Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Marjolijn van Heemstra

CRADLE SONG

THIS SCREAMING IS FROM BEFORE MY TIME, THIS
RIDICULOUS SONG OF ANGRY VOWELS, OF
FILTHY SHEETS AND OLD BETRAYAL, NOBODY
TAUGHT ME THIS BUT I SING IT AND
I ANGRILY BEAT TIME FOR THE COATS
ROUND MY BED, FOR THE MAN WHO'S JUST
STANDING THERE, FOR THE BODY THAT'S BURSTING; THE TOTAL
LONELINESS OF THIS BECOMING TWO,
IN THE ROOM – NEXT TO THE MACHINES – STANDS
THE FINGER OF DEATH, I SING IT FURIOUSLY
AWAY FROM ME, IT STROLLS OVER TO MY BED,
BENDS AND LAYS A SHADOW OVER THE SHEET – ITS SHAPE
IS SO FAMILIAR, SINCE PREHISTORY IT STANDS
AT THIS MONUMENTAL MOMENT, BETWEEN
BLOOD AND CONTRACTIONS, SILENCE AND SCREAMING
OF NEW EXISTENCE, I LOOK AT IT
AND FEEL THE EDGE AND FEEL THE COLD AND SEE THE HORDES
OF WOMEN WHO SUCCUMBED IN THIS BED,
THEY HOWL A SONG FOR HEARTBEAT, FOR SUMMERS,
FOR VISTAS, CHANCES, DREAMS, WHILE THE WATER
FLOWS OUT OF ME, THE FINGER TAPS ME, I'LL NEVER
BE RID OF ITS IMPRINT, AN ELONGATED, GREY SIGN,
A MEMORIAL STONE FOR WHO IN THIS BED
WAS SUCKED AWAY BY THE HUNGERING EBB,
MASS WATERY GRAVE, ON NO FIELD OF BATTLE
WERE SO MANY KILLED, NOBODY HAS EVER REMEMBERED THEM

WIEGELIEDJE

WIEGELIEDJE

DIT SCHREEUWEN IS VAN VOOR MIJN TIJD, DIT
BELACHELIJKE LIED VAN BOZE KLINKERS, VAN
VIEZE LAKENS EN OUD VERRAAD, NIEMAND
HEEFT MIJ DIT GELEERD MAAR IK ZING HET EN
IK SLA EEN BOZE MAAT ERBIJ VOOR DE JASSEN
ROND MIJN BED, VOOR DE MAN DIE DAAR
MAAR STAAT, VOOR HET LIJF DAT SPLIJT; DE TOTALE
EENZAAMHEID VAN DEZE TWEEWORDING,
IN DE KAMER – NAAST DE APPARATEN – STAAT
DE VINGER VAN DE DOOD, IK ZING HEM WOEDEND
VAN MIJ WEG, HIJ LOOPT RUSTIG NAAR MIJN BED,
BUIGT EN LEGT EEN SCHADUW OVER HET LAKEN – ZIJN VORM
IS ZO BEKEND, SINDS DE PREHISTORIE STAAT HIJ
IN DIT GIGANTISCHE MOMENT, TUSSEN
BLOED EN WEEËN, STILTE EN HET SCHREEUWEN
VAN NIEUW BESTAAN, IK KIJK HEM AAN
EN VOEL DE RAND EN VOEL DE KOU EN ZIE DE HORDES
VROUWEN DIE IN DIT BED TEN ONDER GINGEN,
ZE BRULLEN EEN LIED VOOR HARTSLAG, VOOR ZOMERS,
VOOR VERTES, KANSEN, DROMEN, TERWIJL HET WATER
UIT MIJ STROOMT, DE VINGER TIKT MIJ AAN, ZIJN AFDRUK
KRIJG IK NIET MEER WEG, EEN GRIJS LANGWERPIG TEKEN,
EEN GEDENKSTEEN VOOR WIE IN DIT BED
MEEGEZOGEN WERD DOOR DE HONGERIGE EB,
MASSAWATERGRAF, OP GEEN SLAGVELD WERD
ZOVEEL GEMOORD, NIEMAND HEEFT ZE OOIT HERDACHT

