Saturday 7 November 2009

Eva Gerlach

For sheer poetic force, it is hard to match the Dutch poet Eva Gerlach. Here is a poem from her collection Wat zoekraakt from 1994:


“Sol qui illustras omnia solus”
(Bruno, Cantus Circaeus)

What was it you said, something about piking
early on winter mornings when the dark
sat round you and your father each apart
on the moped, each would hack
a hole in the ice and you’d cast
your what sort of rod, some hook or other,
undersized bait from the bucket: never caught one
single pike. And wasn’t there a lamp,
didn’t we have it later, blotchy metal,
standing model, it could also hang.

To keep everything, each single thing,
in mind, time and place, substance
quantity and quality. Be a
god that moves it.
                 Sometimes you saw just
one unstirring in the depths, with that
pointed mouth they have, patches of grey.

For fifteen Eva Gerlach poems in translation, just press here.

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