Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

C. (Cornelis) Buddingh’ 

ARS POETICA

i can remember it as if it were only yesterday:
i was perhaps 22: i sat
brooding over a poem, while my mother
sat at the window peeling potatoes.

the poem wouldn’t work out: the sweat
was running down my back and, annoyed, i thought:
how in the name of god the father can a man write
poems in a room where someone
is sitting peeling potatoes?

that evening, when everyone was asleep, i finished
my poem. it was an exceedingly bad one
and only much later i realized: the best
poems get written while peeling potatoes.

ARS POETICA

ARS POETICA

ik weet het nog als de dag van gisteren
(ik was misschien 22): ik zat
te broeden op een gedicht, en mijn moeder
zat bij het raam de aardappels te schillen

het vers wilde maar niet lukken: het zweet
stond op mijn rug en vol ergernis dacht ik:
hoe kan men in godsherenaam dan ook
poëzie schrijven in een kamer waar
iemand aardappels zit te schillen?

die avond, toen iedereen sliep, maakte ik het
vers af: het was een bijzonder slecht vers

en pas veel later begreep ik: de beste
gedichten schrijft men al aardappels schillend
Close

ARS POETICA

i can remember it as if it were only yesterday:
i was perhaps 22: i sat
brooding over a poem, while my mother
sat at the window peeling potatoes.

the poem wouldn’t work out: the sweat
was running down my back and, annoyed, i thought:
how in the name of god the father can a man write
poems in a room where someone
is sitting peeling potatoes?

that evening, when everyone was asleep, i finished
my poem. it was an exceedingly bad one
and only much later i realized: the best
poems get written while peeling potatoes.

ARS POETICA

i can remember it as if it were only yesterday:
i was perhaps 22: i sat
brooding over a poem, while my mother
sat at the window peeling potatoes.

the poem wouldn’t work out: the sweat
was running down my back and, annoyed, i thought:
how in the name of god the father can a man write
poems in a room where someone
is sitting peeling potatoes?

that evening, when everyone was asleep, i finished
my poem. it was an exceedingly bad one
and only much later i realized: the best
poems get written while peeling potatoes.
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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