Tuesday 5 June 2012

Poem by the Dutch writer
Ruben van Gogh

amerongen manor

How to set foot in this manor? The bridges
lie more or less interlocked, underneath
the one the other runs, in strictly segregated courses.

The higher you were, the higher you gained access:
grand as an invited guest or belonging to the family
you took the eleven steps of elevation and traversed

the height, directly into the entrance hall
which led to the very finest rooms, where you
were scrutinised by former residents.

If you were of the common people and had a situation
you went down to the lower bridge, entered the porch
of the cellars, the kitchens and the workrooms.

Down there even the cats had their own entrance,
like the rank and file, and their own flaps and hatches.
For each and everyone use had to be made of a bridge.

Today the castle lies there as an impenetrable fortress,
the gates hermetically sealed because of alterations,
the manor now out of sight for some duration.

Occasionally though the doors above the balcony
are briefly opened, and from the salon there come
the sounds of original instruments: a new entrance

is then opened up by shimmering harmonies,
the trio of the bridges lying atop each other,
and everyone with eyes shut floats above inside.

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