Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Roni Margulies

S/S CANBERRA

The Canberra was to be put in a dry dock
to be dismantled and sold off piece by piece.
Just a few lines in the papers.

They caught my eye early one morning.

The Canberra, a seasoned ship of the world
set off on her maiden voyage thirty-five years ago
to Australia, bearing with her British emigrants
who dreamed of a new life in a new land.

Years later, she carried troops to the Falklands war,
and wounded there, only just escaped sinking.
Her long holiday tours in the Mediterranean
must have been her life’s most restful time.

She could never have guessed she’d enter my life.

Those years she took students on summer holidays,
in the mid-sixties, they’d stopped in Istanbul,
and the kids came to visit to our school.

I don’t remember why anymore
but even then England was my dream.
For months, the gigantic ship stayed in my mind.

As the Canberra now stands rusting somewhere,
I wonder if the question ever arises to those people
she took to Australia, as it does to me:
“Would things have turned out better elsewhere?”

DE CANBERRA

Onlangs is de Canberra uit de vaart genomen.
Ze wordt gesloopt en in stukken verkocht.
Een krantenbericht van een paar regels
viel me plotseling op, in het holst van de morgen.

Ze was een schip met ervaring, de Canberra,
vijfendertig jaar geleden, op haar allereerste reis
bracht ze Engelse emigranten naar Australië,
die van een nieuw leven droomden, in een nieuw land.

Jaren later vervoerde ze soldaten naar de Falklandoorlog,
raakte gewond en was bijna in de golven verzonken.
Tussendoor maakte ze lang vakantiereizen in de Middellandse Zee,
dat moet wel de makkelijkste tijd in haar leven zijn geweest.

Ze heeft nooit gemerkt dat ze mijn leven binnenkwam.

Toen ze scholieren vervoerde op hun zomervakantie
en ze midden jaren zestig ook Istanbul aandeden,
kregen de kinderen kregen een rondleiding door onze school.

Ik weet nu niet meer precies waarom maar
vanaf die dag droomde ik van Engeland. Maandenlang
kon ik dat reuzenschip niet van mij afzetten.

Zouden de mensen die zij naar Australië bracht
nu de Canberra ergens achteraf ligt te roesten,
ook af en toe ook – net als ik – denken:
"Was alles nou echt zoveel beter, ver weg?"

CANBERRA GEMISI

Kızağa alınmış geçende Canberra gemisi.
Sökülüp satılacakmış parça parça.
Birkaç satırlık bir gazete haberi.

Gözüme çarpıverdi sabahın köründe.

Görmüş geçirmiş bir gemiymiş Canberra,
ilk seferine çıktığında otuz beş yıl önce
İngiliz göçmenlerini götürmüş Avustralya’ya,
yeni bir hayat düşleyen, yeni bir ülkede.

Yıllar sonra asker taşımış Falklands savaşına,
yaralanmış, az kalmış sulara gömülmesine.
Uzun Akdeniz tatillerine çıkmış arada,
en rahat olduğu dönem olsa gerek ömründe.

Farketmemiştir bile girdiğini hayatıma.

Öğrencileri götürdüğü yıllarda yaz tatillerine
İstanbul’a uğramışlardı altmışların ortalarında,
bizim okula gelmişti çocuklar gezmeye.

Nedenini hatırlayamıyorum artık ama,
daha o zamandan hayallerimdeydi İngiltere.
Çıkmamıştı o dev gibi gemi aklımdan aylarca.

Bir köşede paslanırken Canberra şimdi,
zaman zaman düşünüyorlar mıdır acaba,
Avustralya’ya götürdükleri de, benim gibi:
“Daha iyi mi olurdu her şey bir başka yerde?”
Close

S/S CANBERRA

The Canberra was to be put in a dry dock
to be dismantled and sold off piece by piece.
Just a few lines in the papers.

They caught my eye early one morning.

The Canberra, a seasoned ship of the world
set off on her maiden voyage thirty-five years ago
to Australia, bearing with her British emigrants
who dreamed of a new life in a new land.

Years later, she carried troops to the Falklands war,
and wounded there, only just escaped sinking.
Her long holiday tours in the Mediterranean
must have been her life’s most restful time.

She could never have guessed she’d enter my life.

Those years she took students on summer holidays,
in the mid-sixties, they’d stopped in Istanbul,
and the kids came to visit to our school.

I don’t remember why anymore
but even then England was my dream.
For months, the gigantic ship stayed in my mind.

As the Canberra now stands rusting somewhere,
I wonder if the question ever arises to those people
she took to Australia, as it does to me:
“Would things have turned out better elsewhere?”

S/S CANBERRA

The Canberra was to be put in a dry dock
to be dismantled and sold off piece by piece.
Just a few lines in the papers.

They caught my eye early one morning.

The Canberra, a seasoned ship of the world
set off on her maiden voyage thirty-five years ago
to Australia, bearing with her British emigrants
who dreamed of a new life in a new land.

Years later, she carried troops to the Falklands war,
and wounded there, only just escaped sinking.
Her long holiday tours in the Mediterranean
must have been her life’s most restful time.

She could never have guessed she’d enter my life.

Those years she took students on summer holidays,
in the mid-sixties, they’d stopped in Istanbul,
and the kids came to visit to our school.

I don’t remember why anymore
but even then England was my dream.
For months, the gigantic ship stayed in my mind.

As the Canberra now stands rusting somewhere,
I wonder if the question ever arises to those people
she took to Australia, as it does to me:
“Would things have turned out better elsewhere?”
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J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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