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Elis Juliana – Poëzie/Poetry

Bola [Crystal Ball]

Den mi bola di kristal
mi ta mira den futuro.
Den mi orea sapu ta yora
un kantika di mizeria.

Mi ta mira mi próhimo
disfrasá na eskeleto
lorá den klechi di papel
ta kana tene muraya.
Mi ta mira un pareha
ta gatia subi trapï Kranshi.
Madrina a keda ‘bou ta pela
kabaron di awa dushi.
Mi ta mira un entiero.
Kuater homber ku machete
ta karga morto di moral
lorá den blachi’ ramakoko.
Mi ta mira kakalaka sali
fo ‘i pipanan frusá di Isla.
Un imáhen kibrá ta parti
komunion pa totolika.
I den fondo leu ayá
lamá di dignidat a seka.
Nos ta hunga ‘tapa kara’
hasi bergwensa ta pa Dios.

In that crystal ball of mine
I see the things in store for me.
The toad is singing in my ears
a song of troubling misery.

I see my neighbor
in a frame disguised
wrapped in a blanket of paper
groping along the wall.
I see a pair of lovers
creeping up the stairs to Town Hall.
The maid-of-honor remains below
peeling fresh water shrimps.
I see a funeral.
Four men with choppers
bearing the corpse of morality
wrapped in palm fronds.
I see the roaches emerge
from SHELL’s rusty pipes.
A broken image handing out
communion to patient ground doves.
And in the distance far away
the sea of dignity has run dry.
We play together blindman’s buff
and pass the shame onto the Lord.
Translated by Frank A. Williams

Bekita [Bekita ]

Bekita dams a kanga shimis
pronka drenta sal’i balia
k’un finura k’un koketa
kada paso na su tempu
kada zoya na midí
Békitá! Békitá!
Békitá! Békitá!

Hernan dí: E dams akí
ai ta flor pa hasi bunita;
yena sala ku pèrfume
hari saka djent’i oro
zoya renchi di makurá
Békitá! Békitá!
Békitá! Békitá!
Ma or’un pachi prufiá
a bai lamantá Bekita
pa é tuma’den k’e tumba
el a keda babuká
kon e mosa tantu lesma
por a para serená
Békitá Békitá
pa kén b’a mirá
Békitá Békitá
pa kén b’a tumá
Békitá Békitá
Békitá Békitá


Lady Bekita lifted up her skirt
And stalked into the ballroom
With a smile, with coquetry
With calculated steps
And complete body control
Bekita, Bekita,
Bekita, Bekita.

The gentlemen said:
This lady is just a pretty flower
filling the room with its perfume
smiling and showing her golden teeth
And swinging her red coral earrings
Bekita, Bekita,
Bekita, Bekita.
But when a gutsy old man
Dared to invite Bekita
To join him in the tumba,
He was flabbergasted
That such a delicate lady
Could sway her hips in total abandon:
Bekita, Bekita,
For whom did you take
Bekita, Bekita
Who did you think she was
Bekita, Bekita
Bekita, Bekita
Bekita, Bekita

Translated by Aart G. Broek
Elis Juliana has contributed much to the discovery and development of Papiamentu as a literary language. A prolific writer and artist, his books of poems are POI I, POI II, and POI III.
Frank A. Williams lives in his native Aruba where he has taught English and has been the Minister of Education. He has published two collections of short stories, one historical work, one collection of poetry, and one novel.
[from Callaloo 21.3 (1998) 576-577]

3 comments to “Elis Juliana – Poëzie/Poetry”

  • Kunt u mij de vertaling geven van een gedicht van Elis Juliana. Het handelt zich om deze tekst in Papiementu:

    prome ku para bula bai for di nèshi e ta ensayá

    Hartelijk dank en vriendelijke groet van Johan

  • Het vogeltje vliegt pas uit het nest weg, nadat hij heeft geoefend
    Voor het vogeltje uit het nest vliegt, heeft het geoefend

  • de laatste drie woordjes staan in de tegenwoordige tijd:
    oefent hij/zij of het, dus voordat een vogel uitvliegt, oefent ie.

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