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Barbara

Henri Matisse - Deck of a Sail Boat
Barbara

Večernja ćakula barba Nike

Barbara bješe bijela boka
Barbara bješe čvrsta, široka
Barbara bješe naša dika

Barbara, Barbara, lijepa ko slika.
Kad si je vidio, gospe draga,
kako je stasita sprijeda i straga,
srce se strese ko val na žalu
ko štandarac lagan na maestralu.

To je lađa što rijetko se rađa
to je prova staroga kova,
to je krma što sitno se drma
kad vješto promiče između molova
ko mlada krčmarica između stolova
(Ah, barba, barba, gdje nam je Barbara
Modro, i bijelo i crno farbana!)

Je l' danas u brodova takav stas,
ima l' još ljudi poput nas,
ima l' još mora, ima l' zemalja,
ima l' još vina, koje valja?

U kakvim olujama imadoh sreću!
Na kakvim sam munjama palio svijeću!
Koliko puta rekoh na siki:
"Kupit ću sviću svetom Niki
ako se spasimo Barbara i ja,
e tutti quanti in compagnia."

Kakvo sve more vidjeh daleko!
Bilo je jedno bijelo ko mlijeko,
morske smo krave muzli jutrom,
uvečer - bijeli kruh sa putrom.
A žuto more žuto ko limun!
Odonda sam za skorbut imun.

Bijela jedra i bijela bedra,
svojeglava Barbara, Barbara dobra,
spora ko kornjača, spora ko kobra,
nijedan brod nije joj rod!

More je tamnocrvene boje,
stari mornari na palubi stoje.
"Parone, dobar odabraste pravac,
more je gusti stari plavac."
"Još jedan kablić nek prođe kroz stroj
provjere radi" - nalog je moj.

"Barbaro brodi, more nam godi,
nijedna stvar nije ti par."

I tako Barbara sve dalja i dalja,
crvenim morem se pospano valja

e il naufragar m'è dolce in questo mar.



Barbara

An evening chat with old beard Nika

Barbara’d be white in the side,
Barbara’d be firm and wide,
Barbara, she was our sweetheart,
Barbara, Barbara, pretty as a picture.
When you’d see her, Lord have mercy,
from fore and aft how stately was she,
your heart would swell like a wave on the strand,
a light flag aflutter in the Maestral wind.

That was a boat as is rarely afloat,
that was a cake of the old-fashioned bake,
that was a ship that’d shimmied her hips
while expertly slipping between the wharves
like a foxy young waitress through the tables.
(Ah, old man Nika, where is our Barbara?
So brightly painted amid tar and barnacles?)

Do boats today have such stateliness,
and are there people the likes of us,
are there still seas, are there still lands,
and are there still worthwhile wines?

What storms I was lucky to make it through!
As I lit a candle, what lightning flew!
How many times did I say on a sandbar,
“To Saint Nika I’ll buy a candle
if Barbara and I come through safely,
e tutti quanti in compagnia.”

What sort of sea would I glimpse afar!
It was just as white as a milky star,
we’d milk the sea-cows in the morning,
and in the evening white bread and butter.
And a yellow sea, yellow as a lemon!
Ever since then I’m immune to scurvy.

White her hips and white her sails,
headstrong Barbara, Barbara kind,
slow as a turtle, quick as a cobra,
there’s no other boat could be her like!

The sea is a dark heavy red,
the elderly sailors stand on deck.
Parone, you’ve chosen a good direction,
the sea is as thick as old red wine.”
“Let just one more bucket make the rounds
to make sure it’s good,” that’s my order.

“Barbara sails, the sea’s well suited,
no other thing is equal to you.”

And so Barbara goes farther and farther,
on the red sea listing to starboard.

e il naufragar xe dolce in questo mar.

(trans. from the Croatian by Sibelan Forrester)


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