Thursday 28 September 2017

Thursday 21 September 2017


Dèr Mouw: English translation of one of his 'heath' poems

’t Is nacht. ’k Zit op de hei. Nergens geluid.
Over me staat, als transparant kristal
rondom een oude berggod in zijn hal,
een halve bol van stilte, die me omsluit:

’k hoor, hoe heel ver een lang gillende fluit
een tunnel boort; mijn berg kraakt overal.
Een blaf, ginds, hakt een gat; en recht en smal
knapt een spleet open, tot mijn oor hem stuit.

’k Hoor ’t levend bloed, dat in mijn slapen gonst –
Neen: ’t is het hart van de aarde: het trilt, het bonst,
of ’t niet de god uit zijn verdoving wekt.

Om goed te luistren, doe ik de ogen dicht,
maar ’k word gehinderd nu door ’t sterrelicht,
dat tikkelend door fijne gaatjes lekt.

It’s night. I’m on the heath. Nowhere a sound.
Above, like a transparent crystal wall
round an old mountain god within his hall,
a hemisphere of silence, all around:

I hear far off a whistle shrill and clear
boring a tunnel, rock creaks everywhere.
A bark, there, hacks a hole; a straight and hair-
line crack splits open, till checked by my ear.

I hear live blood, making my temples buzz –
No: it’s the earth’s own heart: it quakes, it thuds,
enough to rouse the god from his deep doze.

To listen better, I shut both eyes tight,
but I’m prevented by the stars’ bright light
that trickles through a sieve of tiny holes.

Monday 4 September 2017

Klaus Høeck, 'Legacy', p. 478

       as far as i’m con
cerned one may use my poems
       as a sour dough that’s

       probably my best
way of being of some BE
       NEFIT in the world

       to be used in the
bakery of the new po
       etry: what a joy

       and then i have al
ways loved rye bread wholemeal bread
       and ‘lumberjack bread’

Friday 1 September 2017

'Black Dog' - poem by Frans Budé

Black Dog

Return, labrador retriever, to the house
of your much-loved bitch, seek a way in.
I know: it’s enough to make you whine, you, worn out
in your old age, bad breath, your gums a
nasty red, your failing kidneys.

The lumps on your paws slow down your
former tempo, your heart bangs away in the wrong
place. Go on, return to your loved-one’s house.
She strokes with her eyes, beckons with her ears,
between the paws under her tail sparks

shoot up that set you all ablaze.
So: do, re, mi, duet! sings the clarinet:
give your girlfriend your great male charm, approach
her with affection, stretch out your crimson tongue,
feel your heart beat and know as of old:

she has a place for you, move that black coat of yours,
grow back to your first night. Lug yourself
afterwards off to your basket, poor old chap,
look up, look down, music evokes the urge,
One last spiral turn and sleep.