Home   Alpabetical list of all authors   (021) 949-2736      www.taaloord.co.za   Poem: Werklikheidsdroom   Reality dreams Reality   bron van taal (pdf)
Young Laughing Doves
Young Laughing Doves

Helena Liebenberg

Helena Liebenberg

Author of children's books and word games,
and Co-author of the Etimologiewoordeboek van Afrikaans

Helena Liebenberg was born and brought up in Pretoria, where she studied and lectured in Afrikaans at the University of South Africa and obtained a DLitt et Phil. degree in Afrikaans Linguistics in 1993.
When the Liebenberg family moved from Pretoria to the Southern Cape in 1992, she and her husband, Schalk, established the Centre for Business and Language Services. Helena is responsible for Afrikaans editing, and translating from English and German into Afrikaans. Her husband and son are involved in project co-ordination, and technical (software) support and DTP for translation as well as document and content management projects. Most of their clients are from overseas.
In 2000 the Liebenbergs moved to Stellenbosch where they stayed for one and a half years. Helena worked as the project and information co-ordinator at the Taalsekretariaat in Herold Street. In November 2001 she joined the Cape Town based TANAP (Towards a New Age of Partnership) project team, transcribing the VOC Resolutions of the Council of Policy of the Cape of Good Hope (1651-1795). Schalk, Helena and their two sons now live in Bellville.
Helena wrote a number of children's books and also compiled four educational word games (Afrikaans and English) each consisting of six different language categories. These games not only provided good family and group entertainment, but also proved to be most successful in a remedial environment where they were used by occupational and speech therapists and remedial teachers. She was also involved in the Afrikaans Etymology project funded by the INL, University of Leiden, and co-ordinated by the Buro van die WAT (Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal) in Stellenbosch (1996-2003). She worked with Johan Combrink and, after his demise, became a member of the second EWA-team.
Some of her spiritual poems are included in anthologies of verse.


Idiome oor diere-maniere, Daan Retief, 1983
Waar, wanneer en wie?, Daan Retief, 1983
Trippe, trappe, patrone, Daan Retief, 1985
Jan Rap en sy baie maats, Daan Retief, 1986
Olimpiese woordspele, Daan Retief, 1987
Idiome oor dieregiere, Daan Retief, 1989
Idiome-mallemeule, 2nd print, Centre, 1991
Animidioms, Centre, 1992
Die Olimpiese Spele, Daan Retief - The Olympic Games, Daan Retief, 1992
Raai-raai, Lyfielief, Centre, 1994
Co-author of the Etimologiewoordeboek van Afrikaans, Protea
, 1. edition: Buro van die Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal, 2003

Word Games:
Wonderwoord, Centre, 1989
Wonder Word, Centre, 1991
Animal Wor(l)d, Centre, 1992
Ons Diereryk, Centre, 1992


T.O. HONIBALL-trilogie available: Jakkals en Wolf, Oom Kaspaas and Adoons-hulle at R165 . Order: See Helena's website Taaloord or phone S.W. Liebenberg 072-170 9331 or 021 949- 2736 (tel/fax)

* * *
Creative work:

Ons allerliefste Duif
Heilige Koperkopkindjie
met die kristaldruifkroon
versigtig sprei jy jou witpuntvlerkies
en fladder op die ligste windjie af
uit die hemelshoë Nesteltroon

in jou eerste kinderlyfie
sag met vlokkies wit seshoekig beklee,
neem jy met jou mee
ritse DNS-stringe wat onder jou tenger armpies uitgly
en in wye kringe van deernis en wysheid en liefde
oral om jou op die aarde val en fyn gaan lê
tussen hope rou martelgruis

vir later se optel en terugneem
ná 'n vlymende kruis van swaarde oor 'n wêreldhel
waarin jy as Godsduif onbevlek, onbeskonde, onbevange bly
en nie as skandvrug van die bloeddruif die las hoef te dra
van stadig sterf - om jou van 'n moeisame pyntog te bevry

Ons goddelike Lemoenduif
Ligkind van die Daeraad
by jou tuiskoms is jou wye vlerke ametisgetint
deur die tritse en tritse DNS-draadjies wat fyn soos rag
in jou helende vingerpunte wag

Helena Liebenberg
22 Januarie 2003


Reality dreams Reality

Our most beloved Dove
sacred Child, carrying your wealth of copper-burnished hair,
on your head a sparkling crown with drops from the crystal vine
you spread your young wings with delicate care
and, carried by the slightest breeze, you flutter down with ease
from the empyreal Chamber of the Throne

covered through birth
in your first baby-body
clad caressingly by flakes of miniature hexagonal white
you take with you
countless strings of DNA that overflow your tiny, tender arms
incircling your compassion and wisdom and love
and layer the scorched earth with a divine plight

to harvest later and then ascend
victorious in the fierce Battle of the Cross
you, Dove of God, remaining untainted, unchained, unmaimed
not as the blood vine and its fruit of shame, burdened
to die slowly - and so save you from deep sorrow and pain

Our sacred Dove
Child of Dawn, Morning Star
on reaching your Father's Home you carefully fold
you strong wings, aglow with the radiance of amethyst,
reflecting triads and triads of DNA-fibres
nestling in your finger-tips

English translation by Helena Liebenberg

Text by Helena Liebenberg     Young Laughing Doves, photo by Rosie Breuer

Webmasterwww.StellenboschWriters.com © Rosemarie Breuer

      Publisher of special editions Books