Gerrit Achterberg (1905-1962)
Aan de Dood Gezongen / Song to Death
...do it because of this madness,
do it with eyes closed
Beumer & Co / Beumer & Co
Corners with household secrets / are exposed.
December / December
You don't remember...
Democraat / Democrat
In this room I'm finally at home.
Droomlot / Dream-fate
You showed me tonight the rooms again;...
Dryade / Dryad
I have declared this Linden to be holy,...
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik / Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
While he slept beneath the piano...
Hoonte / [A Place called] Hoonte
Close to the windows is the theater of trees.
Hulshorst / Hulshorst
Hulshorst, your name is like
forgotten iron, within the pines...
Klankbord / Sounding Board
Against the sounding board of the night
your words still move.
Kleine Kaballistiek voor Kinderen / A Small Cabala for Children
4 is squarely masculine / and 3 round and feminine...
Liberty / Liberty
Sometimes, in a shop window, you appear,...
Marsman / Marsman [for the poet, Hendrik Marsman]
It would have been better, had I died for him,...
Merel / Blackbird
The morning blackbird gargles
cupfuls of bitter wine,...
November / November
The low days of November
have again returned, gray as a pail;.
Punt / Point
You, belovèd, took dimension with you...
Slaapwandeling / Sleepwalk
Tonight I have walked with you..
Slagveld / Battlefield
The twilight falls like ground.
Sneeuwgang / Snow Passage
New distances within me have come into being...
Steenlied / Stone Song
Words going backwards...
Telefoon / Telephone
No death manifests in the number
that connected the two of us...
Verdemen / [A Man called] Verdemen
There's a signVerdemenon the trainline...
Vervulling / Fulfillment
The best of years past pushes against me again this evening...
Vogel van Waanzin / Bird of Insanity
Bird of insanity in this house of nerves...
Zwarte Lente / Black Spring
In the sun death has begun his work.
Hieronymus van Alphen (1746-1803)
De Verwelkte Roos / The Faded Rose
Why for fades the rose so fast?
Hans Andreus (1926-1977)
Bloemen leven lichzinnig . . . / Flowers live so frivolously . . .
...People do as if. Exist in ice-cold
thinking, thinking, thinking that they exist....
Cage / Cage
Cage the composer says:
silence doesn't exist
Vertaling / Translation
Wu-wei: / non-action, / non-interference,...
Voor een dag van morgen / For tomorrow's day
If I die tomorrow,
say then to the trees
how much I loved you.
Anonymous (c. 14th century)
Ich Sech Adieu / I Say Adieu
I say adieu, the two of us must part,...
Aurora / Aurora
The night's metaphorical secret...
F. Harmsen van Beek (1927)
Goedemorgen, hemelse mevrouw Ping /
Good Morning, heavenly Mrs. Ping
...did the balmy night agree with you,
Dooi / Thaw
The skater goes criss-cross across the ice...
Gedachten bij een terug gevonden legpuzzel /
Thoughts upon finding a mislaid puzzle
the sky was always the most difficult...
Tussen Denken en Doen / Between Thought and Deed
Balance concentrated / around the contractor muscle /
the buttocks as blind twins / feeling for the seat
Trajekt / Trajectory
I write down in a notebook / after months of silence
the appropriate words,...
Anna Blaman (1905-1960)
Vrouwen / Women
Her arms smooth and clear-skinned in the shadow ...
J.C. Bloem (1887-1966)
Aphorismen I / Aphorisms I
Living in the past, in the future, is wrong.
Dapperstraat / Dapperstraat
Nature is for the self-satisfied or vain.
Gure Zomer / Bleak Summer
Without a pause the days so ravage,...
Het Gesloten Kerkhof / The Closed Church Graveyard
Lingering from a more spacious time,...
Het Huisje in de Duinen / The Cottage in the Dunes
Wallflowers blossomed in front of the low window....
Huiswaarts Reizende / Homeward Traveler
In the train. Time passes with dream.
Insomnia / Insomnia
Thinking about death I can't sleep.
And not sleeping, I think about death.
Na de Bevrijding I en II / After Liberation I and II
Beautiful and radiant, just like then, is the spring,...
Rondeel / Rondel
The short of love and the long of suffering,...
Sneeuw / Snow
It 's snowing. To the swarming silence /
the winds give up their wings.
Voorjaar / Spring
The sun broke through the stern spring air.
