Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Antjie Krog

Where I Become You

1.

you come to win me over
at the other end of the world
I hear your call
shivering night blue and blindly
bound by radiant bones

with you my head bitingly cold

unwillingly hairgrown
scentgirded
you begin to unfasten the I from the self
the inviolable once
you let loose in many

separating-laying-side-by-side
loosening one piece from another
so that the bonds seem incessantly to unfold
in the unbearably co-writing
breath of unsundered roses

to dis-
mantle
the I
from the also-I
the you
from the almost-
you-in-me

listen, you say, how un-
fathomably it grieves,
the profoundness of love

Where I Become You

Where I Become You

1.

jy kom my omhaal
aan die anderkant van die wêreld
jou roep hoor ek
bibbernagblou en ge-
blind aan stralende gebeentes

by jou my snerpende kop

onwillig behaar
geuromgord
begin jy die ek uit die self knoop
die onskendbare eens
laat jy los in vele

uit-mekaar-uit-neer-sit
losmakend die een stuk uit die ander
sodat die verbintenisse voortvouend
blyk in die ondraaglik meeskrywende a-
sem ongekloofde rose

om uit-
mekaar-te-haal
die ek
van die ook-ek
die jy
van die byna-
jou-in-my

hoor, sê jy, hoe on-
naspeurbaar treur
die dieptesig van liefde
Close

Where I Become You

1.

you come to win me over
at the other end of the world
I hear your call
shivering night blue and blindly
bound by radiant bones

with you my head bitingly cold

unwillingly hairgrown
scentgirded
you begin to unfasten the I from the self
the inviolable once
you let loose in many

separating-laying-side-by-side
loosening one piece from another
so that the bonds seem incessantly to unfold
in the unbearably co-writing
breath of unsundered roses

to dis-
mantle
the I
from the also-I
the you
from the almost-
you-in-me

listen, you say, how un-
fathomably it grieves,
the profoundness of love

Where I Become You

1.

you come to win me over
at the other end of the world
I hear your call
shivering night blue and blindly
bound by radiant bones

with you my head bitingly cold

unwillingly hairgrown
scentgirded
you begin to unfasten the I from the self
the inviolable once
you let loose in many

separating-laying-side-by-side
loosening one piece from another
so that the bonds seem incessantly to unfold
in the unbearably co-writing
breath of unsundered roses

to dis-
mantle
the I
from the also-I
the you
from the almost-
you-in-me

listen, you say, how un-
fathomably it grieves,
the profoundness of love
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère