KORLI BOHUWERĔJ ŠĔCY -
GYRINUS NATATOR
WHIRLIGIG BEETLE -
GYRINUS NATATOR
Ota Wiaz trans. Robert Elsie (from Sorbian)
Po jasnej swĕtlinie słónčneho hata
bjez přestaća bručk drobny jĕzdźo chwata,
dypk čornosmólny, lĕdma wočity,
a błyskaty, rukam njedosahliwy.
Što dźĕła bručk? Wón bjez přestać a pisa
z wulkimi smuhami a čarami.
Pak dołhu runu smuhu wujĕzdźi,
pak nadobo kaž dypk we wodźe wisa
a potom zaso čini wulke koła,
po cyłej swĕtłinje so wjerćo snowa.
Pak zaso pryska nahle tam a sem,
wšo zwjazujo we pismje wuraznem.
Što zechce bručk? Su spodźiwne to wĕcy!
Bručk pisa mieno wótca K. B. Šĕcy.
On a sunlit pond in the clearing
The little beetle scurries about unceasingly,
A pitch-black dot, hardly visible
Though glistening, not to be caught.
What is the beetle doing? Over and over
It makes great strokes and lines,
Tracing smooth, elongated strokes,
Adding a point, a dot floating
In the water, ending in a huge bow
And then once again circling the pond,
Suddenly causing spurts of water here and there
To connect everything calligraphically.
What is the beetle trying to do? What a strange sight!
It is tracing the name of the great K.B. Šĕca.(1)

(1) Korla Bohuwer Seca (1858-1938), known in German as Karl Traugott Schütze, was a Sorbian entomologist and lepidopterologist of renown.

Trans. Copyright © Robert Elsie 1990 - publ. Forest Books


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