Literary Translation

Chantelle Gray van Heerden translates NP van Wyk Louw and Sheila Cussons


My naakte siel wil sonder skrome
in alle eenvoud tot jou gaan,
soos uit diepe slaap ons drome,
soos teen skemerlug die bome
opreik na die bloue maan;

gaan met al sy donker wense,
en die heilige, nooit-gehoorde
dinge sê, waarvoor die mense
huiwer, en wat om die grense
flikker van my duister woorde.

© NP van Wyk Louw


Afskeidsvers aan NP van Wyk Louw

Dis twaalfuur nou, die wysers paar,
ek let, en noem jou, weet jy let –
dis of ek ongebore weer
jou wit-rooi duif hoor ritsel het.
Ek het jou voetstap nog gehoor
net om die draai, toe weg,
en met ons laggroet nog by my
geweet hoe word die straat
oneindig skemer tussen rug
en rug – oneindig leeg.

© Sheila Cussons


My bared soul wants without qualm
in all its plainness to come to you,
as our dreams from deep slumber do,
as trees in dusk-light do
reaching for the azure moon;

will with all his opaque wishes,
and the sacred too, never-heard things
say, that which people shy away
from, and which coruscates ’round
the borders of my turbid words.

© Chantelle Gray van Heerden


Parting verse to NP van Wyk Louw

It’s midnight now, the hands touch,
I heed, and name you, knowing you heed –
as if I unborn again can
hear the rustling of your red-white dove.
Still I hear your footsteps
just around the corner, then gone,
and, our laughter-loving with me still,
know how it is the road becomes
unending twilight between back
and back – unending void.

© Chantelle Gray van Heerden

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Chantelle Gray van Heerden is a doctoral student at the University of Stellenbosch. She completed her MA Degree in Cognitive Linguistics at UNISA where she lectured for five years. Her current research interests centre on the politics of translation and questions regarding the ontological and emergent ethical considerations of each translation instantiation. She is an avid reader of any good literature and philosophy in particular, though not exclusively, writes literary reviews and interviews, translates and writes short stories and, on occasion, has been known to write copy for wine labels. In her spare time she turns feral and returns to the mountains where she runs for hours.