Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Alfred Schaffer

PROTECTIVE STATE

I

The probability that a terrorist* is living in your neighbourhood is very small.
People don’t just turn into terrorists from one day to the next.
Is your child drawn to radical ideas?
Talk to him or her about it.
People behaving suspiciously* are closely observed.
People who think they don’t have a future*
can also pose a risk. More than we can say.
This is why special attention is paid to places* where radicalisation arises.
We tap. We infiltrate. We collect and study
information on suspicious people and groups.
There are laws about what the government can and can’t do.
Laws are adapted to enable us to combat terrorism more effectively.
We can get to the other end of the country in a matter of minutes.
We respond immediately.
You cannot always tell from someone’s appearance* whether he or she is a terrorist.
 

II

We know a lot* and we do a lot.
Security is tighter in situations of increased risk.
We look for evidence* that can be used in court.
The public prosecutor cannot always tell precisely whether
the evidence will be sufficient for a conviction.
Everyone has the right to express his or her opinion.
You’ll understand that it isn’t good to say too much.
The level can change* over time. My colleagues* and I
work in shifts. We keep an eye on things 24 hours a day.
More than 200,000 professionals work together.
This might be in schools but also in prisons or on the internet.
We also come into contact with people who appear to be going off the rails
or developing unhealthy ideas*.
More than we can say.
Fortunately we have not yet had to deal with a serious situation.
 

III

Everyone* must obey the law.
Be particularly on your guard in situations where many people gather.
Proceed as quickly as possible to an open space. In case of an attack,
turn on the radio or television regularly for information.
If it is dark, do not use matches or lighters.
You might happen to overhear people talking
and their words might seem suspicious?
A van* that has been parked in your street for two weeks
doesn’t have to mean anything. But it might. More than we can say.
Pay attention to the exits and escape routes in every* building.
Protect yourself from flying or falling objects.
If you are not seriously injured, help as many other people as possible.
Do not go and look at the site of the attack. Don’t gather in groups*.
Another bomb may go off.
We have to ensure that networks are not overloaded.
 

IV

Should we worry?
Most likely someone was just a bit forgetful and there is no risk.
If there is a threat, my colleagues and I receive a text message
so that we know exactly* what to do. More than we can say.
The containers’ contents can be seen via a scan.
We are able to see then what is inside, just like on an x-ray.
Any unknown* airplane flying above our country is spotted immediately.
We are developing a machine that can see through clothing.
The full shape* of a knife or pistol will be visible,
unlike with a metal detector. There is no reason for panic.
It is important to continue to respect* and trust one another.
To keep talking* to local residents.
If necessary, we will stop the train. We can’t be careful enough.
It is important that our lives aren’t ruled by fear.
More information is also available in a larger font.

STAAT VERZEKEREND

STAAT VERZEKEREND

I
     
De kans dat er een terrorist* in uw wijk woont, is erg klein.
Mensen worden niet van de ene op de andere dag terrorist.
Heeft uw kind veel aandacht voor radicale ideeën?
Praat daar dan over met hem of met haar.
Mensen die zich verdacht* gedragen, worden scherp in de gaten gehouden.
Ook mensen die geen toekomst* voor zichzelf zien
kunnen een risico vormen. Meer dan we kunnen vertellen.
Daarom is er speciale aandacht voor plekken* waar radicalisering ontstaat.
We luisteren af. We infiltreren. We verzamelen en bestuderen
informatie over verdachte personen en groepen.
Wat de overheid wel en niet mag, is in wetten* vastgelegd.
Om terrorisme beter te kunnen bestrijden, worden wetten aangepast.
In een paar minuten zijn we aan de andere kant van het land.
We gaan er onmiddellijk op af.
U kunt niet altijd aan iemands uiterlijk* zien of hij of zij een terrorist is.


