In ferdwinen – A loss

A Loss

He disappeared in the dead of winter
W.H. Auden

The days are nothing but a maze
a search party after the loss
of one who spoke life in life,

a voice that set the heart of the whole
universe to tapping and pounding,
o, how right it was, elated,

bright and fierce in the hour
of youth, that is, a knock,
knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.

For a search party after a loss
all tracks merge or peter out
behind the tower and the clock,

while the video feed from the lanes
and alleys only ever says:
‘No, no, didn’t see a thing.

No, no, didn’t hear a thing. No,
no, don’t ask us,’ and the city
is a play of ghosts and fog.

The days are nothing but a maze
after a loss and a search party
that just goes on, like all questions

with no perspective, blind as
the winter mist tonight,
drifting over canals and bridges,

swirling around the towers,
deaf to the word that set the heart
of the whole universe tapping and thumping.

.
@ Eeltsje Hettinga –  Translation David Colmer Eeltsje Hettinga

 

IN FERDWINEN

 

He disappeared in the dead of winter
W.H. Auden

 

Inkeld labyrint binne de dagen
in sykjen by in ferdwinen
fan hy dy’t libben it libben sei,

in lûd dat it hert fan hiel
it hielal tikjen en tromjen die,
o, hoe’t alles kloppe, útlitten

fûl en klear yn ’e oere fan
in jonkheid, sis, a knock
knock knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Yn in sykjen by in ferdwinen
rint yn de romten achter toer en
klok elk spoar dea en stomp,

sa’t alle yn stegen en gloppen
opfandele kamerabylden, oars
net sizze as: ‘Nee, nee, net sjoen,

nee, nee, net heard, nee, nee,
wy witt’ fan neat’, dêr’t de stêd
in spul fan mist en skimen is.

Inkeld labyrint de dagen
by in ferdwinen yn in sykjen
sûnder ein, sa’t alle fragen

sûnder útsjoch binne, blyn as
dizze nacht de dize fan winter,
omwaarjend oer kanalen en

brêgen en tuorren en grêften,
dôf foar it wurd dat it hert fan
hiel ’t hielal tik en tromjen die.

 

@  Eeltsje Hettinga

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