Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Rutger Kopland

LETTER

Today I was to write you a letter
a letter in which I wanted to understand something

but I didn’t write it, it went too slowly
I wrote and I looked at my hand

how that hand was slowly drawing words

in that handwriting something like a house began
to grow – I wanted to know what it was we’d lived in

to understand that, I was to write a letter
but all I saw were the clumsy words

that I was drawing before
I understood them

BRIEF

BRIEF

Vandaag zou ik je een brief schrijven
een brief waarin ik iets wilde begrijpen

maar ik deed dat niet, het ging te langzaam
ik schreef en ik keek naar mijn hand

hoe die hand langzaam woorden tekende

er ontstond in dat handschrift iets als
een huis – ik wilde weten waarin we woonden

om dat te begrijpen zou ik een brief schrijven
maar ik zag alleen de voorzichtige woorden

die ik tekende voor ik ze begreep
Close

LETTER

Today I was to write you a letter
a letter in which I wanted to understand something

but I didn’t write it, it went too slowly
I wrote and I looked at my hand

how that hand was slowly drawing words

in that handwriting something like a house began
to grow – I wanted to know what it was we’d lived in

to understand that, I was to write a letter
but all I saw were the clumsy words

that I was drawing before
I understood them

LETTER

Today I was to write you a letter
a letter in which I wanted to understand something

but I didn’t write it, it went too slowly
I wrote and I looked at my hand

how that hand was slowly drawing words

in that handwriting something like a house began
to grow – I wanted to know what it was we’d lived in

to understand that, I was to write a letter
but all I saw were the clumsy words

that I was drawing before
I understood them
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J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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