Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wilma Stockenström - On the suicide of young writers

 Ingrid Jonker (1933 - 1965)

Nat Nakasa (1937 - 1965)

On the suicide of young writers 
Wilma Stockenström

In memory of Ingrid Jonker and Nat Nakasa

For when they die
no flights in formation are necessary
crying starlings accompany them and the macabre gulls
no gun-carriage needs to be drawn past
poems carry them
sketches reveal tiny intimate details
long after the last news report on the dead politician

But when they die too young
– branch torn from the radiant peach-tree –
it  is an arm ripped off
blood drips on the breakfast table
the houses cower, the opulent churches cringe
and an acrid smoke blows across the land from endless caves.

(Tr. Johann de Lange)