February: Winter Refuge
(click on photo to enlarge)
Winter Refuge "The wind remains watchfully still,
Not allowing any trill of twig
Which might break the cristal artwork."

In the mountains, snow is a way of life. Covering
the land for more than halfof the year, the cultural
traditions which have over the centuries emerged
here have in a large part been shaped by snow.
This week, an image of a winter hut
together with a new translation of a
beautiful Lowland poem.  

The guest snow poem for this week is Winter Silence, by the Dutch poet,
Jacqueline van der Waals:


De grond is wit, de nevel wit,
De wolken, waar nog sneeuw in zit,
Zijn wit, dat zacht vergrijzelt.
Het fijngetakt geboomte zit
Met witten rijp geijzeld.

De wind houdt zich behoedzaam stil,
Dat niet het minste takgetril
't Kristallen kunstwerk breke,
De klank zelfs van mijn schreden wil
Zich in de sneeuw versteken.

De grond is wit, de nevel wit,
Wat zwijgend toverland is dit?
Wat hemel loop ik onder?
Ik vouw de handen en aanbid
Dit grootse, stille wonder.

Jacqueline van der Waals (1868-1922)
Winter Silence

White is the ground, white is the mist,
The clouds, still full of snow,
Are white, turning gently to gray.
Icy white are the delicate branches
of trees covered with rime.

The wind remains watchfully still,
Not allowing any trill of twig
Which might break the cristal artwork.
Even the sound of my steps wants
to hide itself inside the snow.

White is the ground, white is the mist,
What enchanted quiet land is this?
Under what heaven do I walk?
I fold my hands and give thanks
to this greatest of silent wonders.

             (tr. Cliff Crego)

| Winter Silence is from Jacqueline van der Waals' 1909 collection, New Poems (Nieuwe Verse). To view a
large collection of her work, as well as biographical information, go the Dutch website for
classical literature, The Coster Project. |

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 |
| Map | TOC: I-IV | TOC: V-VIII | Image Index | Index | Text OnlyDownload Page | Newsletter | About P/P | About Cliff Crego |

Photographs and Texts © 2000 Cliff Crego
II.21.2000) Comments to crego@picture-poems.com