POETRY

The potato eaters, Van Gogh

Qaxxart patata wara patata
u rfajt kollox f’borma.
U bil-kalma ġbart il-qxur
u bihom ħloqt xbieha ta’ wiċċek fuq injama griża.

Tfajt ħsiebi kollu fi xbihetek.
Tlajt, u nżilt, u tlajt, ma’ kull biċċa qoxra mwaħħla mat-tavla.
Blajt ir-riħa ddardar ta’ moffa li ħarġet minn xi qxur.
’Rdajt il-ħlewwa li qattret minn oħrajn li ffermentaw.
U sirt tifel imqareb,
belhani,
bikkej,
mifxul.

U f’mument il-qxur inqalgħu kollha minn mal-għuda.
Id-dehra ta’ wiċċek għebet mal-qxur tal-patata li reġgħu waqgħu fil-ħamrija,
li nibbtu,
u xettlu,
u tkattru.

U l-patata reġgħet inqalgħet mill-ħamrija b’idejn ħarxa.
U kont miklub biex nerġa’ nqaxxarha.

Imma issa ma rridx iktar xbihat.
Irrid biss lilek.

 

The potato eaters, Van Gogh

I peeled potatoes, one after the other
threw everything in a pot.
Slowly I gathered the peels
and worked an image of your face on a piece of grey
wood.

I threw in all my thoughts.
I traced it up and down and up with every piece of peel stuck to the wood.
I gulped the nauseating smell of mould that came out of the peels.
I sucked the sweetness that seeped out from those fermenting.
I became a naughty child,
foolish
whining
confused.

In a second the peels came undone.
The image of your face disappeared with the peels that fell, back to the soil,
that budded,
and grew,
Fertile.

Potatoes were picked again with rough hands from the soil.
My hands ached to peel them again.

But I do not want any images now.
I just want you.

Translated by Claudia Gauci

De ierappeliters, Van Gogh

Ik skylde ierappels, de iene nei de oare
smiet alles yn in panne.
Stadich sammele ik de skilen
en makke in byld fan dyn gesicht op in stik griis
hout.

Ik joech it al myn omtinken.
Ik gie it oan alle kanten nei mei elk stikje skyl dat ik op it hout plakte.
Ik slokte de mislikmeitsjende skimmelstank troch dy’t út de skilen kaam.
Ik sûge de swietens op dy’t sipere út de skilen dy’t al gêsten.
Ik waard in ûndogens bern,
healwiis
sangerjend
yn ’e war.

Yn in omsjoch foelen de skilen útinoar.
It byld fan dyn gesicht ferdwûn mei de skilen dy’t foelen, werom yn ’e grûn,
dy’t útspruten,
en groeiden,
Fruchtber.

Ierappels waarden wer mei rûge hannen út de grûn skuord.
Myn hannen jokken om se wer te skilen.
Mar wol ik gjin bylden mear no.
Ik wol allinne dy.

Oerset troch Ate Grypstra