The simplest way to find tranquility:
keep starting over in a different way.

He knows nothing about those who find tranquility,
free from what surrounds them; he’s never met anyone like that.

Let’s send him somewhere else, see if he changes his tune then.
His trick is to be more than happy when things are going well.

It’s a warm evening and it will rain later.
More to see left and right than he can list.

Quiet, except for old man Du Fu reproaching old man Tao Qian
for being restless about what he doesn’t have enough of.

Translation of "Su Dongpo en de truc die hij zegt van Tao Qian geleerd te hebben." © Nachoem Wijnberg. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by David Colmer. All rights reserved.

De eenvoudigste manier om tot rust te komen:
steeds weer op een andere manier beginnen.

Over wie het lukt tot rust te komen, vrij van waarin hij blijft,
weet hij niets; zo iemand is hij nog niet tegengekomen.

Laten we hem ergens anders heen sturen, kijken hoe hij dan piept.
Zijn truc is meer dan gelukkig te zijn als het hem goed gaat.

Het is een warme avond en het gaat straks regenen,
links en rechts meer te zien dan hij op kan noemen.

Stil, behalve oude man Du Fu die oude man Tao Qian verwijt
dat hij onrustig blijft om wat hij te weinig heeft.

© Nachoem Wijnberg
 




Nachoem M. WijnbergNachoem M. Wijnberg

Nachoem M. Wijnberg is one of the Netherlands' preeminent living poets. His debut De simulatie van de schepping (The Simulation of Creation, 1989) was nominated for the Buddingh' Prize, the most important prize for Dutch-language debut collections. He has won several other awards and was nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize, the greatest honour a Dutch-language poetry collection can receive. His most recent collection is Divan van Ghalib (Divan of Ghalib). In 2012 a book of English translations (by David Colmer) will be published by Anvil Press Poetry.

Translated from DutchDutch by David ColmerDavid Colmer

David Colmer is an Australian writer and translator who lives in Amsterdam. He is the author of a novel and a collection of short stories, both published in Dutch translation in the Netherlands, and the translator of more than twenty books: novels, children's literature, and poetry. He is a four-time winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize and won the 2009 Biennial NSW Premier and PEN Translation Prize for his body of work. In 2010 his translation of Gerbrand Bakker’s Boven is het stil (The Twin) won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.