Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Cees Nooteboom

HARBA LORI FA

So many species! So many individuals
to suffer and smile in these stone-filled hills!
 
The fig tree is bent to the south,
overhead the gentle snoring of an aeroplane.
 
My friend is waiting by a bush with sharp thorns.
He knows the story of his downfall.
 
Between gallnuts and thistles,
we see the gleam of the sea, a sail in the distance.
 
Everything is asleep. Give me another life and I will refuse it.
Shells and crickets, my cup is filled with eternal afternoon.
 
The stream I drank from yesterday had cool, clear water.
I saw the reflection of the laurel, I saw the shadow
 
of its leaves drifting away over the bed.
This was all I wanted. Harba lori fa.
 
My age hangs on a thread. I am the spider
over the path, weaving its multangular time
 
from bramble to bramble,
until the walker comes by on his way to the harbour,
 
the walker who hits out with his stick.

HARBA LORI FA

HARBA LORI FA

Zoveel soorten bestaan! Zoveel bevolking
om te lijden en lachen in deze heuvels vol stenen!
 
De vijgeboom staat gebogen in de richting van het zuiden,
boven ons het zachte snurken van een vliegtuig.
 
Mijn vriend wacht bij een struik met scherpe doornen.
Hij kent het verhaal van zijn ondergang,
 
we zien de glans van de zee
tussen galappels en distels, een zeil in de verte.
 
Alles slaapt. Geef mij een ander leven en ik wil het niet.
Schelpen en krekels, mijn kelk is vol eeuwige middag.
 
De stroom waaruit ik gisteren dronk had koel, helder water.
Ik zag de laurierboom weerspiegeld, ik zag hoe de schaduw
 
van de bladeren wegdreef over de bodem.
Dit was alles wat ik wilde. Harba lori fa.
 
Mijn leeftijd hangt aan een draad. Zo ben ik de spin
boven het pad. Die weeft zijn veelhoekige tijd
 
tussen braambos en braambos,
tot de wandelaar voorbijkomt op weg naar de haven,
 
de wandelaar die slaat met zijn stok.
 
Close

HARBA LORI FA

So many species! So many individuals
to suffer and smile in these stone-filled hills!
 
The fig tree is bent to the south,
overhead the gentle snoring of an aeroplane.
 
My friend is waiting by a bush with sharp thorns.
He knows the story of his downfall.
 
Between gallnuts and thistles,
we see the gleam of the sea, a sail in the distance.
 
Everything is asleep. Give me another life and I will refuse it.
Shells and crickets, my cup is filled with eternal afternoon.
 
The stream I drank from yesterday had cool, clear water.
I saw the reflection of the laurel, I saw the shadow
 
of its leaves drifting away over the bed.
This was all I wanted. Harba lori fa.
 
My age hangs on a thread. I am the spider
over the path, weaving its multangular time
 
from bramble to bramble,
until the walker comes by on his way to the harbour,
 
the walker who hits out with his stick.

HARBA LORI FA

So many species! So many individuals
to suffer and smile in these stone-filled hills!
 
The fig tree is bent to the south,
overhead the gentle snoring of an aeroplane.
 
My friend is waiting by a bush with sharp thorns.
He knows the story of his downfall.
 
Between gallnuts and thistles,
we see the gleam of the sea, a sail in the distance.
 
Everything is asleep. Give me another life and I will refuse it.
Shells and crickets, my cup is filled with eternal afternoon.
 
The stream I drank from yesterday had cool, clear water.
I saw the reflection of the laurel, I saw the shadow
 
of its leaves drifting away over the bed.
This was all I wanted. Harba lori fa.
 
My age hangs on a thread. I am the spider
over the path, weaving its multangular time
 
from bramble to bramble,
until the walker comes by on his way to the harbour,
 
the walker who hits out with his stick.
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