I.K. Bonset (Theo van Doesburg)
Centra / Centers
a visual sound poem (first published in De Stijl)
P. C. Boutens (1870-1943)
Kussen / Kissing
Red lips, white limbs
Turn aside their narrow embrace
Gerbrand Adriaensz. Bredero (1585-1618)
Het Elfde Sonnet van de Schoonheid /
The Eleventh Sonnet to Beauty
O ripe bosom white that steadily before mine eyes /
So dearly drifts,...
Simplicity / Simplicity
one hesitates to say the chair
is in the room the table...
Kees Buurman (1933 - 1997)
Vlierger (2) / Kites (2)
For a moment I play
Jan Campert (1902-1943)
Het Lied der Achttien Dooden /
The Song of the Eighteen Dead
A cell is but six feet long...
Sonnetten voor Cynara (XIV) /
Sonnets for Cynara (XIV)
Rebel. my heart, jailed and enslaved,...
Remco Campert (1929)
Binnen en buiten / Inside and Out
What's going on inside, in the shadow...
Credo / Credo
I believe in a river
that flows from the sea to the mountains...
De Liefde Moe / Tired of Love
Love knows the time that is owed it
hours die like aunts on Sunday...
Een beetje natuur / A little bit of nature
A bit of nature
sometimes I think it's a good idea
F. Harmsen van Beek / F. Harmsen van Beek
I guess you're not coming, there's
some reason why you can't come.
Gemompel / Mumbling
The clearer I want to say something...
Ik wil wel... / I'd like to...
I'd like to dig/ For poetry, but not too / Deep.
Koud / Cold
Winter is approaching.
I feel it in the air
And in the words which I write.
Land / Land
...at night prowls / through grandmother's fields
the angry wolf of the cold
Ook de liefde / And Also Love
Yes, those who make love
into a burning flagship or a beautiful horse / are lost...
Verzet begint niet met grote woorden /
Resistance doesn't begin with big words
Resistance doesn't begin with big words /
but with small deeds...
Simon Carmiggelt (1913 - 1987)
Louter Droeffheid / Just Sadness
I'm feeling gloomy, Hey, what shall I do?
J.B. Charles (1910-1983)
Brief / Letter
In response to your letter of
the above date I can inform you...
Hugo Claus (1929)
Thuis / At Home
"Ass!" screamed Mom. / "Witch" shouted Dad.
Herman de Coninck (1944-1997)
Eufemisme / Euphemism
It's already happened so many times,
in this second-hand reality...
Mijn vriend imiteert ongeveer alles /
My friend imitates just about everything
...And later he does a take-off on
the sound of a motorcar made
for riding to the moon.
Vijfjarenplan / Five Year Plan
I love you. You love that which cannot be.
Wraak / Revenge
I've been registered. Birth, place, time.
Charles Ducal (1962)
Toch / And Yet
Does your wife like this? asked a friend...
Clara Eggink (1906-1991)
Verloren / Lost
I read a book, I write a letter,...
Voorgevoel / Premonition
...If you my dearest should no longer be...
The days, without use and number...
De Luiaard / The Sluggard
Don't call me lazy, just because /
I while away the days in doing nothing.
Meisje / Girl
In the face of this girl I encountered /
to my surprise myself...
Fietstocht / Bicycle Trip
No poem, no etch, no aquarelle: /
We add nothing to this landscape.
Web / Web
A spider web with drops of dew...
Guido Gezelle (1830-1899)
Zang bij den Haard / Song of the Hearth
Welcome Winter, how cracks your ice?
Februari / February
My calendar set ajar
and already smelling the scent
of not-yet-visible green.
P.A. de Génestet (1829-1861)
Dualisme / Duality
My knowledge and my belief,
That live together in disaffection,...
Overwegende Argumenten / Well-considered Arguments
I want nothing to do with the new,...
Ida Gerhardt (1905-1997)
Begrrafenis van Gerrit Achterberg / Funeral of Gerrit Achterberg
Still too poor to belong together /
and confused in ourselves and in one another,...
De Afwijzing / The Rejection
I write you with a raven feather, / Sir....
De Gestorvene / The Departed One
To go seven times around the earth,...
De Hazelaar / The Hazelnut
and I touch for a moment
the darkness of its woody trunk.
De Herschepping / The Transformation
As Orpheus with his lyre sang, the stones /
began to move,
Het Doodsbericht / The Death Notice
Slowly I see them go,...