Close

CRADLE SONG

THIS SCREAMING IS FROM BEFORE MY TIME, THIS
RIDICULOUS SONG OF ANGRY VOWELS, OF
FILTHY SHEETS AND OLD BETRAYAL, NOBODY
TAUGHT ME THIS BUT I SING IT AND
I ANGRILY BEAT TIME FOR THE COATS
ROUND MY BED, FOR THE MAN WHO'S JUST
STANDING THERE, FOR THE BODY THAT'S BURSTING; THE TOTAL
LONELINESS OF THIS BECOMING TWO,
IN THE ROOM – NEXT TO THE MACHINES – STANDS
THE FINGER OF DEATH, I SING IT FURIOUSLY
AWAY FROM ME, IT STROLLS OVER TO MY BED,
BENDS AND LAYS A SHADOW OVER THE SHEET – ITS SHAPE
IS SO FAMILIAR, SINCE PREHISTORY IT STANDS
AT THIS MONUMENTAL MOMENT, BETWEEN
BLOOD AND CONTRACTIONS, SILENCE AND SCREAMING
OF NEW EXISTENCE, I LOOK AT IT
AND FEEL THE EDGE AND FEEL THE COLD AND SEE THE HORDES
OF WOMEN WHO SUCCUMBED IN THIS BED,
THEY HOWL A SONG FOR HEARTBEAT, FOR SUMMERS,
FOR VISTAS, CHANCES, DREAMS, WHILE THE WATER
FLOWS OUT OF ME, THE FINGER TAPS ME, I'LL NEVER
BE RID OF ITS IMPRINT, AN ELONGATED, GREY SIGN,
A MEMORIAL STONE FOR WHO IN THIS BED
WAS SUCKED AWAY BY THE HUNGERING EBB,
MASS WATERY GRAVE, ON NO FIELD OF BATTLE
WERE SO MANY KILLED, NOBODY HAS EVER REMEMBERED THEM

CRADLE SONG

THIS SCREAMING IS FROM BEFORE MY TIME, THIS
RIDICULOUS SONG OF ANGRY VOWELS, OF
FILTHY SHEETS AND OLD BETRAYAL, NOBODY
TAUGHT ME THIS BUT I SING IT AND
I ANGRILY BEAT TIME FOR THE COATS
ROUND MY BED, FOR THE MAN WHO'S JUST
STANDING THERE, FOR THE BODY THAT'S BURSTING; THE TOTAL
LONELINESS OF THIS BECOMING TWO,
IN THE ROOM – NEXT TO THE MACHINES – STANDS
THE FINGER OF DEATH, I SING IT FURIOUSLY
AWAY FROM ME, IT STROLLS OVER TO MY BED,
BENDS AND LAYS A SHADOW OVER THE SHEET – ITS SHAPE
IS SO FAMILIAR, SINCE PREHISTORY IT STANDS
AT THIS MONUMENTAL MOMENT, BETWEEN
BLOOD AND CONTRACTIONS, SILENCE AND SCREAMING
OF NEW EXISTENCE, I LOOK AT IT
AND FEEL THE EDGE AND FEEL THE COLD AND SEE THE HORDES
OF WOMEN WHO SUCCUMBED IN THIS BED,
THEY HOWL A SONG FOR HEARTBEAT, FOR SUMMERS,
FOR VISTAS, CHANCES, DREAMS, WHILE THE WATER
FLOWS OUT OF ME, THE FINGER TAPS ME, I'LL NEVER
BE RID OF ITS IMPRINT, AN ELONGATED, GREY SIGN,
A MEMORIAL STONE FOR WHO IN THIS BED
WAS SUCKED AWAY BY THE HUNGERING EBB,
MASS WATERY GRAVE, ON NO FIELD OF BATTLE
WERE SO MANY KILLED, NOBODY HAS EVER REMEMBERED THEM

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