Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Roni Margulies

WEAR AND TEAR

I had a blue pullover,
a cross between turquoise and sky blue.
It was my favourite, the one I wore most often.
We went through a lot together, it and I,
its colour let friends recognise me from afar.

It was a gift from Elsa;
time took its toll on it.

It thinned at the elbows, the cuffs became slack,
it sagged, wouldn’t fit me properly,
holes could no longer be darned.
Finally, together with other old clothes,
my mother sent it off to a home for the elderly.

It was on a day
years after I had last seen Elsa.

Now, I suppose, there’s an old man
wandering the streets of Istanbul,
walking into shops, gazing at the sea,
on his aged frame a blue pullover:
proof Elsa once loved me.

OUD

Ik had een trui,
blauw. Turqoise. Hemelsblauw.
Het was mijn lievelingstrui, die ik het meest droeg.
We hebben zoveel samen gezien en meegemaakt,
van verre werd ik aan zijn kleur herkend.

Hij was een cadeau van Elsa.
Hij werd oud.

Zijn ellebogen sleten, zijn mouwen lubberden.
Hij hing als een zak om me heen, werd onhoudbaar.
Zijn rafels vielen niet meer te repareren.
Ten slotte stuurde mijn moeder hem op een dag
samen met andere oude spullen naar het bejaardentehuis.

Die dag had ik trouwens
Elsa al in geen jaren meer gezien.

In de straten van Istanbul zwerft nu
een oude man met een blauwe trui.
Hij gaat winkels in, kijkt uit over zee.
Soms lijkt het alsof ik hem werkelijk zie.
Dat bewijst dat Elsa ooit van mij hield.

ESKİDİ

Bir kazağım vardı benim,
mavi. Cam göbeği. Gök mavisi.
En sık giydiğim, en sevdiğim kazaktı.
Neler gördük birlikte, neler geçirdik,
uzaktan görenler renginden bilirdi beni.

Elsa’nın hediyesiydi.
Eskidi.

İnceldi dirsek yerleri, yenleri gevşedi,
sarkar oldu üstümden, tutunamaz oldu.
Onarılmaz hale geldi sökülen yerleri.
Başka eskilerle birlikte nihayet bir gün
annem onu ihtiyarlar yurduna gönderdi.

Ve o gün zaten
yıllar oluyordu artık ben Elsa’yı görmeyeli.

İstanbul sokaklarında yaşlı bir adam
sırtında mavi bir kazakla dolaşıyor şimdi.
Mağazalara giriyor, denizi seyrediyor.
Görür gibi olduğumu sanıyorum bazen.
Elsa’nın bir zamanlar beni sevdiğini kanıtlıyor.
Close

WEAR AND TEAR

I had a blue pullover,
a cross between turquoise and sky blue.
It was my favourite, the one I wore most often.
We went through a lot together, it and I,
its colour let friends recognise me from afar.

It was a gift from Elsa;
time took its toll on it.

It thinned at the elbows, the cuffs became slack,
it sagged, wouldn’t fit me properly,
holes could no longer be darned.
Finally, together with other old clothes,
my mother sent it off to a home for the elderly.

It was on a day
years after I had last seen Elsa.

Now, I suppose, there’s an old man
wandering the streets of Istanbul,
walking into shops, gazing at the sea,
on his aged frame a blue pullover:
proof Elsa once loved me.

WEAR AND TEAR

I had a blue pullover,
a cross between turquoise and sky blue.
It was my favourite, the one I wore most often.
We went through a lot together, it and I,
its colour let friends recognise me from afar.

It was a gift from Elsa;
time took its toll on it.

It thinned at the elbows, the cuffs became slack,
it sagged, wouldn’t fit me properly,
holes could no longer be darned.
Finally, together with other old clothes,
my mother sent it off to a home for the elderly.

It was on a day
years after I had last seen Elsa.

Now, I suppose, there’s an old man
wandering the streets of Istanbul,
walking into shops, gazing at the sea,
on his aged frame a blue pullover:
proof Elsa once loved me.
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