Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ellen Deckwitz

FREEDOM

In 922 there was a cheerful Sufi who pointed at his body
and said it was the truth. The authorities countered
only God could be the truth, a body was but a body.

They struck him in the face until he was blushing
from all the bruises. Then they took out a whip to etch
their truth in his back.

The Sufi passed out and came to. When the whip broke
they could hear his faint prayer, pointing at his chest.
They hacked off his fingers,

his hands, his arms, his toes, feet, his legs.
They hacked and hacked until the truth could
be halved no more, flowed through the streets.



VRIJHEID

VRIJHEID

In 922 was er een vrolijke soefi die op zijn lichaam wees
en zei dat dat de waarheid was. De autoriteiten zeiden
dat alleen God de waarheid kon zijn, een lijf was slechts een lijf.

Ze sloegen hem in het gezicht, net zolang tot er een blos verscheen
aan bloeduitstortingen. Ze haalden een zweep om hun gelijk
in zijn rug te etsen.

De soefi viel flauw en kwam weer bij. Toen de zweep brak
hoorden ze hem nog zacht prevelen, naar zijn borstkas gebaren.
Ze hieuwen zijn vingers af,

zijn handen, zijn armen, zijn tenen, voeten, zijn benen.
Ze hakten door tot de waarheid uiteindelijk niet meer
te splijten viel, ze stroomde uit over de straten.
Close

FREEDOM

In 922 there was a cheerful Sufi who pointed at his body
and said it was the truth. The authorities countered
only God could be the truth, a body was but a body.

They struck him in the face until he was blushing
from all the bruises. Then they took out a whip to etch
their truth in his back.

The Sufi passed out and came to. When the whip broke
they could hear his faint prayer, pointing at his chest.
They hacked off his fingers,

his hands, his arms, his toes, feet, his legs.
They hacked and hacked until the truth could
be halved no more, flowed through the streets.



FREEDOM

In 922 there was a cheerful Sufi who pointed at his body
and said it was the truth. The authorities countered
only God could be the truth, a body was but a body.

They struck him in the face until he was blushing
from all the bruises. Then they took out a whip to etch
their truth in his back.

The Sufi passed out and came to. When the whip broke
they could hear his faint prayer, pointing at his chest.
They hacked off his fingers,

his hands, his arms, his toes, feet, his legs.
They hacked and hacked until the truth could
be halved no more, flowed through the streets.



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