ENN SELEXION BILENG POEZI DEV

ENN SELEXION BILENG POEZI DEV

(A BILINGUAL SELECTION OF DEV’S POETRY)

©Dev Virahsawmy Foundation
6th floor, Tower A, 1 Cibercity, Ebene, Mauritius.

MY SWAN SONG? MAYBE!

Exactly 50 years ago in October1966, after graduating in English and French literature at Edinburgh University, I decided to devote some time on the study of creole languages in general and Mauritian Creole (MC) in particular. In 1967 I completed a course in Applied Linguistics at the same university and had written a dissertation entitled “Towards a re-evaluation of Mauritian Creole”. Since then I have tried different roads to make of MC (my mother tongue) the national language of my country, one of them being the development of a national literature in that language to be known as Morisien.

In the course of several decades I have written poems, plays, short stories, novellas and a novel besides translating Shakespeare, Molière, Saint-Exupéry, Keats, Blake, Sufi poets, religious literature etc. I have also shown in several works the syntactic affinities between Morisien and English (another creole language) and now that my sun is about to set, I would like to offer to Taz, Yann and Rachel, my three grandchildren, a selection of my poems (a variety of themes and genres – odes, sonnets, ballads, lyrics and free verse) written in Morisien and recently translated by me into English.

This book is also another bridge between Morisien and English.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Loga, my children and friends who have always supported me in all my endeavours.

May God bless you all.

Dev
October 2016

1. LASOURS
Sime la li bien-bien long
Sime la li bien-bien dir
Komie finn pas lor la avan mwa
Zegwi dife dan lesiel
Lapousier dan mo labous
Mo lagorz pe amar-amare
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

Simitier ranpli ar fler
Kot bann frer finn depoz zarm
Sime la li pas kot simitier
Mo lavi kouma lapousier
Pou fini dan simitier
Mo lespwar zame li pa pou tengn
Pou sak flanbo ki pou tengn
Ena mil pou alime
Ziska ki sime tous lasours

Marenwar pe rod nway mwa
Marekaz pe rod bwar mwa
Ena kamrad ferm koste ar mwa
Me dime komie pou ena
Ler soley manz marenwar
Komie ki pa ankor vinn fler
Seki yer swar ti ar mwa
Zordi nek enn souvenir
Souvenir ki lour dan mo leker

Nou bizen met sime kler
Nou bizen konstrir bann pon
Pous par pous, pa par pa ziska lasours
Mem si nou nou pa gagn sans
Nou zanfan va profite
Lapousier pou vinn lalimier
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

THE FOUNTAIN
This hard road is mighty long
This long road is mighty hard
How many are they who’ve trodden it’s dust
Fiery darts are in the sky
Choking dust is in my mouth
And my throat narrows down to a gasp
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy

Graveyard’s full of pretty flowers
Where pals lay down their arms
The road goes by the burial ground
My life’s just a speck of dust
Which seeks sleep in a graveyard
But hope will not blow out its light
For each light which does go out
Thousands will kindle new hope
Showing the way to the fountain

Darkness tries to gobble me
The swamp tries to swallow me
Some pals and I are huddling through
But tomorrow who’ll be there
When the sun sucks in the swamp
Who’s not buried in petals
Some are gone who once were here
Now only a memory
Memory that’s heavy on my heart

We must all clear out a path
We must all build out bridges
Step by step towards the fresh fountain
Even if we don’t get there
Our children surely will
For dust will turn into light
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy

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DETRWA TI POEM ANPROZ

DETRWA TI POEM ANPROZ

©Dev Virahsawmy Foundation
The Management Company of the Foundation is Abax Corporate Services Ltd of 6th Floor, Tower A, 1 Cybercity, Ebène, Mauritius.

1. MERSI BAUDELAIRE

Kan pasians koumans manke pou antreprann enn gran proze literer kouma enn roman ousa enn pies teat an trwa ak; kan lanvi ekrir tizistwar, novela ousa enn rekey poem fer defo, ti poem anproz enn bon terapi pou anpes teknik ek konpetans rouye e anmemtan permet explorasion sime ki zigzage, korde, tourne-vire, monte-desann dan lemonn kreasion literer. Ti poem anproz permet mwa antoutliberte desinn form, nam ek kontour enn ti size kouma enn papiyon lor enn fey; enn kouse soley ki plonz lesiel dan rouz, oranz ek mov avan ki marenwar met nou dan so pos; enn lalimier zetwal lwenten ki pers enn trou dan plafon endigo; sourir enn ti baba ler so mama pe ouver so blouz pou donn li bwar; foto enn dimoun ki mo kontan me ki finn kit mwa finn ale avan ler. Me pa zis ti size me osi bann gran tem ki kapav devlope dan enn langaz senp, imaze, presi, san tralala, fafrelis, dantel, antrede. Bann ti poem anproz enn zour pou vinn enn zouti pedagozik ki ed zanfan aprann lir ek ekrir; konn servi gramer, ponktiasion ek bann diferan ton (komik, trazik, patetik, sarkastik). Dousma-dousma sa pou ed zot devlop zot sansibilite, zot limazinasion ek zot kreativite poetik e donn zot lanvi dir ar mo ekri seki zot panse ousa santi. Li enn bon zouti pou aprann kre bann zimaz ar mo e prepar lespri pou ekrir poezi ek proz. Baudelaire, to ti montre mwa sa bien-bien lontan. To lansengnman finn kontinie enflians mwa me zordi mo anvi al pli lwen e ekrir enn pake ti poem anproz pou dir bann zafer ki pa mars ar poezi pir-pir ousa proz normal me ki bizen enn maryaz toulede, enn sentez artistiko-estetik. Dan lepase mo ti servi sa zar la tanzantan me mo ti pli enterese ar poem klasik, pies teat ek proz literer. Donk explorasion potansiel poem anproz pa ti mo prensipal preokipasion. Me zordi li finn vinn mo priyorite kreatif. Ala trwa lekzanp seki mo ti prodir avan.

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