The poem // Die gedig

Vanmiddag wag sy vir hom in 'n klein hoėmuurhuisie
half toe-oog ingekruip agter 'n straatstoepie

5.12 hang hy sy hoed aan die haak
trek sy baadjie uit en sy gooi kookwater deur die koffiesak

vee haar hande aan die geblomde voorskoot en wag darem
dat hy haar eers teen hom vasdruk, so skuinserig met die een arm

voor sy hom die dag se nusies vertel
die gat in die heining, die hond, Anna-jannie het gebel

Na ete haal sy die Bybel uit die boonste laai
en hy lees vir hulle van Israel se afgode teen die berg Sinaļ

haar hande vou 'n stopskulp in syne as sy bid:
Onse Vader wat hoog bo die aarde in die hemel sit ...

Die maan rys soos 'n koringmeelbrood bokant die dak
sy was skottelgoed met lifebuoy en 'n omgesoomde meelsak

hy luister nuus op die treetjie by die agterdeur
oor dinge wat met ander mense in die wźreld gebeur

Later as die luggie begint trek
die windpomp klap-klap in die dam in lek

sit hy die sproeier af, maak die hoenderhokke toe
sit die kat uit en kom langsaam kamer toe.

In die na-nag as die wind uit die noorde begin
skuif die maan oor hul bed dieper die kamer in

tot op die woorde geraam in krulle:
My vrede gee Ek julle.



Line-by-line translation

Vanmiddag wag sy vir hom in 'n klein hoėmuurhuisie
half toe-oog ingekruip agter 'n straatstoepie

5.12 hang hy sy hoed aan die haak
trek sy baadjie uit en sy gooi kookwater deur die koffiesak

vee haar hande aan die geblomde voorskoot en wag darem
dat hy haar eers teen hom vasdruk, so skuinserig met die een arm

voor sy hom die dag se nusies vertel
die gat in die heining, die hond, Anna-jannie het gebel

Na ete haal sy die Bybel uit die boonste laai
en hy lees vir hulle van Israel se afgode teen die berg Sinaļ

haar hande vou 'n stopskulp in syne as sy bid:
Onse Vader wat hoog bo die aarde in die hemel sit ...

Die maan rys soos 'n koringmeelbrood bokant die dak
sy was skottelgoed met lifebuoy en 'n omgesoomde meelsak

hy luister nuus op die treetjie by die agterdeur
oor dinge wat met ander mense in die wêreld gebeur

Later as die luggie begint trek
die windpomp klap-klap in die dam in lek

sit hy die sproeier af, maak die hoenderhokke toe
sit die kat uit en kom langsaam kamer toe.

In die na-nag as die wind uit die noorde begin
skuif die maan oor hul bed dieper die kamer in

tot op die woorde geraam in krulle:
My vrede gee Ek julle.

This afternoon she waited for him in a little house surrounded by high walls. She waited with here eyes half shut on a small front step.

At five past twelve, he hangs his hat on a hook and pours boiling water on a small bag, which has coffee in it.

She wipes the flour of her hands and onto her apron and he awaits a hug from her. The hug was skew and was done with one arm.                    -

She then tells him the daily news - there is a hole in the fence, the dog and Anna-jannie had called.

After dinner she took the Bible out of the top drawer. He then reads about Israel's idols against the mountain of Sinal.

Her hands folded into a shell-shape for prayer: Our father who is high above the Earth, and in heaven.

The moon rises like wheat above the roof. She washes the dishes with lifebuoy (a type of soap) and a seemed flour bag.                                      -

He listens to the news that happened in other places around the world, on a small step (treetjie) in the back.

Later, as the wind starts to blow, the windmill starts to "klap-klap" and leaks into the dam.

He turns off the sprinkler, closes the chicken cages, takes the cat out of the room and then comes to the room.

Later, the wind from the North blows and the the moon slides deeper into their room.

The moon slides to the point where the framed, curled words can be seen:
My peace I give you.



Analysis

Antjie Krog lived in the Free State and 50 years ago, the small towns were nothing more than a few shops, a post office, a City Hall, a church and maybe a hotel. This was the time before TVs, computers, email or smartphone. The radio was the source of enlightenment and maybe a newspaper or telephone as well (if you could afford it). There was a lot of silence and peace, and this is what this poem is trying to portray. 

The poem consists of 12 couplets which describe a day-in-the-life of a married couple. The couple has not much more than food and a roof over their heads and they don't need anything more. The poem supports their strong connection as two people which are in harmony (love). This is seen by the use of a couplet structure as well as rhyme scheme. They follow a strict day-by-day routine for 12 months of the year - this is indicated through the use of twelve stanzas.

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