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  • Kòrsou 1 [Curaçao]
  • Pierre A. Lauffer (bio)
    Translated by Aart G. Broek (bio)
Kaminda tin baranka Where there are rocks
Te na unda bista tira As far as eyes can reach,
     Ku tèrko, tranka,      Stubborn, stingy,
     Nan ta bira      That turn
     Kara mira      And look down
     Ku despresio,      Disdainfully
Olanan kore,   kansa At the pounding surf exploding,
     Na nan pia      At their feet,
Den etèrno alabansa, into pieces of an unbroken eulogy,
Kaminda tin kadushi Where there are cacti
Ku ta buta bientu kanta That make the tradewinds sing
     Himno dushi      Tender songs,
     I ta lanta,      That rise
     Para wanta      And, erect, endure
     Siglonan pasa      The passing of ages
Solo sigui kima And the sun burning ceaselessly
     Riba brasa      On the limbs
Di lugá ku mi ta stima, of soil that I cherish,
Kaminda ku tur palu Where each and every tree
Ta keha, baha nan kabes howls and bows its head
     Pa bientu salu      For salty winds
     I nan rama      And every branch
     Tur ta sklama      Cries out for
     Awaseru,      Showers of rain,
Trupial ta lanta Where troupials awaken
     Trahadónan      Man to work
Ku su melodioso kanto, With melodious voices,
Kaminda den kunuku Where in the wastelands
Solo ta mira i hari The sun watches and laughs
     Kon ku buriku      At how we toil
     Nos ta maha      With donkeys
     Pa nos traha      Laboring
     Ku tur forsa,      With all our might
Pa di suela seku And extract from this parched earth
     Nos por ranka      Wholesome food
Alimentu ku fe siegu, In blind faith,
Kaminda ku mi tata Where my father
A siña mi ser humilde Taught me to be modest,
     Ku su frenta      Head upright,
     Ku a mustra      Which told me
     Mi di buska      To look for
     Bida honrado,      An honorable life
Pan, trabou, sosiegu Bread, work, tranquility
     I mas nada      And no more
Riba un isla bou di shelu, On an island under celestial blue,
Kaminda ku historia Where history
A forma den siglonan pasá In past centuries
     Armonia,      Shaped harmony,
     Pas sonriendo      Shining peace
     Den tur hende      In every person
     I un pida      And a part
Di shelu a baha abou Of heaven alighted and settled
     Den nos bida,      In our lives,

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Pierre A. Lauffer

Pierre A. Lauffer (1920–1981 Curaçao), a pioneer in the development of Papiamentu as a literary language, was a prolific writer in three languages, English, Dutch, and, especially, Papiamentu. For the high quality of his Papiamentu poetry he was awarded the Literary Prize of the Cultural Centrum Curaçao in 1963, the Cola Debrot prize in 1969, and the Sticusa prize in 1975. Among his many publications are poetry—Patria (1944), Kumbu (1955), Kantika pa Bientu (1963)—and short stories—Wiri-wiri (1961), Ñapa (1961), Raspá (1962) and Lágrima I sonrisa (1973)—in Papiamentu. A number of books of poetry have been published posthumously.

Aart G. Broek

Aart G. Broek, born in the Netherlands, has lived in Curaçao since 1981 where he lectures and writes on Antillean literature. He is the author of numerous articles on Papiamentu literature some of which have appeared in the Journal of Caribbean Studies and The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. He is the author of Something Rich Like Chocolate: Introduction to Caribbean Prose Writing in English and The Rise of a Caribbean Island’s Literature: The Case of Curaçao and Its Writing in Papiamentu. His translations include poetry by Luis Daal, Oda Blinder, Elis Juliana and Pierre A. Lauffer.


1. Patria (1944; Curaçao: Fundashon Pierre Lauffer, 1985), 7–8.