Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Gerrit Komrij

Desolation

The following day refinds me in the maze.
I’m trapped inside for good. It’s now quite clear
I’m once more blinded by that figure’s gaze.
My mother, rising in a sacred sphere.

Amid such bustling traffic – would she still be there?
I dare not leave my alley-web. She looked
Just like a child, the girl of bygone years –
Her face so full of tenderness, yet spooked.

I see her dress still swirling, marble-slick.
This memory I’m most hard put to shelve:
Her right hand resting lightly on a stick,
She winked at me upon the stroke of twelve.

Verlatenheid

Verlatenheid

De dag daarop opnieuw het labyrint.
Hier kom ik nooit meer uit. Nu is het weer
Het beeld van gisteren dat mij verblindt.
Mijn moeder, rijzend in gewijde sfeer.

Zou zij er nog staan, in het snelverkeer?
Ik durf mijn stegennet niet uit. – Ze leek
Op een jong kind, het meisje van weleer –
Met een gezicht vol teerheid, en toch bleek.

Ik zie haar rok nog golven, marmerglad.
Haar rechterhand rust luchtig op een staf.
En bovenal herinner ik me dat
Ze mij om klokslag twaalf een knipoog gaf.
Close

Desolation

The following day refinds me in the maze.
I’m trapped inside for good. It’s now quite clear
I’m once more blinded by that figure’s gaze.
My mother, rising in a sacred sphere.

Amid such bustling traffic – would she still be there?
I dare not leave my alley-web. She looked
Just like a child, the girl of bygone years –
Her face so full of tenderness, yet spooked.

I see her dress still swirling, marble-slick.
This memory I’m most hard put to shelve:
Her right hand resting lightly on a stick,
She winked at me upon the stroke of twelve.

Desolation

The following day refinds me in the maze.
I’m trapped inside for good. It’s now quite clear
I’m once more blinded by that figure’s gaze.
My mother, rising in a sacred sphere.

Amid such bustling traffic – would she still be there?
I dare not leave my alley-web. She looked
Just like a child, the girl of bygone years –
Her face so full of tenderness, yet spooked.

I see her dress still swirling, marble-slick.
This memory I’m most hard put to shelve:
Her right hand resting lightly on a stick,
She winked at me upon the stroke of twelve.
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