ma will be late

May 5, 2020

 

At the moment i am working on a video clip for the poem 'Ma will be late' by Antjie Krog. I really like the English version, translated by the poet herself, of Ma sal laat wees. Even more so than the Dutch translation because the English version feels more personal and seems to reveal more information as it were. The Dutch language is close to the South African and has a mystical feeling, which is appealing too.

 

 

MA WILL BE LATE

that I come back to you

tired and without memory

that the kitchen door is open I

 

shuffle in with suitcases hurriedly bought presents

my family’s distressed dreams

slink down the corridor the windows stained

 

with their abandoned language in the hard

bathroom light I brush my teeth

put a pill on my tongue: Thur

 

that I walk past where my daughter sleeps

her sheet neatly folded beneath her chin

on the dressing table silkworms rear in gold

 

that I can pass my sons

frowning like fists against their pillows

their restless undertones bruise the room

 

that I can rummage a nightie from the drawer

slip into the dark slit behind your back

that the warmth flows across to me

 

makes me neither poet nor human

in the ambush of breath

I die into woman

 

 

 

 

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