Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Roelof ten Napel

machine

a night that breaks open, into many nights,
all of them a little less heavy, as though the darkness is
slowly withdrawing,
 
afraid of us, scraping itself on the rocks here –
 
I saw love,
I saw love here as a mammoth’s skull in this barren field –
I see you the way you fall into place, as you merge
with your surroundings, your circle of friends,
and I’d like to tell you, so that you’d notice, but
 
I’d be in your way – machine of your soul,
your cogs and gears, withdrawn into the ever
thinning darkness in your chest

machine

machine

een nacht die zich opbreekt, vele nachten in,
allemaal iets minder zwaar, alsof het donker zich er
traag uit terugtrekt,

schuw voor ons, zich schavend aan de rotsen hier —

ik zag de liefde,
ik zag de liefde hier als een mammoetschedel in dit dorre veld —
ik zie je zoals je op je plaats valt, zoals je mengt
met je omgeving, je kring vrienden,
en ik zou het je willen zeggen, dat je het op zou merken, maar

ikzelf zou je in de weg zitten — machine van je ziel,
raders en tandwielen van je, teruggetrokken in het steeds
dunner wordende donker in je borst
Close

machine

a night that breaks open, into many nights,
all of them a little less heavy, as though the darkness is
slowly withdrawing,
 
afraid of us, scraping itself on the rocks here –
 
I saw love,
I saw love here as a mammoth’s skull in this barren field –
I see you the way you fall into place, as you merge
with your surroundings, your circle of friends,
and I’d like to tell you, so that you’d notice, but
 
I’d be in your way – machine of your soul,
your cogs and gears, withdrawn into the ever
thinning darkness in your chest

machine

a night that breaks open, into many nights,
all of them a little less heavy, as though the darkness is
slowly withdrawing,
 
afraid of us, scraping itself on the rocks here –
 
I saw love,
I saw love here as a mammoth’s skull in this barren field –
I see you the way you fall into place, as you merge
with your surroundings, your circle of friends,
and I’d like to tell you, so that you’d notice, but
 
I’d be in your way – machine of your soul,
your cogs and gears, withdrawn into the ever
thinning darkness in your chest
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