Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Shairi la "The Layers" la Stanley Kunitz na Tafsiri Yangu

Tarehe 9 Machi, 2005, nilipata ujumbe kutoka kwa Dr. Arthur Dobrin, mwandishi na profesa katika Chuo Kikuu cha Hofstra, New York, akiniulizia iwapo ningekubali kulitafsiri kwa ki-Swahili shairi la Stanley Kunitz liitwalo "The Layers." Aliniambia kuwa inaandaliwa sherehe ya kumbukumbu ya miaka 100 ya kuzaliwa kwa Stanley Kunitz na kwamba tafsiri za shairi hili katika lugha mbali mbali zitawasilishwa kama sehemu ya kumbukumbu. Aliambatanisha shairi hilo katika ujumbe wake.

Sikuwa ninalifahamu shairi hilo. Jina la Stanley Kunitz huenda nilikuwa nalifahamu kwa mbali, lakini sidhani kama nilikuwa nimesoma mashairi yake. Katika mazingira hayo yaliyokuwa mithili ya giza akilini mwangu, nililisoma shairi la "The Layers" nikakubali kulitafsiri, ingawa niliona ingekuwa kazi ngumu.

Kazi ya kutafsiri haikuwa rahisi, kutokana na jinsi fikra na taswira zilivyosukwa katika shairi hili. Ingawaje kwa ujumla ni shairi linaloelezea mawazo ya mzee anayeangalia maisha aliyopitia pamoja na magumu yake na mabadiliko yake, nilivutiwa na msisitizo wake kuwa kuna kiini cha uwepo wake ambacho amekuwa akipambana kukihifadhi salama katika hali zote alizopitia, ambazo zimejengeka na kulaliana nafsini mwake kama matabaka. Hata hivi kuna dhana tata kadhaa katika shairi hili ambazo huenda hata mtunzi mwenyewe zilimwia vigumu kuzielezea.

Tangu nitafsiri shairi la "The Layers," mara moja moja nimekuwa nikilikumbuka. Stanley Kunitz mwenyewe alifariki mwaka 2006 akiwa na umri wa miaka 101. Ni mmoja wa washairi maarufu kabisa wa -Marekani. Jana jioni niliingia mtandaoni nikaona video yake akisoma "The Layers." Niliguswa na usomaji wake, nikaamua kuitafuta tafsiri niliyofanya mwaka 2005, pamoja na video, kama nilivyoweka hapa. Kama unakifahamu ki-Ingereza na ki-Swahili vizuri sana, utakubaliana nami kuwa kuthubutu kutafsiri kazi ya fasihi ni kama kujipalia mkaa au kucheza na moto.





 THE LAYERS

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to deciper it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.


MATABAKA

Nimepitia maisha mengi,
baadhi yakiwa yangu,
na mimi si yule nilokuwa,
japo msingi fulani wa kuwa
ungali, ambao nakazana
kutouacha.
Niangaliapo nyuma,
kama niwajibikavyo kuangalia
kabla sijakusanya nguvu
za kuendelea na safari yangu,
naona nguzo za maili barabarani zikizidi kufupika
kuelekea mbali upeoni mwa macho
na mioto ikiwaka kidhaifu
katika makambi mahame,
ambayo juu yake malaika wasaka nyama
wanaruka kwa mabawa mazito.
Oh, nimejigeuza kabila
kutokana na mapenzi yangu ya dhati,
na kabila langu limetawanyika!
Moyo utaridhikaje
na shehena yake ya maafa?
Katika upepo uvumao
vumbi ovu ambalo ni marafiki zangu,
wale ambao waliachika njiani,
linaumiza uso wangu.
Hata hivyo, napinduka, napinduka,
nikifurahi kiasi,
na nia yangu thabiti ya kuelekea
kokote kunakolazimu,
na kila jiwe barabarani
ni la thamani kwangu.
Katika usiku wangu wa giza sana,
mwezi ukiwa umefunikwa
nami nikirandaranda katika yaliyoharibiwa,
sauti ya nyepesi kama wingu
iliniongoza:
"Uishi baina ya rusu
si juu ya takataka."
Japo sina ufundi
wa kuitafsiri,
hakuna shaka sura ifuatayo
katika kitabu changu cha mabadiliko
tayari imeshaandikwa.
Sijahitimisha mabadiliko yangu.

 translation by Joseph L. Mbele

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