Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Miriam Van hee

the pyramid of the sun (teotihuacan)

the air may have been more rarified then
and the wind cooler, the sun had
a different status, but nevertheless
it shone as it does now, fierce and remote

what mattered was to be prepared
the heights beckoned and climbing was
better than descending, gravity
seemed to lessen its hold and it was easier to see

a kind of connectedness, houses,
dusty roads where people were moving
and you could see that this place
was not the only one, nor was this city nor

this time, your heart was pounding and you thought
in vain about love, about having choices,
freedom or solace and you felt a foolish
longing to meet someone and then

you thought of the birds again, you’d
always been in awe of them, the way
they’d spread their wings at the last moment,
to set sail in the sky

de piramide van de zon (teotihuacan)

de piramide van de zon (teotihuacan)

de lucht zal wel ijler geweest zijn
en koeler de wind, de zon had
een andere status, maar evengoed
scheen ze als nu, hard en afstandelijk

het kwam erop aan zich voor te bereiden
de hoogte wenkte en klimmen was
beter dan dalen, de zwaartekracht
leek af te nemen en je zag meer

een soort van verbondenheid, huizen
stoffige wegen waarop zich mensen
bewogen en je zag verder dat deze plek
niet de enige was, deze stad niet en

deze tijd, je hart ging tekeer en je dacht
tevergeefs aan de liefde, het kunnen kiezen,
vrijheid of troost en je voelde een dwaas
verlangen om kennis te maken en toen

dacht je weer aan de vogels, je had ze
altijd bijzonder gevonden, om zo
op het laatste moment de vleugels
te spreiden, het ruim aan te doen
Close

the pyramid of the sun (teotihuacan)

the air may have been more rarified then
and the wind cooler, the sun had
a different status, but nevertheless
it shone as it does now, fierce and remote

what mattered was to be prepared
the heights beckoned and climbing was
better than descending, gravity
seemed to lessen its hold and it was easier to see

a kind of connectedness, houses,
dusty roads where people were moving
and you could see that this place
was not the only one, nor was this city nor

this time, your heart was pounding and you thought
in vain about love, about having choices,
freedom or solace and you felt a foolish
longing to meet someone and then

you thought of the birds again, you’d
always been in awe of them, the way
they’d spread their wings at the last moment,
to set sail in the sky

the pyramid of the sun (teotihuacan)

the air may have been more rarified then
and the wind cooler, the sun had
a different status, but nevertheless
it shone as it does now, fierce and remote

what mattered was to be prepared
the heights beckoned and climbing was
better than descending, gravity
seemed to lessen its hold and it was easier to see

a kind of connectedness, houses,
dusty roads where people were moving
and you could see that this place
was not the only one, nor was this city nor

this time, your heart was pounding and you thought
in vain about love, about having choices,
freedom or solace and you felt a foolish
longing to meet someone and then

you thought of the birds again, you’d
always been in awe of them, the way
they’d spread their wings at the last moment,
to set sail in the sky
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
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