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Articles tagged "Dutch Poetry"

On Tao Qian

Tao Qian on Tao Qian: He likes to read and is satisfied with the most simple of explanations. When he understands what something means, he is so happy he forgets to eat. Su Dongpo on Tao Qian: He writes the way someone who is no longer impatient speaks. Huang Tingjian on Tao Qian: The poems are of no use to someone just out of childhood, but if he rereads them when he is old it is as if he has made his decisions without knowing enough. Huang Tingjian says that Su Dongpo is...

Du Fu

Du Fu says of himself that he was a child prodigy, that he was writing poetry when he was seven or eight years old. When he’s over forty, he will be a great poet. What he can think about, he can write about. A child asks if something is important enough to think about. Is this an excuse to get out of doing something else? The other children are already at work. Reading takes time, just like looking around. Every word Du Fu uses, he read somewhere. He remembers the meaning of...

Su Dongpo and the Trick he says he Learned from Tao Qian

The simplest way to find tranquility: keep starting over in a different way. He knows nothing about those who find tranquility, free from what surrounds them; he’s never met anyone like that. Let’s send him somewhere else, see if he changes his tune then. His trick is to be more than happy when things are going well. It’s a warm evening and it will rain later. More to see left and right than he can list. Quiet, except for old man Du Fu reproaching old man...

“Nowhere has denying”

Nowhere has denying reigned as rife as in this not which is outsitting me here.Oh, if only death would outstare itself for ever in its iron mirror. God, what a down-at-heel hope for a voiceless evaporation with wind and light as the silent witnesses which one finds here. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement with the estate of Hans Faverey.

“Yesterday, yes, I still existed here”

Yesterday, yes, I still existed here: in this pitiful winestain, in these paupered words way past their prime,in that handshake which I will never manage to hold in any of my handbooks, and which under my table leads the still life of a retired country doctor. Go on, admit it: yesterday you also existed here, when the sun turned up humming and we took in the fact that neither one of us, in this circus, dared fight the bear. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De...

“With one hand in my lap”

With one hand in my lap, with my other hand on the table. My head is located above it;in which a landscape drops anchor, sun-drenched. It is one moonless evening. While his son carefully draws the sculls through the water, his father stands by the hissing lamp, leaning forward, peering into the sea, trident raised. Where is it, now that I am writing it; where am I, now that you are rereading this? From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By...

“Since nobody was there anyway”

Since nobody was there anyway, and since it is not blocked off, it's time for a walk once again along the brink of the beach, where all of a sudden the woods held back, or have withdrawn by degrees.Thinking this is someone who does not know that he is in this text and will never get out again, however he tinkers with sentences and shifts the meanings about. Better that than the other way round, when cold strikes without warning; and better never than late. Here I go...

“One fine day it was night”

One fine day it was night. I seemed to be just about to catch my first fish. Suddenly it allconspires against me. It was too late to unbait my hook. I head for home, humming in my sleep, to worship the dark- ness, with pounding heart. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement with the estate of Hans Faverey.

If later, or sooner, it is

If later, or sooner, it is, or becomes, sayable-this is the most thingable it will be; best of all, let my text encircle someonewho foists it on himself, or by whom it's fobbed off with itself; if smoke fails to announce the outcome, I might as well go to sea: to let oneself be blown away. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement with the estate of Hans Faverey.

“Then they went away too”

"Then they went away too." Hardly had I known them. I also hardly stayed behind. I would have liked to write something down, but I had forgotten to writeit down. If you listen to people, it's all about a future which lives in a pebble and is as smooth as the self-same pebble. Now and again I own such a pebble as well: a moment before I've thrown it away. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement with the estate of Hans Faverey.

“As simple as a drop of water”

1 As simple as a drop of water, as clear as a splinter of birch, Because the foal falls patiently, cautiously out of the horse and is able to stand, And the fish unfolds like a metal tear and is able to fly, and people quand m'me Are slow to learn silence and absence amidst their armoured scree, It isn't as simple, as clear what I'm left with when I have put down my pen. From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement...

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