Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Peter Holvoet-Hanssen

V COUNTRY (IRISH V POEM)

Cloud formations are on the move in constantly changing shapes
look, a dog stretches out its paws and now stands upright
with their shadows the phantoms crawl up the hills
and wet the patchwork quilt, my love, until the sun colours the mountains
mauve like my head, stampeding and balding as the rocks
into which the sea burns holes – only the gulls can still see me
maybe also Fergus who was foaming from laughter even
a long while after John Joe with the wild roses went to roost
stones can’t die his daughter said they just get
older while the swallows show me their white small bellies and the
dolphin in our bay waves her tail at me
– with the V
of disavowing in the water above the vanished houses, the V
of the deserted village past the V-shaped traffic signs
in the V-valley where I will find you: I bring the virgin fire of
your song into virtual safety, invisible to the hunters of the night

A donkey cuddles a sheep and a ox yawns in a meadow
amongst the rabbits – it is like snow and sun all at once where your
hideout is, with the waves that I can hear even though I can only
see them one by one in feverish dreams, with the cliffs where it rains upwards,
drops that dry before they can fall on my V-veined feet
I go on looking for you: under a patch of fog, under a rainbow
cloudless becomes crowdless, you glisten between two peaks
you flash between the opposing poles of life, singing for the
victims of the famine, fodder for the dogs, fodder
for death – like a mangy terrier in the middle of the track
I attack a car for here the roles are reversed
you crash into a farmer, pay the cow and wires in the sky
are for the rooks – a V gate keeps livestock out; there
you sit by the well studying the harebells, you fly up

Void of division you fiddle above the V cleft, you warble
hey Paddy, I’m taking the piss, come vanish with me

V-land (Iers V-gedicht)

V-land (Iers V-gedicht)

Wolkenformaties zijn op pad in steeds wisselende gedaanten
kijk, een hond strekt zijn pootjes uit en nu gaat hij rechtop staan
met hun schaduw kruipen die fantomen de heuvels op en straks
maken ze de lappendekens nat, mijn schat, tot de zon de bergen
paars kleurt als mijn hoofd, op hol en kalend als de rotsen waar
de zee gaten in brandt – alleen de meeuwen kunnen mij nog zien
misschien ook Fergus die van het lachen bleef schuimen zelfs
lang nadat John Joe met de wilde rozen op stok was gegaan
stenen kunnen niet sterven zei zijn dochter ze worden gewoon
ouder terwijl de zwaluwen me hun witte buikjes tonen en de
dolfijn in onze baai met haar staart naar me wuift
– met de V
van verstoten in het water boven de verzonken huizen, de V
van het verlaten dorp voorbij die V-vormige verkeersborden
in de V-vallei waar ik je vinden zal: ik breng het vuur van je
lied in veiligheid, onzichtbaar voor de jagers in de nacht

Een ezel knuffelt een schaap en een vos gaapt in een wei
tussen de konijnen – het is als sneeuw en zon tegelijk waar je
schuilplaats is, bij de golven die ik hoor zelfs als ik ze enkel
nog in koortsdromen kan zien, bij de kliffen waar het omhoog
regent, druppels die opdrogen voor ze op mijn V-voeten vallen
ik blijf je zoeken: onder een mistbank, onder een regenboog
onbewolkt wordt onbevolkt, je glinstert tussen twee toppen
je vonkt tussen de tegenpolen van het leven, zingend voor de
slachtoffers van de hongersnood, voer voor de honden, voer voor
de dood – als een schurftige terriër in het midden van de baan
val ik een auto aan want hier worden de rollen omgedraaid
rij je een boer aan, betaal je de koe en draden in de lucht
zijn er voor de roeken – een V-poort houdt vee buiten; daar
zit je bij de bron de grasklokjes te bespieden, je vliegt op

Vrij van tweespalt vedel je boven de V-kloof, je tiereliert
hey Paddy, ik scheer je gek, kom mee en verzwind met mij
Close

V COUNTRY (IRISH V POEM)

Cloud formations are on the move in constantly changing shapes
look, a dog stretches out its paws and now stands upright
with their shadows the phantoms crawl up the hills
and wet the patchwork quilt, my love, until the sun colours the mountains
mauve like my head, stampeding and balding as the rocks
into which the sea burns holes – only the gulls can still see me
maybe also Fergus who was foaming from laughter even
a long while after John Joe with the wild roses went to roost
stones can’t die his daughter said they just get
older while the swallows show me their white small bellies and the
dolphin in our bay waves her tail at me
– with the V
of disavowing in the water above the vanished houses, the V
of the deserted village past the V-shaped traffic signs
in the V-valley where I will find you: I bring the virgin fire of
your song into virtual safety, invisible to the hunters of the night

A donkey cuddles a sheep and a ox yawns in a meadow
amongst the rabbits – it is like snow and sun all at once where your
hideout is, with the waves that I can hear even though I can only
see them one by one in feverish dreams, with the cliffs where it rains upwards,
drops that dry before they can fall on my V-veined feet
I go on looking for you: under a patch of fog, under a rainbow
cloudless becomes crowdless, you glisten between two peaks
you flash between the opposing poles of life, singing for the
victims of the famine, fodder for the dogs, fodder
for death – like a mangy terrier in the middle of the track
I attack a car for here the roles are reversed
you crash into a farmer, pay the cow and wires in the sky
are for the rooks – a V gate keeps livestock out; there
you sit by the well studying the harebells, you fly up

Void of division you fiddle above the V cleft, you warble
hey Paddy, I’m taking the piss, come vanish with me

V COUNTRY (IRISH V POEM)

Cloud formations are on the move in constantly changing shapes
look, a dog stretches out its paws and now stands upright
with their shadows the phantoms crawl up the hills
and wet the patchwork quilt, my love, until the sun colours the mountains
mauve like my head, stampeding and balding as the rocks
into which the sea burns holes – only the gulls can still see me
maybe also Fergus who was foaming from laughter even
a long while after John Joe with the wild roses went to roost
stones can’t die his daughter said they just get
older while the swallows show me their white small bellies and the
dolphin in our bay waves her tail at me
– with the V
of disavowing in the water above the vanished houses, the V
of the deserted village past the V-shaped traffic signs
in the V-valley where I will find you: I bring the virgin fire of
your song into virtual safety, invisible to the hunters of the night

A donkey cuddles a sheep and a ox yawns in a meadow
amongst the rabbits – it is like snow and sun all at once where your
hideout is, with the waves that I can hear even though I can only
see them one by one in feverish dreams, with the cliffs where it rains upwards,
drops that dry before they can fall on my V-veined feet
I go on looking for you: under a patch of fog, under a rainbow
cloudless becomes crowdless, you glisten between two peaks
you flash between the opposing poles of life, singing for the
victims of the famine, fodder for the dogs, fodder
for death – like a mangy terrier in the middle of the track
I attack a car for here the roles are reversed
you crash into a farmer, pay the cow and wires in the sky
are for the rooks – a V gate keeps livestock out; there
you sit by the well studying the harebells, you fly up

Void of division you fiddle above the V cleft, you warble
hey Paddy, I’m taking the piss, come vanish with me
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