Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Menno Wigman

WINDOW-CLEANER SEES PAINTINGS

Cars, laughter, noises: everything’s shut out
at seven up. All I can hear’s my sponge

and squeaky wheezing from the steel from which
I hang. Sometimes a cloud will speak to me

or I guess what a seagull has to say.
The humans: busy, pale, mute, behind glass.

At eight up art. That girl inside, that laugh,
who’s spied on her so much that she, immune

to compliments, thus looks into my face?
When does that sparrow-hawk escape its frame?

I’m hanging like an ice-cold painting here
that no one notices, I toil and wipe,

unveil the view once more – remake month
after month the unfaked clouds again.

Look. Now sunlight creeps into my frame.

GLAZENWASSER ZIET SCHILDERIJEN

GLAZENWASSER ZIET SCHILDERIJEN

Auto’s, gelach, geraas: alles slaat dood
op zeven hoog. Ik hoor alleen mijn spons

en het verkouden knarsen van het staal
waaraan ik hang. Soms spreekt een wolk mij aan

of gis ik wat een meeuw te zeggen heeft.
De mensen: druk, wit, stemloos, achter glas.

Op acht hoog kunst. Dat meisje daar, die lach,
wie heeft haar zo bespied dat ze immuun

voor complimenten mijn gezicht in kijkt?
En wanneer breekt die sperwer uit zijn lijst?

Ik hang hier als een ijskoud schilderij
waar niemand oog voor heeft, ik poets en zwoeg

en maak het uitzicht vrij – schilder er maand
na maand onvervalste wolken bij.

Kijk. Daar kruipt al zonlicht in mijn lijst.
Close

WINDOW-CLEANER SEES PAINTINGS

Cars, laughter, noises: everything’s shut out
at seven up. All I can hear’s my sponge

and squeaky wheezing from the steel from which
I hang. Sometimes a cloud will speak to me

or I guess what a seagull has to say.
The humans: busy, pale, mute, behind glass.

At eight up art. That girl inside, that laugh,
who’s spied on her so much that she, immune

to compliments, thus looks into my face?
When does that sparrow-hawk escape its frame?

I’m hanging like an ice-cold painting here
that no one notices, I toil and wipe,

unveil the view once more – remake month
after month the unfaked clouds again.

Look. Now sunlight creeps into my frame.

WINDOW-CLEANER SEES PAINTINGS

Cars, laughter, noises: everything’s shut out
at seven up. All I can hear’s my sponge

and squeaky wheezing from the steel from which
I hang. Sometimes a cloud will speak to me

or I guess what a seagull has to say.
The humans: busy, pale, mute, behind glass.

At eight up art. That girl inside, that laugh,
who’s spied on her so much that she, immune

to compliments, thus looks into my face?
When does that sparrow-hawk escape its frame?

I’m hanging like an ice-cold painting here
that no one notices, I toil and wipe,

unveil the view once more – remake month
after month the unfaked clouds again.

Look. Now sunlight creeps into my frame.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère