The Sky Curdles

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 30 (to prompt) – THE FINAL DAY! 🙂

The Prompt: “…today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language.”

My chosen language is Afrikaans and the poem ‘Die lug skif oop’ by George Louw. I have included the original and a literal translation below.

My Poetic interpretation:

The sky curdles into speckled clouds
the kiewet laid his egg large
I roll him round and round with my eyes
until he comes to rest in my brain.

Mum has just
sent me out with the chicken feed
and with a detour through the oats
I think the speckles onto paper.


The Original:

Die lig skif oop

Die lug skif oop in spikkelwolke
die kiewet het sy eier groot gelé;
ek rol hom met my oë om en om
totdat hy in my brein bly lé.

My mama het my netnou
met die kiepkos uitgestuur,
en met ‘n ompad deur die hawer
dink ek die spikkels op papier

George Louw


Literal Translation:

The air curdles open

The air curdles open in speckled clouds
the Kiewet has laid his egg large
I roll him with my eyes round and round
until he remains lying in my brain.

My mummy has just
sent me outside with the chicken feed
and with a detour through the oats
I think the speckles onto paper


So, there it is. The last day of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo for 2016!

30 poems in 30 days – YAY!

Thanks to Maureen for all the prompts and to all participants for taking part and helping to build our poetry world! 🙂

An even bigger thanks to YOU for taking this ride with me. It’s been a great trip and your support along the way means the world!

See you again soon…


8 comments on “The Sky Curdles

  1. This is a real charmer, Rob. People always tell me that poetry cannot be translated, and I agree. So when we translate one, we are making a new poem from a poem but always hoping to keep the feeling and spirit of the original.

    I find it difficult to follow blogs that post every day, so I didn’t get to respond to all of your poems this month, but I hope it was a good experience for you….stirring the juices and getting them going!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia! Your comment on translated poems is so true – I think this is the first time I’ve tried it and it definitely loses some of the original feeling in the translation. I also relate to the daily posting blogs – time just doesn’t allow me to read every posting, every day. However, that makes it even more special for me when you visit, like and comment 🙂
      The whole process this year has been different than the previous for me – I prefer to write and let the piece ‘settle’ then edit and work it a bit. Writing a new one every day just didn’t give that space so I’m not very happy with some of them – fortunately, as you pointed out, I can always go back and revise! 🙂
      As always – comment much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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