Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Erik Lindner

REASON

1. Don't start doubting reason,
reason, reason, reason.
A fly walks from the rim 
to the middle of the table-top
and back again, follows the edge
a few inches, re-enters the void
of the off-white, tries again
I don’t know what, then flies away.


2. If I’m lost for words,

or his voice that blocks them rings out,
the child’s hair is cut

before the spread of her tresses,

know then
that a hand

rarely pushes and stops.


2. The garden is between the road and the window
I saw through my dream by standing up in it

and still you shrug your shoulders 
in the middle of what’s embracing you

that cartwheel and that brick path
the chair which just stays put

how softly tram seven to hoboken
circles round the tables outside café athene

one tree is lighter than the other
on the ground the sunlight falls on your feet


4. A man is eating an apple in the park
and the trees bow down around him
the grass has run out of the treetrunks
it’s jostling round his feet
the pond pushes plants to the bank
the man takes a bite of the apple
and lets it tip over on his tongue
sucks out the juice and crushes
the pond shrinks behind the shrubs
branches point upwards out of the trees
an animal climbs up a trunk
and leaps and sprints across the grass
along the green beside the street
back to the pond and past the shrubs
to a man who’s folding his arms
on the grass in the distance in a park

Rede

Rede

1. Trek niet in twijfel dat rede,
dat rede, dat rede, dat rede.
Een vlieg loopt van de rand
naar het midden van het tafelblad
en weer terug, volgt enkele centimeters
van de zijde, steekt de leegheid
van het vaalwit weer in, probeert opnieuw
wat ik niet weet en vliegt dan op.


2. Als ik niet meer uit mijn woorden kom

of zijn stem die ze ontkracht, klinkt, is
het kind geknipt

voor de spreiding van haar lokken

weet dan
dat zelden

een hand duwt en ophoudt.


3. De tuin ligt tussen de weg en het raam
ik betrapte mijn droom door er in op te staan

en nog haal je je schouders op
in het midden van wat je omhelst

dat wagenwiel en die gekante bakstenen
de stoel die maar blijft staan

hoe zacht lijn zeven naar hoboken
om het terras athene heen draait

een boom is lichter dan de andere
op de vloer valt het zonlicht op je voeten.


4. Een man eet een appel in het park
en de bomen buigen om hem heen
het gras is uit de stammen gelopen
het verdringt zich rond zijn voeten
de vijver duwt planten op de oever
de man neemt een hap uit de appel
en laat die op zijn tong kantelen
zuigt het vocht eruit en vermaalt
de vijver krimpt achter de struiken
takken wijzen uit de bomen omhoog
een dier klimt tegen een stam op
en springt en sprint door het veld
voorbij het groen aan de straatkant
terug de vijver langs de struiken door
naar een man die zijn handen vouwt
op het veld in de verte in een park.
Close

REASON

1. Don't start doubting reason,
reason, reason, reason.
A fly walks from the rim 
to the middle of the table-top
and back again, follows the edge
a few inches, re-enters the void
of the off-white, tries again
I don’t know what, then flies away.


2. If I’m lost for words,

or his voice that blocks them rings out,
the child’s hair is cut

before the spread of her tresses,

know then
that a hand

rarely pushes and stops.


2. The garden is between the road and the window
I saw through my dream by standing up in it

and still you shrug your shoulders 
in the middle of what’s embracing you

that cartwheel and that brick path
the chair which just stays put

how softly tram seven to hoboken
circles round the tables outside café athene

one tree is lighter than the other
on the ground the sunlight falls on your feet


4. A man is eating an apple in the park
and the trees bow down around him
the grass has run out of the treetrunks
it’s jostling round his feet
the pond pushes plants to the bank
the man takes a bite of the apple
and lets it tip over on his tongue
sucks out the juice and crushes
the pond shrinks behind the shrubs
branches point upwards out of the trees
an animal climbs up a trunk
and leaps and sprints across the grass
along the green beside the street
back to the pond and past the shrubs
to a man who’s folding his arms
on the grass in the distance in a park

REASON

1. Don't start doubting reason,
reason, reason, reason.
A fly walks from the rim 
to the middle of the table-top
and back again, follows the edge
a few inches, re-enters the void
of the off-white, tries again
I don’t know what, then flies away.


2. If I’m lost for words,

or his voice that blocks them rings out,
the child’s hair is cut

before the spread of her tresses,

know then
that a hand

rarely pushes and stops.


2. The garden is between the road and the window
I saw through my dream by standing up in it

and still you shrug your shoulders 
in the middle of what’s embracing you

that cartwheel and that brick path
the chair which just stays put

how softly tram seven to hoboken
circles round the tables outside café athene

one tree is lighter than the other
on the ground the sunlight falls on your feet


4. A man is eating an apple in the park
and the trees bow down around him
the grass has run out of the treetrunks
it’s jostling round his feet
the pond pushes plants to the bank
the man takes a bite of the apple
and lets it tip over on his tongue
sucks out the juice and crushes
the pond shrinks behind the shrubs
branches point upwards out of the trees
an animal climbs up a trunk
and leaps and sprints across the grass
along the green beside the street
back to the pond and past the shrubs
to a man who’s folding his arms
on the grass in the distance in a park
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