Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Pieter Boskma

IMMANENT SELF-PORTRAIT

It still feels strange getting up in the morning without love,
pushing onwards with a slight shiver through the loveless day
and going to bed at night with nothing changed.

The thing that makes it bearable and keeps you going,
giving you a smile and an erection at dawn’s first light,
guiding you through darkest Dantean woods on your way –

to have lost the very thing that tells you you’re alive.
And it’s still strange that my verses keep on coming.
It seems they are indifferent to how I’m doing.

Sometimes they even bring on a woman in my dreams,
I should be grateful, because it’s written here -
my work makes me; I am more and more what I make.

The perfect balance and disinterestedness of such a thing,
a self-contained process of beauty and fulfillment
which suddenly shows up out of nowhere like a kiss.

After our ashes are scattered, we’re left with this.

Immanent zelfportret

Immanent zelfportret

Het blijft raar om ’s ochtends zonder liefde op te staan,
je met lichte huiver door de liefdeloze dag te slaan
en ’s avonds al niet anders weer naar bed te gaan.

Juist wat het draaglijk maakt, juist wat je vol doet houden
en bij het eerste morgenlicht een glimlach en erectie geeft,
juist wat je de weg wijst in de meest Danteske wouden,

juist dat kwijt te zijn, juist dat waardoor men pas echt leeft.
En het blijft raar dat desondanks de verzen blijven komen,
het is hen blijkbaar om het even hoe het mij vergaat.

Toch laten ze soms een meisje wiegen door mijn dromen,
ik moet maar dankbaar zijn, omdat het hier al staat -
door mijn werk gegeven word ik steeds meer wat ik geef.

Het volmaakte evenwicht en belangeloze van zoiets,
zo’n in zichzelf besloten gang van schoonheid en voltooiing,
het is als een kus die zomaar aanwaait uit het niets,

het is wat ons blijft na onze as-verstooiing.
Close

IMMANENT SELF-PORTRAIT

It still feels strange getting up in the morning without love,
pushing onwards with a slight shiver through the loveless day
and going to bed at night with nothing changed.

The thing that makes it bearable and keeps you going,
giving you a smile and an erection at dawn’s first light,
guiding you through darkest Dantean woods on your way –

to have lost the very thing that tells you you’re alive.
And it’s still strange that my verses keep on coming.
It seems they are indifferent to how I’m doing.

Sometimes they even bring on a woman in my dreams,
I should be grateful, because it’s written here -
my work makes me; I am more and more what I make.

The perfect balance and disinterestedness of such a thing,
a self-contained process of beauty and fulfillment
which suddenly shows up out of nowhere like a kiss.

After our ashes are scattered, we’re left with this.

IMMANENT SELF-PORTRAIT

It still feels strange getting up in the morning without love,
pushing onwards with a slight shiver through the loveless day
and going to bed at night with nothing changed.

The thing that makes it bearable and keeps you going,
giving you a smile and an erection at dawn’s first light,
guiding you through darkest Dantean woods on your way –

to have lost the very thing that tells you you’re alive.
And it’s still strange that my verses keep on coming.
It seems they are indifferent to how I’m doing.

Sometimes they even bring on a woman in my dreams,
I should be grateful, because it’s written here -
my work makes me; I am more and more what I make.

The perfect balance and disinterestedness of such a thing,
a self-contained process of beauty and fulfillment
which suddenly shows up out of nowhere like a kiss.

After our ashes are scattered, we’re left with this.
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