Memory Of Holland

So I’ve safely arrived in Missouri. Does it feel different to you too? It feels weird, mainly because there is no big difference between my previous visits and the last two days. Of course, that’s not so much of a surprise in two days, but I’m still waiting for the moment it really hits me. Apart from saying hello to you, and for those who were worried among you, I wanted to use this moment to share the poem with you that I withheld last Tuesday. I have looked it over, as I promised, and it turns out that poetry still isn’t my calling. It’s based on an original poem, called ‘Memory of Holland’, and you can find the original and a very good translation (it’s the winner of a translating contest, so you can read the jury report and 29 other translations as well) right here. I once wrote a parody on the poem, so this is part of my parody, translated in English and then coupled with last Tuesday’s post.

weissenbruch

Memory of Holland

Thinking of Holland
I see trains stuffed with people
oblivious to others,
looking down
immersed
in their own mobile world,
while outside goes by
Dutch flatness,
interrupted by whatever
man-made water
man-made land
was purposely planned;
and cramped
into too little space
the cities
full of opinions
that need to be spoken
as sounds slowly flow
and spill at the coast
Holland may stop
but the pride of the people
keeps floating abroad

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