Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Samantha Barendson

1

I can’t remember anything.
Nothing.

There’s a before, dark, empty and silent.
Afterwards there’s my aunt feeding me mashed potatoes and
imitating a plane with the tablespoon.
Then, from the plane, from the mashed potatoes, everything is clear.
Every memory is there, limpid, pure.
The smell of closets, of people, of food.
The sounds, the songs, the nursery rhymes, the voices, the smiles,
everything is there.
The colours, the prints, the flowers, every room of the house, the toys,
the kindergarten, everything.
But before that, nothing.

Just darkness.

1

Ik herinner me niets.
Niets.

Er is een vroeger, zwart, leeg, stil.
Daarna is er mijn tante die me puree voert terwijl ze met de lepel
een vliegtuig nabootst.
Vanaf het vliegtuig, vanaf de puree is alles duidelijk.
Elke herinnering is er, helder, zuiver.
De geur van de kasten, de mensen, het eten.
De geluiden, de liedjes, de aftelrijmpjes, de stemmen, het gelach, alles is er.
De kleuren, de motieven, de bloemen, de kamers in het huis, het speelgoed,
de kleuterklas, alles.
Maar daarvoor niets.

Duisternis.

1

Je ne me souviens de rien.
Rien.

Il y a un avant, noir, vide, silencieux.
Après il y a ma tante qui me donne de la purée en imitant l’avion avec la cuillère à soupe.
À partir de l’avion, à partir de la purée, tout est net.
Chaque souvenir est là, limpide, pur.
Les odeurs des placards, des gens, de la nourriture.
Les bruits, les chansons, les comptines, les voix, les rires, tout est là.
Les couleurs, les imprimés, les fleurs, les pièces de la maison,
les jouets, le jardin d’enfants, tout.
Mais avant ça, rien.

Tout noir.
Close

1

I can’t remember anything.
Nothing.

There’s a before, dark, empty and silent.
Afterwards there’s my aunt feeding me mashed potatoes and
imitating a plane with the tablespoon.
Then, from the plane, from the mashed potatoes, everything is clear.
Every memory is there, limpid, pure.
The smell of closets, of people, of food.
The sounds, the songs, the nursery rhymes, the voices, the smiles,
everything is there.
The colours, the prints, the flowers, every room of the house, the toys,
the kindergarten, everything.
But before that, nothing.

Just darkness.

1

I can’t remember anything.
Nothing.

There’s a before, dark, empty and silent.
Afterwards there’s my aunt feeding me mashed potatoes and
imitating a plane with the tablespoon.
Then, from the plane, from the mashed potatoes, everything is clear.
Every memory is there, limpid, pure.
The smell of closets, of people, of food.
The sounds, the songs, the nursery rhymes, the voices, the smiles,
everything is there.
The colours, the prints, the flowers, every room of the house, the toys,
the kindergarten, everything.
But before that, nothing.

Just darkness.
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