Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Cees Nooteboom

BASHÕ

1
Old man among the reeds mistrust of the poet.
He is on his way to the North he is making a book with his eyes.
He is writing himself upon the water he has lost his master.
Love only in things cut out of clouds and winds.
This his calling to visit his friends take leave.
Under fluttering breezes to gather skulls and lips.
Always the eye’s kiss translated into the words’ drive.
Seventeen the sacred number in which coming-forth is ordained.
To digest the past frozen stony as a butterfly.
Polished fossils in a marble tide.
Here passed by the poet on his journey to the North.
Here passed by the poet finally forever.

2
We know poetic poetry the common dangers
of moonstruckness, bel canto. Embalsamed air, that is all,
unless you turn it into pebbles that flash and hurt.
You, old master, polish the pebbles
that you fling to bring down a thrush.
Out of the world you cut an image that bears your name.
Seventeen pebbles for arrows a school of deathly singers.
See by the waterside the track of the poet
on his way to the innermost snowland. See how the water erases it
how the man with the hat inscribes it again
preserves water and footprint, capturing the movement that has passed,
so that what vanished is still there as something that vanished.

3
Nowhere in this universe have I a fixed dwelling
he wrote on his cypress hat. Death took off his hat,
as should be. The sense has remained.
Only in his poems could he dwell.
Just a little while and you will see the cherry blossoms of Yoshino.
Leave your sandals under the tree, lay your brushes aside.
Wrap your stick in your hat, build up the water in lines.
The light is yours, night too.
A while longer the cypress hat and you too will see them,
the snows of Yoshino, the ice cap of Sado,
the island that takes ship to Soren over gravestone waves.

4
The poet is a milling through him the landscape is turned into words.
Yet he thinks just like you and his eyes see the same.
The sun coming to grief in the mouth of the horse.
The outermost temple of Ise the beach of Narumi.
He travels under the sail of grief he steers toward his mission.
His jaws grind flowers into verses foot by foot.
The bookkeeping of the universe as the universe daily presents itself.
In the North he knows himself for a heap of old clothes.
If he is where he will never again be you read his poems:
he peeled cucumbers and mad-apples he paints his life
I too was tempted by the wind that blows the clouds.

Bashõ

Bashõ

1
Oude man tussen het riet achterdocht van de dichter.
Hij gaat op weg naar het Noorden hij maakt een boek met zijn ogen.
Hij schrijft zichzelf op het water hij is zijn meester verloren.
Liefde alleen in de dingen uit wolken en winden gesneden.
Dit is zijn roeping zijn vrienden bezoeken tot afscheid.
Schedels en lippen vergaren onder wuivende luchten.
Altijd de kus van het oog vertaald in de dwang van de woorden.
Zeventien het heilig getal waarin de verschijning bestemd wordt.
Het voorbije verteren bevriest zo versteend als een vlinder.
In een marmer getij de geslepen fossielen.
Hier kwam de dichter voorbij op zijn reis naar het Noorden.
Hier kwam de dichter voor altijd voorgoed voorbij.


2
Wij kennen de poëtische poëzie de gemene gevaren
Van maanziek en zangstem. Gebalsemde lucht is het,
Tenzij je er stenen van maakt die glanzen en pijn doen.
Jij, oude meester, sleep de stenen
Waar je een lijster mee dood gooit.
Jij sneed uit de wereld een beeld dat je naam draagt.
Zeventien stenen als pijlen een school doodse zangers.
Zie bij het water het spoor van de dichter
Op weg naar het binnenste sneeuwland. Zie hoe het water het uitwist
Hoe de man met de hoed het weer opschrijft
En water en voetstap bewaart, de vergane beweging steeds stilzet,
Zodat wat verdween er nog is als iets dat verdween.

3
Nergens in dit heelal heb ik een vaste woonplaats
Schreef hij op zijn hoed van cypressen. De dood nam zijn hoed af,
Dat hoort zo. De zin is gebleven.
Alleen in zijn gedichten kon hij wonen.
Nog even en je ziet de kersebloesems in Yoshino.
Zet je sandalen maar onder de boom, leg je penselen te rusten.
Berg je stok in je hoed, vervaardig het water in regels.
Het licht is van jou, de nacht ook.
Nog even, cypressehoed, en ook jij zult ze zien,
De sneeuw van Yoshino, de ijsmuts van Sado,
Het eiland dat scheepgaat naar Sorën over grafstenen golven.