II

We weten veel* en we doen veel.
In situaties van verhoogd risico zal er meer controle zijn.
We zoeken naar bewijsmateriaal* dat in de rechtszaal kan worden gebruikt.
Een officier van justitie kan niet altijd precies inschatten
of het bewijsmateriaal voldoende is voor een veroordeling.
Iedereen heeft het recht om zijn of haar mening te geven.
U begrijpt dat het niet goed is om te veel te vertellen.
Het niveau kan veranderen* in de tijd. Mijn collega’s* en ik
draaien ploegendienst. We houden de boel dag en nacht in de gaten.
Meer dan 200.000 professionals werken samen.
Dat kan op scholen zijn, maar ook in gevangenissen of op internet.
We komen ook in contact met mensen die dreigen te ontsporen
of verkeerde ideeën* ontwikkelen.
Meer dan we kunnen vertellen.
We hebben gelukkig nog nooit meegemaakt dat er echt iets aan de hand was. 


III

Iedereen* moet zich aan de wet houden.
Let u vooral extra op in situaties waar veel mensen bij elkaar zijn.
Ga zo snel mogelijk naar een open plek. Kijk bij een aanslag regelmatig
naar de televisie of luister naar de radio voor informatie.
Als het donker is, gebruik dan geen lucifers of een aansteker.
Het kan zijn dat u toevallig* mensen met elkaar hoort praten
en dat hun woorden u verdacht voorkomen.
Een bestelbusje* dat al twee weken bij u in de straat staat,
hoeft niets te betekenen. Maar het kan wel. Meer dan we kunnen vertellen.
Let u in elk* gebouw altijd op waar de nooduitgangen of vluchtgangen zijn.
Bescherm uzelf tegen rondvliegend of vallend materiaal.
Bent u zelf niet ernstig gewond, help dan zo veel mogelijk anderen.
Ga niet kijken op de plek van de aanslag. Ga niet in groepen* staan.
Er kan nog een bom ontploffen.
We moeten voorkomen dat netwerken overbelast raken.


IV

Moeten we ons zorgen maken?
Waarschijnlijk was iemand vergeetachtig en is er niets aan de hand.
In geval van dreiging krijgen mijn collega’s en ik een sms’je.
Zodat we precies* weten wat we moeten doen. Meer dan we kunnen vertellen.
De inhoud van containers kan bekeken worden door een scan.
We zien dan, net als bij een röntgenfoto, precies wat erin zit.
Elk onbekend* vliegtuig boven ons land wordt meteen opgemerkt.
We werken aan een apparaat waarmee je door kleding kunt kijken.
Je ziet ook echt de vorm* van een pistool of een mes,
anders dan bij een metaaldetector. Er is geen reden voor paniek.
Belangrijk is dat we elkaar blijven respecteren* en vertrouwen.
Dat we in gesprek* blijven met de buurtbewoners.
Als het moet, zetten we de trein stil. We kunnen niet voorzichtig genoeg zijn.
Het is belangrijk dat ons leven niet wordt overheerst door angst.
Meer informatie is ook beschikbaar in een groter lettertype.
Close

PROTECTIVE STATE

I

The probability that a terrorist* is living in your neighbourhood is very small.
People don’t just turn into terrorists from one day to the next.
Is your child drawn to radical ideas?
Talk to him or her about it.
People behaving suspiciously* are closely observed.
People who think they don’t have a future*
can also pose a risk. More than we can say.
This is why special attention is paid to places* where radicalisation arises.
We tap. We infiltrate. We collect and study
information on suspicious people and groups.
There are laws about what the government can and can’t do.
Laws are adapted to enable us to combat terrorism more effectively.
We can get to the other end of the country in a matter of minutes.
We respond immediately.
You cannot always tell from someone’s appearance* whether he or she is a terrorist.
 

II

We know a lot* and we do a lot.
Security is tighter in situations of increased risk.
We look for evidence* that can be used in court.
The public prosecutor cannot always tell precisely whether
the evidence will be sufficient for a conviction.
Everyone has the right to express his or her opinion.
You’ll understand that it isn’t good to say too much.
The level can change* over time. My colleagues* and I
work in shifts. We keep an eye on things 24 hours a day.
More than 200,000 professionals work together.
This might be in schools but also in prisons or on the internet.
We also come into contact with people who appear to be going off the rails
or developing unhealthy ideas*.
More than we can say.
Fortunately we have not yet had to deal with a serious situation.
 

