2008-09-26

a fragment of poetry

I spent a great deal of time last night trying to understand a fragment of a Pierre Lauffer poem that I found online. I'm just a beginning student so I really should not be tackling poetry yet; it's way over my head. But I was in the mood for a challenge. Here is the fragment:

Kaminda chapi kai for di mi man,
lant’é
i sigui bòltu tera gordo,
planta, kuida, kosechá
e lenga dardu di nos mama.

Alongside this fragment was a Dutch translation which I ran through Google's automated translator to serve as a starting point. I'm not sure what lant’é means in this context. The Dutch version has pak ’m op which Google translates as get 'em. Maybe the meaning in this situation is "pick it up"?

There are other uncertainties here: the meaning of tera gordo, the combination sigui bòltu, and the meaning of the last line. The Dutch translation contains onze dartele moedertaal. So, my tentative understanding of this fragment at this point is:

Where the hoe falls from my hand,
????
and turn over the fat (potent?) earth,
plant and tend and harvest
the language unruly of our mother. (Our rowdy mother-tongue?)

Hopefully I will be able to look at this a year from now and understand it better.

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1 comment:

migs said...

Nice post. It shows how rich could a literature be in terms of translation.Through translating shows the rich blend of knowledge and culture in a society.Whether in Dutch translation or in any foreign language translation helps one to get acquainted with the thoughts, traditions, principles and actions of the people from the region.