Frank Martinus Arion (1936 – 2015) Curaçao (kòrsou)

M’a kai den sneu

I fell in deep snow

Bo n’ por sakami

If you cannot save me

Kai band’e mi anto

Then lie down beside me

Yudami yora

Help me weep

Si bo por a papia Papiamentu*

If only you spoke Papiamentu

Lo m’a yamabu dushi

I would call you my lover

Pidibu un sunchi pa sakami

Ask for a kiss that would save me

Ma bo n’ por bira pretu

But you can never be black

I nan a bisami

They told me

I nan a hurami

They all begged me

Si bo kasa ku muhe blanku

If you marry a white woman

Bo n’ por drenta bo tera pretu

You can’t return to your black homeland

M’a kai den sneu

I fell in deep snow

Bo n’ por sakami

If you cannot save me

Kai band’e mi anto

Then lie down beside me

Yudami yora

Help me weep

 

*Portuguese creole based language, One of the three official languages of Curaçao.
*Ik heb zo weinig nodig
om te leven, zo telbaar weinig
heb ik nodig om te leven.
I need so very little
so little that counts
to go on living but before that little
maar eer dat weinige dat
telbaar is uit horizonten
tot mij nadert, ben ik
omgevallen als ‘n wolkenkrabber.
that hardly counts
reaches me from far horizons
I’ll collapse like a skyscraper
before that little that does not count
is placed into my hands
eer dat weinige dat telbaar is,
uit handen van een wezen
aan mijn handen wordt gegeven,
ben ik een rottende palm in
een diep moeras.
from the hand of a creature
I’ll be a rotting palm
deep in the swamp
I need so very little
to live in the world that’s lost
ik heb zo weinig nodig,
but that very…
*Dutch, primary official language of Curaçao
Reference:
The Great Curassow or the Road to Caribbeanness
Callaloo, Volume 21, Number 3, Summer 1998, pp. 447-452
by: Frank Martinus Arion

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