III

Everyone* must obey the law.
Be particularly on your guard in situations where many people gather.
Proceed as quickly as possible to an open space. In case of an attack,
turn on the radio or television regularly for information.
If it is dark, do not use matches or lighters.
You might happen to overhear people talking
and their words might seem suspicious?
A van* that has been parked in your street for two weeks
doesn’t have to mean anything. But it might. More than we can say.
Pay attention to the exits and escape routes in every* building.
Protect yourself from flying or falling objects.
If you are not seriously injured, help as many other people as possible.
Do not go and look at the site of the attack. Don’t gather in groups*.
Another bomb may go off.
We have to ensure that networks are not overloaded.
 

IV

Should we worry?
Most likely someone was just a bit forgetful and there is no risk.
If there is a threat, my colleagues and I receive a text message
so that we know exactly* what to do. More than we can say.
The containers’ contents can be seen via a scan.
We are able to see then what is inside, just like on an x-ray.
Any unknown* airplane flying above our country is spotted immediately.
We are developing a machine that can see through clothing.
The full shape* of a knife or pistol will be visible,
unlike with a metal detector. There is no reason for panic.
It is important to continue to respect* and trust one another.
To keep talking* to local residents.
If necessary, we will stop the train. We can’t be careful enough.
It is important that our lives aren’t ruled by fear.
More information is also available in a larger font.

PROTECTIVE STATE

I

The probability that a terrorist* is living in your neighbourhood is very small.
People don’t just turn into terrorists from one day to the next.
Is your child drawn to radical ideas?
Talk to him or her about it.
People behaving suspiciously* are closely observed.
People who think they don’t have a future*
can also pose a risk. More than we can say.
This is why special attention is paid to places* where radicalisation arises.
We tap. We infiltrate. We collect and study
information on suspicious people and groups.
There are laws about what the government can and can’t do.
Laws are adapted to enable us to combat terrorism more effectively.
We can get to the other end of the country in a matter of minutes.
We respond immediately.
You cannot always tell from someone’s appearance* whether he or she is a terrorist.
 

II

We know a lot* and we do a lot.
Security is tighter in situations of increased risk.
We look for evidence* that can be used in court.
The public prosecutor cannot always tell precisely whether
the evidence will be sufficient for a conviction.
Everyone has the right to express his or her opinion.
You’ll understand that it isn’t good to say too much.
The level can change* over time. My colleagues* and I
work in shifts. We keep an eye on things 24 hours a day.
More than 200,000 professionals work together.
This might be in schools but also in prisons or on the internet.
We also come into contact with people who appear to be going off the rails
or developing unhealthy ideas*.
More than we can say.
Fortunately we have not yet had to deal with a serious situation.
 

III

Everyone* must obey the law.
Be particularly on your guard in situations where many people gather.
Proceed as quickly as possible to an open space. In case of an attack,
turn on the radio or television regularly for information.
If it is dark, do not use matches or lighters.
You might happen to overhear people talking
and their words might seem suspicious?
A van* that has been parked in your street for two weeks
doesn’t have to mean anything. But it might. More than we can say.
Pay attention to the exits and escape routes in every* building.
Protect yourself from flying or falling objects.
If you are not seriously injured, help as many other people as possible.
Do not go and look at the site of the attack. Don’t gather in groups*.
Another bomb may go off.
We have to ensure that networks are not overloaded.
 

IV

Should we worry?
Most likely someone was just a bit forgetful and there is no risk.
If there is a threat, my colleagues and I receive a text message
so that we know exactly* what to do. More than we can say.
The containers’ contents can be seen via a scan.
We are able to see then what is inside, just like on an x-ray.
Any unknown* airplane flying above our country is spotted immediately.
We are developing a machine that can see through clothing.
The full shape* of a knife or pistol will be visible,
unlike with a metal detector. There is no reason for panic.
It is important to continue to respect* and trust one another.
To keep talking* to local residents.
If necessary, we will stop the train. We can’t be careful enough.
It is important that our lives aren’t ruled by fear.
More information is also available in a larger font.
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