Monday, May 4, 2015

Swansong by Rose Vandewalle

Here you see the wonderful book, by Rose Vandewalle. The poetry in it spans three decades: 1982-2012. dodopres, Roses publisher since a real long time was kind enough to publish this bi-lingual poetry book. Rose is a longtime friend, loved by all and appreciated by even more people. She has a loyal group of readers and is respected by many poets.

It is always a challenge to publish a translation. When Bert Jans from dodopres first saw the book with her Dutch lyrics next to my translation he wondered whether an English version could add anything at all... Yet after reading the book through he wrote us that indeed there was this extra value of having a double reading. Knowing Rose real well and having worked together with her often, I knew she would pick up any mistake, or inelegant solution. The book is warm, a heartfelt image of family life, of the city of Antwerp, pain when her mother got Alzheimer, helping me when my mother dementia... And still the strength, the optimism, the honoring of friends, warmth in a loving relationship, life in all its aspect that is what you'll read in this book. 300 books as the first edition is a nice start. Thank you dodo-pers for a job well done, and Rose thank you... The presentation of this book will be July 27, in Den Hopsack, in Antwerp...

Al die zo mooie mondaine vrouwen
als ze elkaar ontmoeten
komt er een explosie
van hello en ça va en salut
adders van ah’ s en oh’ s
en ondertussen hebben ze mekaar
bekeken en betast
met hun vele diamanten vingers

dat spiegelpaleis gooi ik aan diggelen
en bevrijd mijn kraaienpoten-ik

All those so pretty worldly women
when they meet each other
follows an explosion                
of hello and ça va and see you
vipers of ahs and ohs
and in the mean time they have
scrutinized and fingered each other
with their multi diamond digits

that mirror palace I smash to smithereens
and liberate my crowfeet-me

* * *

zijn vrouwen
als wolken
vliedend en vluchtig

zwaluwen doorkruisen
aldoor hun geest
ze buitelen en gieren
bereiken nooit grond

verhuld en versluierd
zijn vrouwen
verteerd door het vuur

niet te vatten
als water
glijdend door handen


are women
fleeing and fleeting        

swallows constantly
cross their minds
they tumble and shriek         
never come down to earth         

disguised and veiled
are women
consumed by fire

beyond grasp
like water
gliding through hands

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to both of you. Beautiful work, Annmarie! Thank yo for this post!