Elizabeth Bishop, Grilk

 
Grilk

It bolderjen besiden nimt er foar leaf,
ek dat de wrâld fan en ta skodzje moat. Hy rint,
rint op súd oan, keken, knoffelich, yn in steat
fan behearske panyk, in Blake-studint.

It strân systeret as fet. In laachje wetter links
fan him komt en giet, fersteurt en leit glazuer
oer syn donkere, broazele poatsjes. Hy rint,
rint der dwers troch wylst er nei syn teannen kuert.

– Of nee, de sânige romten dertusken kuert er nei,
dêr’t (gjin detail te lyts) de Atlantyske Oseaan
fluch tebek en nei ûnderen lûkt. Rinnendewei
stoareaget er nei de sljurkjende kerlen sân.

De wrâld is in dize. En dan wer is de wrâld
eksakt, oergrut en helder. Hy kin net
fertelle wat tij it is. ’t Is eb. Of floed.
Mei de snaffel yn oanslach is er drok beset

mei sykjen, ja nei wat, nei wat, nei wat.
Hy is obsedearre, it earme bist!
De miljoenen kerlen binne bêzje, griis, wyt en swart,
bemongen mei kerlen rôze kwarts en ametist.

 

Sandpiper

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

—Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them,
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn’t tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray,
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.

 

Ut Questions of Travel, 1965. William Blake begjint syn gedicht ‘Auguries of Innocence’ mei de rigels: ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower’.

YouTube: John D. Scott, Sandpiper, a poem by Elizabeth Bishop. Foardroegen troch Geneva Moreland. Magpie Productions, 2011.

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