‘Kidapawan in my heart’ by Rita B. Gadi, a translation to Davao FilipinoPosted: February 17, 2015
(Time has finally allowed me to enjoy translating again. Here I make one of the poem ‘Kidapawan in my heart’ by the poet Rita B. Gadi, from book Selected Poems (published in 2010 by the UST Press) from English to Davao Filipino. This translation would not be possible without poets Paul Gumanao, who introduced me to Gadi, and Arkay Timonera, who bought me a copy of the book. All rights to the poem belong to Rita Gadi.
This apostrophe to Gadi’s – and my – hometown of Kidapawan is surprisingly lyrical considering how tight it is, and the main aim of the translation is to capture that lyricism. The use of Davao Filipino, with its informal intimacy, surprisingly gives it a more personal touch. At points the translation has had to be liberal: ‘all the figures I have shaped / to design your face’ was translated to ‘lahat ng hugis na gihulma ko pangmugna lang / sa iyong wangis‘ (‘all the shapes I had molded just to imagine your face)’ even though the original only subtly implies the desperation explicitly stated in the translation (I find the subtlety untranslatable); ‘what would please you’ was translated to ‘ano mang makapalagay sa iyo‘ to take advantage of the accidental connotations of belongingness in ‘makapalagay’ (‘to put at ease,’ but literally ‘to put’); and ‘landscape’ was translated to ‘kalawakan’ (‘space’) maintaining the lyrical function of the (somehow untranslatable) original while making it more consistent with the succeeding images of moon and stars. But I’ll say more on the poem when I make an analysis of it later!)
Kidapawan sa puso ko
Translated by Karlo Antonio Galay-David
(Akyat-kanaog ng kabundukan ang kilos ng lahi ko, pero laging sa kabundukan kung hindi magambala, agilang pinamumugaran ang mga tuktok sa kaulapan. Inawit kami mula sa mga tinig ng gubat at wala kaming imik. Tahimik ang mga mata namin sa mga lihim ng aming mga bibig; ang mga ibon kumukulay sa simula ng aming mga awit.) Isipin mo gud ang lahat ng mga gipangalan ko sa iyo, lahat ng hugis na gihulma ko pangmugna lang sa iyong wangis, lahat ng alaaala na hindi kailanman makauwi kay hindi man talaga sila ang nakaraan, lahat ng pagsubok ko na kilalanin, alamin ang anong makapalagay sa iyo, lahat ng bintanang gititigan ko para lang masulyapan ang aninag mo, lahat ng salitang hindi ko masulat sa iyo kay halos hindi ka na mahanap, mataymingan lang, mawala-wala at minsan maglitaw ulit pareha o di kaya iba, nagagala sa kalawakan ko sa mga gabi-gabi, kung kailan ikaw lang ang makaabot sa mga bituin at makabigay sa akin ng buwan, habang ginaipon ko ang mga dahilan kung bakit mahal talaga kita, ng ganito. Pa din.
Kidapawan in my heart
Rita B. Gadi
(The movements of my tribe climb up or down the mountains, but always in the mountains when unmoved, as eagles dwell the habitat of clouded peaks. We are formed from the voices of the forests and have no speech. Our eyes keep the secrets of our lips; the colors birds fill with celebration the beginnings of our songs.) Imagine all the names I have called you, all the figures I have shaped to design your face, all the memories that never arrive because they are not past, all the trying to recognize what would please you, all the windows I have gazed at looking for reflections of you, all the words never written to you who are almost invisible, chanced upon, vanishing and sometimes reappearing perhaps the same and not the same, walking my landscape through separate evenings, when only you can take the stars and give me the moon, while I assemble all the reasons why I love you this way. Still.