A poem by Kristina Kočan translated into Frisian

Foto: Kristijan Robič

Kristina Kočan (1981) is a Slovenian poet from the city of Maribor. For the European literary exchange project Other Words she was in Friesland for a few weeks. On Friday the Bildt poet and journalist Gerard de Jong showed Kristina the beautiful Bildt region, along the northern Frisian coast.

On Saturday Kristina was invited by a few RIXT-poets for a poetry session at the Swetteblom, an ecological farm and a camping site on the western banks of the Swette. This hidden spot in the Swette polder is located a few kilometers south of Leeuwarden. It was an inspiring afternoon and evening, with talks about poetry writing and an exchange of each other’s work. The meeting culminated in an attempt to translate one of Kristina’s poems into Frisian. The poets André Looijenga, Pier Boorsma, and Syds Wiersma managed to make the following joint translation of Poznopoletne Prostosti, a beautiful poem about children playing in the corn fields of August. The day after, during Kristina’s reading of poetry in the Language Pavilion MeM, she and André read the poem in Slovenian and Frisian. Today we publish it on RIXT.

Poznopoletne prostosti

v avgustovskem večeru otroci
vzklikajo vreščijo nekje
daleč na travniku
se v labirintu
koruznega polja
igrajo skrivalnice štorklje
jih v visokem preletu
tiho zapuščajo
en otrok je vedno tisti
ki se med koruzo pritaji
pozabi na igro
za par trenutkov
vsrka vase vonj
poznopoletne prostosti puhteče
toplote na koži
nog v kratkih hlačah
ko se igra bliža h koncu
so vsi otroci najdeni ta otrok
pogleda za starodavno izgubo
ki bo trajala skoraj leto
na hitro zagrebe
toplo suho zemljo
nese k obrazu
povonja jo z nosom in
odprtimi usti

© Kristina Kočan


Let simmersk frij

op in augustusjûn bern
geie wyld, raze erges
in ein it lân út
fersideboartsje yn
it labyrint fan
in maisfjild earrebarren
fleane heech oer se hinne
litte se stil achter
der is altyd ien bern
dat djipper skûlet yn it mais
en it boartsjen ferjit
hiel even
opsnúft de geur
fan it let simmersk frij wêzen
de dampende waarmte fan ‘e hûd
op koartebroekeskonken
wylst de boarterij lûkt nei de ein
wurde alle bern fûn dit bern
sjocht omheech nei it oerâlde ferlies
dat hast in jier duorje sil
bringt gau in hantsje
waarme drûge
grûn nei ’t gesicht
priuwt it mei noas en
iepen mûle

© Oersetting:
André Looijenga, Pier Boorsma, Syds Wiersma

It is further worth mentioning that the translation session at the Swetteblom ended with a short walk through the meadows of the Swette polder. Kristina wanted to spot the Ljip, the Lapwing, once Friesland’s ‘national’ bird, but now having hard times to survive in Friesland with its enduring focus on monoculture grassland and intensive livestock farming. The small group of bird spotters managed to find some Lapwings that were already gathering in the Swette polder to migrate to their winter residence in the south. At the moment Kristina is working on a poem about the Ljip and its mystical cry.

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