Studentenkamer / Studend's Room
I am a stranger on this earth. /
In this, her dark Garden
Verwachting / Expectation
Meltwater from the mountains, touch me:...
Weespraak / Lamentation
The bird so lonely on the roof
Eva Gerlach (1948)
Boot inbegrepen / Boat included
The oars are under the floor,...
Jan Greshoff (1888-1971)
Ik Groet U / I Greet You
I greet you, neighbor, comrade,
Jan H. de Groot (1901-1990)
EXECUTIE WETERINGPLANTSOEN /
EXECUTION WATERCOURSE GARDENS
(Amsterdam, 12th of March, 9:15-9:35 AM)
I didn't see it. / Others told me about it:
Jan Hanlo (1912-1969)
Aan de Winter / To Winter
O time of winter so scarcely sung
Niet Ongelijk / Not Unlike
Not unlike the line of your eyes ...
Zo meen ik dat ook je bent / So I believe that also you are
like the coolness of night upon lilies...
Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995)
Nachtgedachte / Night Thoughts
The sun was so intense
That I could see nothing but black...
Judith Herzberg (1934)
Afwasmachine / Dishwasher
Adieu knives and forks, I'll never wash you again.
Alleen in een Klein Huis / Alone in a Small House
Alone in a small house you can think pretty good...
Au / Ow
Should that exist, a law
for the conservation of pain?
Bijna Nooit / Almost Never
Almost never do you see a bird in the air...
De Zee / The Sea
You can hear the sea
with your hands over your ears,...
Jiddish / Yiddish
My father sang the songs /
that his mother used to sing...
Nazomer / Indian summer
Once shining champions, step by step
grown used to small loss, now gray.
Spreeuw / Sparrow
Stadsgeluiden / Sounds of the City
Sounds of the city on a warm night
have, as in a painting, a background.
Vergeefs Blaffen / Idle Barking
An empty morning, Sunday no doubt....
Winterr Bethulie / Winter Bethulie
The trees, so suitable for hanging up roaming thoughts,...
Ziekenbezoek / Hospital Visit
My father sat more than an hour in /
silence next to my bed.
Ingmar Heytze (1970)
Nachtwerk / Night Work
The alarm ticks. The boiler rustles.
The refrigerator shakes on and off.
Solliciteren / Job Interview
Never before so devastatingly eaten up...
Voor jou / For you
I don't know / where it comes from /
this screaming from / paper roofs...
Vos onder ijs / Fox under ice
Two dead eyes look up at me //
as if he were just about to leap up...
Han G. Hoekstra (1906 - 1988)
Klein Eindspel / Petit Coda
..."choose" you say, somewhere your
husband is making dance music.
A. Roland Holst (1888-1976)
De Vagebond / The Vagabond
They weigh the pros and cons...
Dit Eiland / This Island
How did we get here, /
going where ... from where ...?
Jotie T'Hooft (1956-1977)
In het Gedicht / Inside the Poem
The walls are white and the psychiatrists /
are suspiciously friendly.
Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft (1581-1647)
Sonnet / Sonnet
"My love, my love, my love....." so spoke my love to me,...
Ed. Hoornik (1910-1970)
De Vogels / The Birds
There were always birds in the garden.
Een Vrouw Beminnen... / To Love a Woman...
...Far away is the world, that cannot touch us,
close are the stars, that enchant as they sparkle...
Het Kerstmaal / The Christmas Dinner
The father crossed himself and blessed the food.
Illusie / Illusion
...who live for some goal,
for somehere to go.
[Op School] / [At School]
At school they were both written on the board.
The verb to have and the verb to be;
Foto Negatief / Photo Negative
With great finger dexterity I filled /
the garden with flowers,...
Pierre Kemp (1886-1967)
Het Licht is Rond / The Light is Round
The light is round and rolls on all its sides,...
H.W.J.M. Keuls (1883-1968)
Het Klein Helaal van het Gedicht /
The Small Universe of the Poem
...O Heart, find here your counterpoise!
Anton Korteweg (1944)
Op Verzoek / Upon Request
That I love you, I want to finally
have that written down,...
Epiloog in de Vorm van een Dichtstukje op de Herfst /
Epilogue in the Form of a little Verse on Autumn
They say that, when the leaves are falling,
You become one with sadness,...
Rutger Kopland (1934)
Onder het vee / Among farm animals
And when summer had once again returned...
Over de Liefde / About Love
Therefore, it is in view / of all the previous arguments /
impossible without love...
