Elizabeth Bishop, It túchplantsje

 
It túchplantsje

Ik dreamde dat, dea en yn mimer,
ik op in grêf of bêd lei
(alteast in kâld, krap bemetten skaadplak).
Beferzen, kolossaal en skerp úttekene
stie yn it kâlde hert syn lêste tins,
allike stiif en doelleas as ik dêr,
en in jier, in menút, in oere lang
bleaunen wy ûnferoarlik tegearre.
Ynienen wie der ferweech
dat as in ûntploffing alle sinnen
dêr kjel makke. Doe foel it werom
ta in oanhâldend, hoeden
krûpen yn de hertstreek,
dat my út in riedeleaze sliep poarre.
Ik die de holle omheech. Troch it hert hinne
wie in tear, jong túchplantsje opkommen,
it liet syn grien kopke hingje op it boarst.
(Dit alles barde yn it tsjuster.)
It woeks in tombree as in gerssprút;
dêrnei lansearre ien blêd út syn flank
in wynderjend kroanblêd en doe
ferweegden twa blêden as in seinpeal.
De stâle waard dik. Jachtige woartels
rikten nei beide kanten; it sierlike kopke
ferskikte riedselachtich,
sinne noch moanne wie der ommers
om syn prille oandacht te fangen.
It bewoartele hert begûn te feroarjen
(net te klopjen) en spliet doe midstwa,
der bruts in wetterfloed út los.
Twa rivieren stjalpten oan wjerskanten del,
ien nei rjochts en ien nei links,
twa wieljende, healtrochsichtige streamen
(de ribben makken der twa kaskades fan)
dy’t drystmoedich, glêd as glês,
lâns de fine, swarte klútsjes ierde lekten.
It túchplantsje waard hast weispield;
it wraksele mei syn mei swiere drippen
beladen blêden en tilde se op.
In pear drippen foelen op myn gesicht
en yn myn eagen, sadat ik sjen koe
(of yn dat swarte stee miende te sjen)
dat eltse drip in ljocht omsleat,
in lyts, ferljochte tafriel;
de troch de kjitte ferleine stream sels
wie makke fan jeiende bylden.
(As soe in rivier alle tafrielen
dy’t sy ea wjerspegele hie meifiere,
fêstset yn har wetter en net dobberjend
op flechtige oerflakken.)
It túchplantsje stie yn it teriten hert.
‘Wat dochsto dêr?’ frege ik.
It tilde syn kopke op, dat alhiel dripke
(fan myn eigen tinzen?)
en joech doe andert: ‘Ik waaks,’ sei it,
‘inkeld om dyn hert opnij te spjalten.’

 

The Weed

I dreamed that dead, and meditating,
I lay upon a grave, or bed,
(at least, some cold and close-built bower).
In the cold heart, its final thought
stood frozen, drawn immense and clear,
stiff and idle as I was there;
and we remained unchanged together
for a year, a minute, an hour.
Suddenly there was a motion,
as startling, there, to every sense
as an explosion. Then it dropped
to insistent, cautious creeping
in the region of the heart,
prodding me from desperate sleep.
I raised my head. A slight young weed
had pushed up through the heart and its
green head was nodding on the breast.
(All this was in the dark.)
It grew an inch like a blade of grass;
next, one leaf shot out of its side
a twisting, waving flag, and then
two leaves moved like a semaphore.
The stem grew thick. The nervous roots
reached to each side; the graceful head
changed its position mysteriously,
since there was neither sun nor moon
to catch its young attention.
The rooted heart began to change
(not beat) and then it split apart
and from it broke a flood of water.
Two rivers glanced off from the sides,
one to the right, one to the left,
two rushing, half-clear streams,
(the ribs made of them two cascades)
which assuredly, smooth as glass,
went off through the fine black grains of earth.
The weed was almost swept away;
it struggled with its leaves,
lifting them fringed with heavy drops.
A few drops fell upon my face
and in my eyes, so I could see
(or, in that black place, thought I saw)
that each drop contained a light,
a small, illuminated scene;
the weed-deflected stream was made
itself of racing images.
(As if a river should carry all
the scenes that it had once reflected
shut in its waters, and not floating
on momentary surfaces.)
The weed stood in the severed heart.
“What are you doing there?” I asked.
It lifted its head all dripping wet
(with my own thoughts?)
and answered then: “I grow,” it said,
“but to divide your heart again.”

 

Ut North & South, 1946

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