Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Erik Lindner

OURCQ

From the ice-breaker clearing the quay
cracks dart though the layer of ice,
from one bank across to the other
the ship trembles the ice breaks up,
the surface tilts deep into the canal
and bulges and splits, crumbles and melts.

Now one can see
how heavy a swan must be.
Tough as its belly and webbed feet
Is the ice, not white but transparent.
Where it stands is a layer of water.

Someone scoops the ice from the fountain.
Someone stacks tiles in a crate.
Someone raises the bridge.

The ice-breaker approaches.
The swan stares without pause.

Ourcq

Ourcq

Van de ijsbreker die loskomt van de kade
schieten scheuren door de ijslaag,
van de ene oever naar de andere
trilt het schip en kruit het ijs,
tot diep in het kanaal helt de oppervlakte
en bolt en splijt, verkruimelt en smelt.

Nu is zichtbaar
hoe zwaar een zwaan moet zijn.
Fors als zijn buik en vliespoten
is het ijs, niet wit maar transparant.
Waar hij staat, ligt
een laag water.

Iemand schept het ijs uit de fontein.
Iemand stapelt tegels in een krat.
Iemand haalt de brug op.

De ijsbreker nadert.
De zwaan staart onafgebroken.
Close

OURCQ

From the ice-breaker clearing the quay
cracks dart though the layer of ice,
from one bank across to the other
the ship trembles the ice breaks up,
the surface tilts deep into the canal
and bulges and splits, crumbles and melts.

Now one can see
how heavy a swan must be.
Tough as its belly and webbed feet
Is the ice, not white but transparent.
Where it stands is a layer of water.

Someone scoops the ice from the fountain.
Someone stacks tiles in a crate.
Someone raises the bridge.

The ice-breaker approaches.
The swan stares without pause.

OURCQ

From the ice-breaker clearing the quay
cracks dart though the layer of ice,
from one bank across to the other
the ship trembles the ice breaks up,
the surface tilts deep into the canal
and bulges and splits, crumbles and melts.

Now one can see
how heavy a swan must be.
Tough as its belly and webbed feet
Is the ice, not white but transparent.
Where it stands is a layer of water.

Someone scoops the ice from the fountain.
Someone stacks tiles in a crate.
Someone raises the bridge.

The ice-breaker approaches.
The swan stares without pause.
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