Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Eva Gerlach

SOLVE ET COAGULA

When you had that nose-bleed remember
the one that just wouldn’t stop,
you sat head down over the basin
‘will I bleed empty now?’ and I looked at you there,

it was as if I never more would
dare touch you again, as if you’d dis-
solve then and there into reality like
gold in aqua regia had I but stroked
you the slightest;

of course you hadn’t got to die for
ages, I knew that full well, but he who sings to
the hares and the bears the songs where
he tells how he shot them had now just
started on yours, I could hear it
inside my head pling,
pling,
the opening
tentative notes.

SOLVE ET COAGULA

SOLVE ET COAGULA

Toen je die bloedneus had weet je
nog wel, dat het niet meer ophield,
je zat bij de wasbak, hoofd voorovergevouwen,
“loop ik nou helemaal leeg?” en ik zag je daar zitten,

het was alsof ik je nooit meer
zou durven aanraken, of je meteen zou op-
lossen in de werkelijkheid als goud
in koningswater als ik je ook maar het minste
beetje zou aaien;

natuurlijk moest je nog lang niet
dood, dat wist ik best, maar hij die de liedjes
zingt voor de hazen en beren waarin hij vertelt
hoe hij ze heeft geschoten, was juist begonnen
het jouwe te maken, ik kon het
horen in mijn hoofd, pieng,
pong,
de eerste,
voorzichtige tonen.

Close

SOLVE ET COAGULA

When you had that nose-bleed remember
the one that just wouldn’t stop,
you sat head down over the basin
‘will I bleed empty now?’ and I looked at you there,

it was as if I never more would
dare touch you again, as if you’d dis-
solve then and there into reality like
gold in aqua regia had I but stroked
you the slightest;

of course you hadn’t got to die for
ages, I knew that full well, but he who sings to
the hares and the bears the songs where
he tells how he shot them had now just
started on yours, I could hear it
inside my head pling,
pling,
the opening
tentative notes.

SOLVE ET COAGULA

When you had that nose-bleed remember
the one that just wouldn’t stop,
you sat head down over the basin
‘will I bleed empty now?’ and I looked at you there,

it was as if I never more would
dare touch you again, as if you’d dis-
solve then and there into reality like
gold in aqua regia had I but stroked
you the slightest;

of course you hadn’t got to die for
ages, I knew that full well, but he who sings to
the hares and the bears the songs where
he tells how he shot them had now just
started on yours, I could hear it
inside my head pling,
pling,
the opening
tentative notes.

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