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dimanche, 17 mars 2013

Zébu (J.-J. Rabearivelo), traduction anglaise

Traduction Guillaume Cingal



Stooping like the cities of Imerina

in full view on the hills

or carved directly on the rocks –

hunchbacked like the gables

which the moon sculpts on the ground,

here comes the vigorous bull

purple like the colour of his blood.


He has drunk at the edge of rivers,

grazed on cacti and lilacs –

here he kneels in front of cassava

still heavy with earth's perfume,

and in front of balls of rice

that stink of sun and shade.


Evening has dug everywhere with its spade,

and there is no more horizon.

The bull sees a desert spreading

to the borders of the night.

His horns are like a crescent

rising upwards.


Desert, o desert,

desert in front of the vigorous bull

who, wandering, got lost with nightfall

into the realm of silence,

what is it you're conjuring up in your half-sleep ?

Is it the likes of his that have no hump

and are red like the dirt

which flies up under their hooves,

they who are the masters of uninhabited lands ?

Or is it his forefathers, fattened by peasants

who walked them to town, adorned with ripe oranges,

to have them slaughtered in honour of the King ?


He leaps and lows,

he who shall die without glory,

then, meanwhile, he gets back to sleep

and looks like a hump of the ground.





« Zébu », le poème original de l'immense poète Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, mort à 36 ans, Malgache mäiakovskien, se trouve aux pages 96-97 de la belle anthologie publiée dans la collection “Orphée-La Différence” (Traduit de la nuit, 1990, choix et présentation par Gonzague Raynaud).

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