Some translations to go with your tea

Susan Nalugwa Kiguli, PhD, is well-known in African literary circles as a poet, scholar, and educator.  Susan also serves on the board of African Writers Trust. (For more on Kiguli’s achievments).  ZHANG Jinjin, the translator, is a poet and a member of the Integrative Studies Program at Shantou University, China.

The selections are from Kiguli’s Animal Portraits, a collection of poems for children.  The  originals below,  first published by Alex Smith as part of the Love Africa Carnival series, became a highlight of that series.  The translations by ZHANG Jinjin are new.

[twocol_one] A WALK WITH THE LION
by Susan Kiguli

Do you see the lion
Tawny yellow like the setting sun
Head of hair flowing down
Brown in the golden grass
Majestic king of the Savannah plain?

Do you hear the lion
Roaring like a cannon
Impalas fleeing in their billion
Buffaloes scuttling about like chicken
Like they have seen a demon?

Do watch the lion
Walking through the woods
Stopping now, strolling again
Yawning and shaking his mane
Royal beauty of the grassy plain.


A COCKEREL AT THE BREAK OF DAY
by Susan Kiguli

Kokoliyoko kokoliyoko
All of you lazy people
Out of beds, you are able
Come borrow my bugle
Eeh you, do not cackle.

Oh you lazy people
Pound grain with the pestle
Put on the kettle
Bring the ladle

Oh, leave me, I am pecking at a weevil
Oh, you unkind people.
Here on the myrtle
Ready to dazzle

My comb is a fire so is my wattle
Look, I have caught colour
I have the yellow, the black and the purple.
Oh you lazy people

Come for the carnival
The twist and the waddle but no wobble
Eeh you, stop the twaddle and twattle.
What a lot of noisy people!


THE SWAN
by Susan Kiguli

White upon blue water
Gliding along at leisure
Graceful long necked creature
Fondly fluffing its feather
White upon blue water

Rising up on strong wings into clouds
A lovely V in the skies
Slowly beating the miles
Necks outstretched full-size
Grandly taking the high-rise.
Koh-hoh ko-hoh Ko-hoh

When the heat is like a heavy sack
One pink leg folded up on the back
Elegant bird of the outback
Ko-hoh ko-hoh ko-hoh.


TORTOISE
by Susan Kiguli

We the tortoises live long
Watching the years play ping pong
We see the right and the wrong
Eating the grass on the lawn
And for a treat the snail at dawn.

And because we are shy
You may see us peep as you go by
We hide in our shells – don’t ask why
The best tents ever made.
The world’s toughest blockade.

On flat land we spend our play time
We do not like to climb
But our legs are strong
They carry us along
Surely we are a happy throng.
[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

与狮同行
张金金译

看见狮子了吗
像落日泛着褐色的黄
头顶的鬃毛垂落下来
金色草丛里闪着棕光
威风凛凛的热带草原之王?

听见狮子了吗
吼声似炮响
斑羚们闻风丧胆
水牛们作鸟兽状逃窜
好像它们看见了恶魔?

你看那狮子
走过树林
站住了,来回踱步
打了个哈欠,抖了抖鬃毛
草原上的雍容华贵。


破晓时分的公鸡
张金金译

喔喔喔,喔喔喔
你们这群懒家伙
快起来,去干活
吹起号角,学着我
咦,你,不许笑咯咯

呀你们这群懒家伙
去碾上麦子
去坐上水壶
再拿上那长把儿勺
呀,别管我,我在吃虫呢
呀,你们这群坏家伙

这桃金娘树
就快要闪闪发光
你看看我
红冠当头艳似火
红光满面神气多
五彩缤纷当数咱
有黄有黑还带紫

呀你们这群懒家伙
嘉年华就要开始啰
一个个都摇摇摆摆,歪歪扭扭,就差晃晃悠悠
咦,你,别叽叽喳喳喋喋不休
这么多吵吵嚷嚷的人!


天鹅
张金金译

碧蓝湖面上一抹洁白
悠闲地自在游弋
这优美的长颈尤物
爱怜地抖着羽毛
碧蓝湖面上一抹洁白

展翅高飞直入云霄
一个可爱的V字出现天际
缓缓地上升
长颈极尽伸展
昂然升入高空

啁啁,啁啁,啁啁
炙热天气如同沉重口袋
粉红单腿收在身后
内陆中的优雅之鸟
啁啁,啁啁,啁啁


乌龟
张金金译

我们乌龟身体棒
坐看岁月打乒乓
明辨世间真与谬
在草地边吃草哟
黎明时候抓蜗牛

因为我们很害羞
你也许能在匆匆走过时瞥见我们悄悄一瞅
我们躲进了龟壳里——不要问理由
这可是最优质的帐篷
这可是全世界最坚实的防线

我们在浅滩尽情嬉戏
不大喜欢爬高爬低
但我们有健硕身躯
带领我们走遍东西
我们是欢乐的大家庭

[/twocol_one_last]
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