Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Anneke Brassinga

II

Keep those filthy fingers off – what it is,
To Be, must stay unfathomed, despite its
overwhelming presence all around, just as now,

for instance, a bomb of light descends so smoothly
in the trees and what was flowing compacts itself
into granite with gladiolus sheen. On a grand one would

wish to hammer it out, the more out of tune the better,
send sheets of adamantine notes fluttering, glinting
like nails being struck – but only

the constellations arrive around the hold where you,
softest converse of their brazen dazzle,
neither breathe nor sleep but simply

wither: forever containing the farthest reaches,
your small body in the earth among the trees,
now that night is here and we still fail

to grasp our empty hands’ so leaden weight.

II

II

Afblijven met die vuile vingers – wat het is,
bestaan, hoort ondoorgrond te zijn, hoezeer ook
alom overweldigend present bijvoorbeeld zoals

nu in het geboomte daalt gesmeerd een bom
van licht, en het omvloeide dicht zich timmert tot
graniet en zwaardlelieweerschijn. Op een vleugel

wou men raggen, hoe valser hoe beter, vellen
laten wapperen vol keihard schrift, blinkende
spijkers geslagen klinkend – maar alleen

de constellaties komen, rond het ruim waar jij,
zachtste tegendeel van hun onvervroren
schittering, ademt noch slaapt, eenvoudig

vergaat: verst reikende inhoud blijvend
je kleine vorm in de aarde tussen bomen,
nu het nacht is en wij nog altijd niet

begrijpen hoe onze lege handen zo zwaar.
Close

II

Keep those filthy fingers off – what it is,
To Be, must stay unfathomed, despite its
overwhelming presence all around, just as now,

for instance, a bomb of light descends so smoothly
in the trees and what was flowing compacts itself
into granite with gladiolus sheen. On a grand one would

wish to hammer it out, the more out of tune the better,
send sheets of adamantine notes fluttering, glinting
like nails being struck – but only

the constellations arrive around the hold where you,
softest converse of their brazen dazzle,
neither breathe nor sleep but simply

wither: forever containing the farthest reaches,
your small body in the earth among the trees,
now that night is here and we still fail

to grasp our empty hands’ so leaden weight.

II

Keep those filthy fingers off – what it is,
To Be, must stay unfathomed, despite its
overwhelming presence all around, just as now,

for instance, a bomb of light descends so smoothly
in the trees and what was flowing compacts itself
into granite with gladiolus sheen. On a grand one would

wish to hammer it out, the more out of tune the better,
send sheets of adamantine notes fluttering, glinting
like nails being struck – but only

the constellations arrive around the hold where you,
softest converse of their brazen dazzle,
neither breathe nor sleep but simply

wither: forever containing the farthest reaches,
your small body in the earth among the trees,
now that night is here and we still fail

to grasp our empty hands’ so leaden weight.
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