Psalm / Psalm
Then these sounds shall be wind...
Weggaan / Going Away
Going away is something different /
than sneaking out of the house...
Gerrit Kouwenaar (1923)
Het Moet Groeien / It Needs to Grow
It needs to grow / it needs to grow up...
In de Straten / In the Streets
In the streets of the city lurk rain and people
perhaps it is summer late summer almost autumn...
Zondagmiddag / Sunday Afternoon
That Sunday afternoon in the city—
Jos Kunst (1934-1995)
Cyclus / Cycle
As a salmon, struggling without arms, waving...
Pieter Langendijk (1683-1756)
Vraag / Question
...Is that not good Christian work?
Joke van Leeuwen
Aankomsthal / Arrival Hall
On the sea of tiles this unruly pile
that won't move along....
Het Einde / The End
Giving the last sound: song / Has the life eternal
Hendrik Marsman (1899-1940)
Baai bij avond / Bay by evening
a large, red moon...
Bazel / Basel
Green is the pulse / of the stream...
Herinnering Aan Holland / Memories of Holland
Thinking about Holland, / I see broad rivers
moving slowly through / endless lowlands,...
Lex Barbarorum / Lex Barbarorum
Give me a knife.
I want to cut this sick black
spot out of my body.
Polderland / Polderland
I walk through the polderland
beneath the slanting rain;
Twee Vrienden / Two Friends
The moon makes a snowwhite field of the night.
Vooruitzicht / Looking Ahead
In a few days
it shall belong to the past.
Zonder Weerklank / Without Response
People, I'm going to sink if my song doesn't sound;...
Lizzy Sara May (1918-1988)
Bol Circle en Geslacht / Full Circle and Lineage
memory of memory of...
Vrouwen / Women
Women are ones / deeply drowned...
Nee en Ja / No and Yes
...An argument demands two opinions
a kiss four lips...
Maurits Mok (1907-1989)
Begrafnis van Hans Andreus / Burial of Hans Andreus
How simple really, in Putten
to be carried away out of time...
Pol de Mont (1857-1931)
De Keiklopper / The Breaker of Stones
With a sack on the bent-over back, clothes
frayed, torn, neither beard nor hair combed,...
Adriaan Morriën (1912)
Bombardementsvlucht / Bomber Flight
How little we about flying machines know!
It has to be cold up there in the winter night,...
Harry Mulisch (1927)
Verzoening / Reconcilliation
late one evening / I looked through a crack:...
Multatuli (Eduard Douwes Dekker) (1820-1887))
Idee 34. / Idea 34.
My ideas are the "Times" of my soul.
Idee 39. / Idea 39.
Between the soul and language lies the length of a trumpet.
Idee 58. / Idea 58.
There are but few books from which one
cannot learn how not to write.
Idee 63. / Idea 63.
part of what he said takes up less than half a page.
Idee 65. / Idea 65.
...To appreciate Jesus,
one has to throw away the Bible.
Idee 68. / Idea 68
The idea that one actually understands
is frequently not worth understanding.
Idee 71. / Idea 71.
The general wrote to his lieutenant: kill
all the inhabitants,...
Idee 90. / Idea 90.
It is not fair for a circle,
to blame a corner for being sharp.
Alice Nahon (1896-1933)
Schaduw / Shadow
I have loved being in love;
perhaps that's why it has not loved me...
Martinus Nijhoff (1894-1953)
Adieu / Adieu
At least dream then that we never separated,...
Bij het graf van de Nederlandse onbekende
soldaat gevallen in de meidagen 1940 /
At the grave of the Dutch unknown soldier
who died during the days of May, 1940
This grave is everything that on Dutch soil /
remains for us to call Holland;
Clown / Clown
...I lean against a pole, and call my deeds good.
De Danser / The Dancer
Under my skin lives a captive animal...
De Moeder De Vrouw / The Mother the Woman
I went to Bommel to see the bridge....
De Wandelaar / The Wanderer
My lonely life wanders in the streets,...
De Wolken / The Clouds
I still wore a little child's clothes...
Het Einde / The End
Strange pizzicato of distant guitars,...
Het Kind en Ik / The Child and I
I wanted to go fishing one day, ...
Het Souper / The Supper
The table fell quiet. It was as if bread and wine /
Were struck from the grip of our hands.
Haar laatste brief / Her last letter
Don't accuse me of being frivolous just
because I have loved without trust
Impasse / Impasse
She stood in the kitchen, she and I.
