjie sag is, dink sy aan die glans
van Indikus se oë in die neutehout van sy gelaat.
Daar’s  ‘n skutte strandjie naby Simonstad
waar hulle tweetjies saam kan lê en bak.

“Mmm, dis lekker,”  prewel sy
as hy haar voete
met die jadewater  troetel
wat hy die hele pad van Indië aankarwei  –
“Net vir jou,  my duif,  my dassiemeid”.

Binnekort begin sy
nes ‘n katjie in sy arms spin.
Dan belewe jy ‘n saligheid van goue dae,
hier aan die Kaap van Goeie Hoop.

Prospero’s peninsula

1. This isle is full of noises…

You wonder what capricious spirits
hid away this scrawny finger from
the hand of Africa behind the bulging
knuckles of its mountains

and placed it here between two oceans
battling for command of the peninsula.

Their rival chants of wind and weather
add ever-changing magic to its sea-
and hillscapes, and call forth
unique diversity of floral wealth.

Surely, it was knowledge of such magic art
and elfin aides that shipwrecked Prospero
used to make his desert island bloom

and conjure up the scents and whisperings
that so perplexed poor Caliban.

2. Antarctica

Gems of light dance in the spray
on the rocky shoreline of Cape Point.
Our familiar world abruptly ends here
at the tip of  Africa’s extended toe.

Far below the ocean’s southern rim
lurks the nearest land – a chill antithesis
of our human universe

with its own, hostile rules  and rhythms of life,
icily opposed to changes  wrought by man.

Peering southwards, you can almost hear
its glaciers rumble as they calve bluish bergs
into the dark-green sea to ward off  ships;

impressive in their beauty,
awesomely enormous:

Antarctica’s first line of battle
in the Southern Sea.

3. Cape triangle

Where her slender finger scores
a line of foam across the waves
southwards from Cape Point
to the horizon, the water boils
as her two rival suitors battle
for her favour all along the line.

The wrestlers  are the oceans
which collide here at the Cape,
where the cold, slate-grey Atlantic
gulfstream blocks the warmer
Indian Ocean’s westward trek.

The fickle Cape plays fast and loose
with both her lovers. Her moods
make the weather change so quickly
that men say she has two faces,
with a different name for each:

(i) Cape of Storms
In wicked moods, she whistles
for the Lord of  Storms.
Then, the grim Atlantic sends his
foam-white steeds to fetch her
from the beach.

Soon you’ll hear  them laughing cruelly
above the roar of wind and waves
as he whips up his winter hurricanes.
On days like these, seafarers  can expect
no mercy from the Cape of  Storms.

(ii) Cape of Good Hope
But when she’s sentimentally inclined, she sighs
as she recalls the flashing eyes
of her romantic Indian lover.
Near Simonstown, there’s  a little sheltered beach
where they like to cuddle in the sun.

“Mmm, that’s so good, my sweet”,
she murmurs as he bathes her feet
in the jade-green water he has brought
all the way from India:
“Just for you, my turtle-dove,
my only love.”

Very soon, she’s purring like a kitten
in his arms, once more content
to make life at the Cape
an ecstasy of golden days.

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Entry filed under: Africa, Lewald, Poësie, Poetry, South Africa, South African.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Otto Liebenberg  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Good Day,
    I came across these poems while tracing some references to the musician Gerrit Bon (one being found in the Memoirs of Otto Albrecht Lewald).

    Being the head of the Afrikaans Literary Museum – die Nasionale Afrikaanse Letterkundige Museum en Navorsingsentrum (NALN) – in Bloemfontein, South Africa, I am also interested in the Afrikaans poems written by Roon Lewald, and would like to make contact with him.

    NALN also houses a music section, with regard to which information and personal documents and artefacts relating to both Roon’s parents would be most relevant.

    I would appreciate it if Roon Lewald could email me at: ojlnaln@sacr.fs.gov.za.

    Regards
    Otto Liebenberg

    Reply

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