4
De dichter is een gemaal door hem wordt het landschap van woorden.
Toch denkt hij net als jij en zien zijn ogen hetzelfde.
De zon die verongelukt in de bek van het paard.
De buitenste tempel van Ise het strand van Narumi.
Hij vaart in het zeil van de rouw hij koerst naar zijn opdracht.
Zijn kaken malen de bloemen tot de voeten van verzen.
De boekhouding van het heelal zoals het zich dagelijks voordoet.
In het Noorden kent hij zichzelf een hoop oude kleren.
Als hij is waar hij nooit meer zal zijn lees jij zijn gedichten:
Hij schilde komkommers en appels hij schildert zijn leven
Ook ik ben verleid door de wind die de wolken laat drijven.
Close

BASHÕ

1
Old man among the reeds mistrust of the poet.
He is on his way to the North he is making a book with his eyes.
He is writing himself upon the water he has lost his master.
Love only in things cut out of clouds and winds.
This his calling to visit his friends take leave.
Under fluttering breezes to gather skulls and lips.
Always the eye’s kiss translated into the words’ drive.
Seventeen the sacred number in which coming-forth is ordained.
To digest the past frozen stony as a butterfly.
Polished fossils in a marble tide.
Here passed by the poet on his journey to the North.
Here passed by the poet finally forever.

2
We know poetic poetry the common dangers
of moonstruckness, bel canto. Embalsamed air, that is all,
unless you turn it into pebbles that flash and hurt.
You, old master, polish the pebbles
that you fling to bring down a thrush.
Out of the world you cut an image that bears your name.
Seventeen pebbles for arrows a school of deathly singers.
See by the waterside the track of the poet
on his way to the innermost snowland. See how the water erases it
how the man with the hat inscribes it again
preserves water and footprint, capturing the movement that has passed,
so that what vanished is still there as something that vanished.

3
Nowhere in this universe have I a fixed dwelling
he wrote on his cypress hat. Death took off his hat,
as should be. The sense has remained.
Only in his poems could he dwell.
Just a little while and you will see the cherry blossoms of Yoshino.
Leave your sandals under the tree, lay your brushes aside.
Wrap your stick in your hat, build up the water in lines.
The light is yours, night too.
A while longer the cypress hat and you too will see them,
the snows of Yoshino, the ice cap of Sado,
the island that takes ship to Soren over gravestone waves.

4
The poet is a milling through him the landscape is turned into words.
Yet he thinks just like you and his eyes see the same.
The sun coming to grief in the mouth of the horse.
The outermost temple of Ise the beach of Narumi.
He travels under the sail of grief he steers toward his mission.
His jaws grind flowers into verses foot by foot.
The bookkeeping of the universe as the universe daily presents itself.
In the North he knows himself for a heap of old clothes.
If he is where he will never again be you read his poems:
he peeled cucumbers and mad-apples he paints his life
I too was tempted by the wind that blows the clouds.

BASHÕ

1
Old man among the reeds mistrust of the poet.
He is on his way to the North he is making a book with his eyes.
He is writing himself upon the water he has lost his master.
Love only in things cut out of clouds and winds.
This his calling to visit his friends take leave.
Under fluttering breezes to gather skulls and lips.
Always the eye’s kiss translated into the words’ drive.
Seventeen the sacred number in which coming-forth is ordained.
To digest the past frozen stony as a butterfly.
Polished fossils in a marble tide.
Here passed by the poet on his journey to the North.
Here passed by the poet finally forever.

2
We know poetic poetry the common dangers
of moonstruckness, bel canto. Embalsamed air, that is all,
unless you turn it into pebbles that flash and hurt.
You, old master, polish the pebbles
that you fling to bring down a thrush.
Out of the world you cut an image that bears your name.
Seventeen pebbles for arrows a school of deathly singers.
See by the waterside the track of the poet
on his way to the innermost snowland. See how the water erases it
how the man with the hat inscribes it again
preserves water and footprint, capturing the movement that has passed,
so that what vanished is still there as something that vanished.

3
Nowhere in this universe have I a fixed dwelling
he wrote on his cypress hat. Death took off his hat,
as should be. The sense has remained.
Only in his poems could he dwell.
Just a little while and you will see the cherry blossoms of Yoshino.
Leave your sandals under the tree, lay your brushes aside.
Wrap your stick in your hat, build up the water in lines.
The light is yours, night too.
A while longer the cypress hat and you too will see them,
the snows of Yoshino, the ice cap of Sado,
the island that takes ship to Soren over gravestone waves.

4
The poet is a milling through him the landscape is turned into words.
Yet he thinks just like you and his eyes see the same.
The sun coming to grief in the mouth of the horse.
The outermost temple of Ise the beach of Narumi.
He travels under the sail of grief he steers toward his mission.
His jaws grind flowers into verses foot by foot.
The bookkeeping of the universe as the universe daily presents itself.
In the North he knows himself for a heap of old clothes.
If he is where he will never again be you read his poems:
he peeled cucumbers and mad-apples he paints his life
I too was tempted by the wind that blows the clouds.
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
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