Paul van Ostaijen
De Oude Man / The Old Man
See how fear chokes through your mouth
he first taste of a narcosis.
Gedicht / Poem
Sun burns the bush
sun burns the shard of glass...
Herfstlandschap / Fall Landscape
In the mist moves slowly an ox and an ox car...
Willem Jan Otten
In de Marge / In the Margin
They sit high up, on thin tires,
in the margin of the traffic.
Piet Paaltjens (1835-1894)
Immortelle III / Immortelles III
Why do I the languid nights
bedew with harsh tears?—
Jacques Perk (1859-1881)
Wilg en Popel / Willow and Poplar
Do not believe, that one virtue is suitable to all!—
Aan de Sonnetten / In Praise of Sonnets
Sound clear, finely-chiseled sonnets,...
Biecht / Confession
The portly ladies are eating cake...
Jacob Winkler Prins (1849-1907)
Buiten en Binnen / Outside and Inside
So it is with those who verses write...
Jean-Pierre Rawie (1951)
Advent / Advent
...But everything is irretrievably mislaid.
Interieur / Interior
In this room filled with book stacks on the ground...
Tony de Ridder
Twee Menschen door het Nevel / Two People in the Mist
I saw two people striding through the mist.
Jacobus Revius (1586-1685)
Twee Wegen / Two Ways
Ashen is between white and black,...
Vrede / Peace
Beautiful is gold, most beautiful of all metals...
Louise van Santen
Gesprek / Words in the Night
...I saw an answer in your laugh
a smile—it had no tone
a smile—that lighted up your eye,..
(tr. Louise van Santen)
J.C. van Schagen (1891-1985)
Werkelijkheid / Reality
I'm a business man.
I have a really big writing table...
C.S. Adama van Scheltema (1877-1924)
De Vagebond / The Vagabond
This morning the wind blew from the South,...
Hoe / How
...if you could / surround yourself
with not a worry...
Jan Jacob Slauerhoff
In Nederland... / In the Lowlands... (a fragment)
I don't want to live in the Lowlands,...
Woningloze / Homeless One
Only in my poems can I live,...
A.C.W. Staring (1767-1840)
Aan de Eenvoudigheid / Ode to Simplicity
Bring me, gentle Simplicity...
M. Vasalis (1909-1998)
Aan een boom in het Vondelpark /
To a tree in the Vondelpark
There was a tree cut down with long locks of green.
Als je een landschap was / If you were a landscape
If you were a landscape through which I could walk,
De weg terug / The way back
The evening came; unnoticed,...
October / October
Tender and young, as if it were spring...
Voorjaar / Spring
Fits of light pass over the land in waves...
Albert Verwey (1865-1937)
Cirkelloop / Cycle
I am a spark without goal, without direction,
De Crocus / The Crocus
White threads of the roots reach /
The globe on the glass of the vase...
Ik Walg Nu van die Dagen Vol van Zon /
How I Loathe these Days Full of Sun
How I loathe these days full of sun,...
Stille Nacht / Silent Night
There are tones so high / And so low
That human ears / Cannot hear them.
Simon Vestdijk (1898-1971)
Zelfkant / Edge of Myself
The half-rural countryside I love the most:
Eddy van Vliet
De Wandelaar / The Wanderer
Only this: turning back to himself he cannot do.
Marjoleine de Vos
Mevrouw Despina leest een Psalm /
Mrs. Despina reads a Psalm
...indifferent as the sand of a path
that faithfully follows the map until the end.
Vuilniszakken / Garbage Bags
The way they in the morning / on the sidewalk lean agains
Jacqueline van der Waals (1868-1922)
Winterstilte / Winter Silence
White is the ground, white is the mist,
Ellen Warmond (1930)
Changement de décor / Changement de décor
By the time the day like a threatening
letter is pushed into my room...
Maandag / Monday
Out of the dull tunnel of night
rattles loose a cheap tin-can...
Naar men zegt / So they say
...no longer moving still as a mountain...
Willem Wilmink (1936)
Echtpaar in de Trein / Married Couple in the Train
...and I ride away from what is past. /
And both before the same bit of glass.
Edithe de Clercq Zubli (1937)
Zwaar weer op til / Awaiting stormy weather
...the sea turns its ear;
Photograph/Texts of Translations © 2000-2011 Cliff Crego
(last update i.15.2011) Comments to email@example.com