Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ed Leeflang

SWIMMING LATE

Past the third bank I start to float,
not tired, faintly treading water.

There is a swell, tall and lethargic,
on which some birds rise up and disappear.

On top again, I look behind me from a crest.
There is no beach. A glimmering of coast,

with here and there a light. And I go down.
The shoulder-shrugging of my sea lasts long,

with slow indifference, like the summer.
A question, silence, then a counter-question.

I do not figure in this conversation,
I go down under, feel the pull,

lid, plank, lamp, in a foaming valley,
once part of something, taken for something.

Far from my clothes I come ashore. I dress -
still shivering: too much cosmos.


Voorbij de derde bank houd ik mij drijvend,

Voorbij de derde bank houd ik mij drijvend,
flauw watertrappend en niet moe.

Er loopt een deining, hoog en sloom,
waarop wat vogels stijgen en verdwijnen.

Weer boven zie ik uit een golftop om.
Er ligt geen strand. Er schemert kust

met hier en daar een licht. Ik daal.
De schouderophaal van mijn zee duurt lang,

de onverschilligheid is traag
als zomer. Vraag, de stilte, wedervraag.

Ik kom in dat gesprek niet voor,
ga er aan onderdoor en voel de trek,

deksel, plank, lamp in schuimend dal,
van iets geweest, voor iets genomen.

Ver van mijn kleren aan het land gekomen.
Ik trek ze aan. Narillend van te veel heelal.
Close

SWIMMING LATE

Past the third bank I start to float,
not tired, faintly treading water.

There is a swell, tall and lethargic,
on which some birds rise up and disappear.

On top again, I look behind me from a crest.
There is no beach. A glimmering of coast,

with here and there a light. And I go down.
The shoulder-shrugging of my sea lasts long,

with slow indifference, like the summer.
A question, silence, then a counter-question.

I do not figure in this conversation,
I go down under, feel the pull,

lid, plank, lamp, in a foaming valley,
once part of something, taken for something.

Far from my clothes I come ashore. I dress -
still shivering: too much cosmos.


SWIMMING LATE

Past the third bank I start to float,
not tired, faintly treading water.

There is a swell, tall and lethargic,
on which some birds rise up and disappear.

On top again, I look behind me from a crest.
There is no beach. A glimmering of coast,

with here and there a light. And I go down.
The shoulder-shrugging of my sea lasts long,

with slow indifference, like the summer.
A question, silence, then a counter-question.

I do not figure in this conversation,
I go down under, feel the pull,

lid, plank, lamp, in a foaming valley,
once part of something, taken for something.

Far from my clothes I come ashore. I dress -
still shivering: too much cosmos.


Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère