Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Hassan El Ouazzani

McLuhan\'s Dreams

I’m just shorter than Niagara Falls
So I can’t quite touch the sun

If it weren’t so
I would have seized hold
To hurl it far away
So far it would pass August
To where the autumn looms

I would then loosen it from my fingers
To play with the seasons
So rain could fall hard on the Nevada desert
Or so I could sunbathe in Alaska

The hand
That grasped the sun
Wasn’t my hand

My dreams are more modest than that
So I didn’t notice life slip by to old age
Nor the boy who was never young
Nor the angels that follow in my tracks
I was bound for hell
Didn’t see life leap to my shoulders
I fraternise with the dead
Didn’t notice the blind who light my way
To heaven
I lost the way

My dreams were always vague
As if I were the heroes
Who jump secretly from my sleep to weave other lives. They build nests and fill them with offspring. They march in demonstrations with workers. They bear leaders on their shoulders and place bets on horses. They chant the national anthem. Some of them go to jail and some of them toss the revolution out of the window. Some of them go to heaven and others, hell.

When
I wake
They demand self-rule
Other heroes jump from their sleep
With other dreams
Unclear
And very dense
Like Karl Marx’s beard.

DE DROMEN VAN McLUHAN

Ik
ben iets kleiner dan de Niagara waterval
en daarom reikt mijn hand niet tot de zon
 
Als dat anders was
dan zou ik de zon pakken
om ver weg te gooien
voorbij augustus
tot de herfst
 
Ik zou haar uit mijn vingers laten glippen
en met de jaargetijden spelen
 
zodat een dichte regen in de woestijn van Nevada valt
of dat ik in Alaska ga zonnebaden
 
De hand
die de zon pakt
is niet mijn hand
Mijn dromen zijn veel kleiner
 
Daarom zag ik niet dat het leven de oude dag bereikte
en dat de jongen nooit van kind zijn genoot
 
Ik merkte niet dat engelen mijn stappen volgden
en was op weg naar de hel
 
Ik merkte niet dat het leven op mijn schouder sprong
en verbroederde mij met doden
 
Ik merkte niet dat blinden mij de weg naar het paradijs wezen
en miste de weg
naar mijzelf
 
Daarom
zijn mijn dromen vaag
evenals de helden uit mijn dromen
die stiekem uit mijn slaap springen om andere levens te weven, nesten te bouwen die ze met nageslacht vullen. Ze lopen in demonstraties van arbeiders, dragen leiders op hun schouders, wedden op paarden en zingen het volkslied. Sommigen van hen gaan naar de gevangenis, anderen gooien de revolutie het raam uit, sommigen gaan naar het paradijs,
anderen naar de hel
 
Als
ik wakker word
eisen zij de droom op
andere helden komen uit hun dromen tevoorschijn
met andere dromen
vage dromen
zwaar
als de baard van Karl Marx

Close

McLuhan\'s Dreams

I’m just shorter than Niagara Falls
So I can’t quite touch the sun

If it weren’t so
I would have seized hold
To hurl it far away
So far it would pass August
To where the autumn looms

I would then loosen it from my fingers
To play with the seasons
So rain could fall hard on the Nevada desert
Or so I could sunbathe in Alaska

The hand
That grasped the sun
Wasn’t my hand

My dreams are more modest than that
So I didn’t notice life slip by to old age
Nor the boy who was never young
Nor the angels that follow in my tracks
I was bound for hell
Didn’t see life leap to my shoulders
I fraternise with the dead
Didn’t notice the blind who light my way
To heaven
I lost the way

My dreams were always vague
As if I were the heroes
Who jump secretly from my sleep to weave other lives. They build nests and fill them with offspring. They march in demonstrations with workers. They bear leaders on their shoulders and place bets on horses. They chant the national anthem. Some of them go to jail and some of them toss the revolution out of the window. Some of them go to heaven and others, hell.

When
I wake
They demand self-rule
Other heroes jump from their sleep
With other dreams
Unclear
And very dense
Like Karl Marx’s beard.

McLuhan\'s Dreams

I’m just shorter than Niagara Falls
So I can’t quite touch the sun

If it weren’t so
I would have seized hold
To hurl it far away
So far it would pass August
To where the autumn looms

I would then loosen it from my fingers
To play with the seasons
So rain could fall hard on the Nevada desert
Or so I could sunbathe in Alaska

The hand
That grasped the sun
Wasn’t my hand

My dreams are more modest than that
So I didn’t notice life slip by to old age
Nor the boy who was never young
Nor the angels that follow in my tracks
I was bound for hell
Didn’t see life leap to my shoulders
I fraternise with the dead
Didn’t notice the blind who light my way
To heaven
I lost the way

My dreams were always vague
As if I were the heroes
Who jump secretly from my sleep to weave other lives. They build nests and fill them with offspring. They march in demonstrations with workers. They bear leaders on their shoulders and place bets on horses. They chant the national anthem. Some of them go to jail and some of them toss the revolution out of the window. Some of them go to heaven and others, hell.

When
I wake
They demand self-rule
Other heroes jump from their sleep
With other dreams
Unclear
And very dense
Like Karl Marx’s beard.
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