Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Cees Nooteboom

I bump into everyone here, devils from different

7

I bump into everyone here, devils from different
lives, animals from a forgotten coat of arms,
women in the form of lions, unicorns,
masked pigs, I fall out of my painting

and look back at the painter, he still has
to finish my hand, an ant is walking through the paint,
the pianist in the bunker is playing a song
from the war. This is how it all comes back to me,

the dead pilot in the tree, the voice of my
father who could eat on the hoof, I hear his
sound but no words, I know, he wants
to go to his grave but I can’t help him.

He hasn’t got one.

Iedereen kom ik hier tegen, duivels uit andere

7
 
Iedereen kom ik hier tegen, duivels uit andere
levens, dieren uit een vergeten blazoen,
vrouwen in leeuwengedaante, eenhoorns,
gemaskerde varkens, ik val uit mijn schilderij
 
en kijk om naar de schilder, hij heeft mijn
hand nog niet af, er loopt een mier door de verf,
de pianist in de bunker speelt een lied
uit de oorlog. Zo krijg ik alles weer terug,
 
de dode piloot in de boom, de stem van mijn
vader die lopend kon eten, ik hoor zijn
geluid maar geen woorden, ik weet het,
hij wil naar zijn graf maar ik kan hem niet helpen.
 
Hij heeft er geen.
Close

I bump into everyone here, devils from different

7

I bump into everyone here, devils from different
lives, animals from a forgotten coat of arms,
women in the form of lions, unicorns,
masked pigs, I fall out of my painting

and look back at the painter, he still has
to finish my hand, an ant is walking through the paint,
the pianist in the bunker is playing a song
from the war. This is how it all comes back to me,

the dead pilot in the tree, the voice of my
father who could eat on the hoof, I hear his
sound but no words, I know, he wants
to go to his grave but I can’t help him.

He hasn’t got one.

I bump into everyone here, devils from different

7

I bump into everyone here, devils from different
lives, animals from a forgotten coat of arms,
women in the form of lions, unicorns,
masked pigs, I fall out of my painting

and look back at the painter, he still has
to finish my hand, an ant is walking through the paint,
the pianist in the bunker is playing a song
from the war. This is how it all comes back to me,

the dead pilot in the tree, the voice of my
father who could eat on the hoof, I hear his
sound but no words, I know, he wants
to go to his grave but I can’t help him.

He hasn’t got one.
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