February: Tracks, Early Spring Thaw
(click on photo to enlarge)
Tracks, Early Spring

"...what otherwise quickly vanishes remains
quiet field filled with signs in the snow"

This week, an image of tracks in
melting snow, together with a new
translation of a Dutch late winter/
early spring poem.

The guest poem for this week is called simply, Thaw, by the Dutch poet, J. Bernlef:


De schaatser kris en krassend op het ijs
de trippelsprintjes van een spreeuw:
wat anders wegijlt blijft nu liggen
stil veldje vol tekens in de sneeuw

Een blauwdruk van immens gescharrel
half afgemaakt in weggevlogen taal
zo vormden vlokken dalend onder nul
de grond voor een verhaal dat op het punt
van pointe in dooi uiteenvalt en weer kaal

          J. Bernlef

uit Zwijgende Man (1976)

The skater goes criss-cross across the ice
the triple somersaults of a sparrow
what otherwise quickly vanishes remains
quiet field filled with signs in the snow

A blueprint of great commotion
half completed in language flown away
flakes falling below zero create
the ground of a story that at the point of
climax disintegrates into thaw and is again bare
                      (tr. Cliff Crego)

from Silent Man (1976)

Here are a some of the other images of snow which are a part of the Picture/Poem display:
(1) Sharp Wind, Ski Tracks, Spring Snow
(2) Twenty Snowy Mountains
(3) Rising Sun, Setting Moon
(4) Snow Circles
(5) Ovid and No Trespassing
(6) Mountain Farmer with Six Milk Cows
(7) Red Ribbons in Snow Storm
(8) Two Lights, Fresh Snow


"Straight roads,
Slow rivers,
Deep clay."
A collection of contemporary Dutch poetry
in English translation, with commentary
and photographs
by Cliff Crego

| See also a selection of recent Picture/Poem "Rilke in translation" features at the Rilke Archive.

See also another website
by Cliff Crego:
The Poetry of
Rainer Maria Rilke
A presentation of 80 of the
best poems of Rilke in
both German and
new English translations
biography, links, posters

| # listen to other recordings in English and German of eight poems from
The Book of Images
at The Rilke Download Page (# Includes instructions)
| back to r2c | back to Picture/Poems: Central Display |
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Photographs and Texts © 2000 Cliff Crego
II.27.2000) Comments to crego@picture-poems.com