Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Gerrit Komrij

Everything lives on

There stood a wall which I’ve touched on occasions.
The wall was later on demolished. Part and
Parcel were then re-used to make foundations.
I set a fruit tree in my age-old garden –
 
Now concreted. Deep down, though still on cue,
A grumbling root lies low and waits its say.
Five centuries if need be. Spanish flu,
Because I’ve coughed, will land on Mars some day.
 
There was a friend I’ve written to and I’ve
A rock my name’s been carved in to be read.
You’re part of everything while you’re alive
And everything lives on when you are dead.
 
 

Alles blijft

Alles blijft

Daar stond een muur die ik heb aangeraakt. 
De muur werd afgebroken. Van het puin 
Werd verderop een fundament gemaakt.
Ik plantte een fruitboom in mijn oude tuin. 
 
Die werd geasfalteerd. Vijf meter diep
Houdt zich een wortelstronk nog grommend koest. 
Vijf eeuwen lang desnoods. De Spaanse griep 
Landt ooit op Mars omdat ik heb gehoest.
 
Er was een vriend aan wie ik heb geschreven, 
Een rots waar ik mijn naam in heb gekerfd. 
Je bent een deel van alles bij je leven
En alles blijft bestaan wanneer je sterft.
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Everything lives on

There stood a wall which I’ve touched on occasions.
The wall was later on demolished. Part and
Parcel were then re-used to make foundations.
I set a fruit tree in my age-old garden –
 
Now concreted. Deep down, though still on cue,
A grumbling root lies low and waits its say.
Five centuries if need be. Spanish flu,
Because I’ve coughed, will land on Mars some day.
 
There was a friend I’ve written to and I’ve
A rock my name’s been carved in to be read.
You’re part of everything while you’re alive
And everything lives on when you are dead.
 
 

Everything lives on

There stood a wall which I’ve touched on occasions.
The wall was later on demolished. Part and
Parcel were then re-used to make foundations.
I set a fruit tree in my age-old garden –
 
Now concreted. Deep down, though still on cue,
A grumbling root lies low and waits its say.
Five centuries if need be. Spanish flu,
Because I’ve coughed, will land on Mars some day.
 
There was a friend I’ve written to and I’ve
A rock my name’s been carved in to be read.
You’re part of everything while you’re alive
And everything lives on when you are dead.
 
 
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