Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Miriam Van hee

EVENING IN DÚN LAOGHAIRE

1.
the lady from latvia recounted
how the people ended up where they did:
the finns steadily pushed the lapps
northwards

and the prussians were so belligerent,
do you hear, that they all
perished on their campaigns
of conquest

why are there so few
funny poems, sighed
the lady from latvia, she called the waiter
and asked him for more whisky, then
she looked outside and said
there was no one any more
who spoke prussian

2.
the sea and the air
had merged, only the lighthouses
still marked the horizon
they beckoned, not as a father or
a friend, they beckoned from
eternity, the freedom
of coming and going

finally only the palms
remained visible in the light
that came from the hotel rooms
and beyond that you could hear
the lashing of ropes against the masts

for everything there is a setting
for reunions, farewells
and for waiting

3.
the world is large, said
the lady from latvia,
europe, america, my father
died in siberia

we speak the oldest language
in europe, there aren’t many of us
that’s why we talk a lot,
we should wash out
our mouths with soap
my mother would say, where
is my mother now, why
can’t I be silent, why
can’t I cry?

life is long, said the lady
from latvia and you can’t
trade it in

4.
from where I was seated I saw
an island where the sun
was shining now and then
as it did on me, downstairs
gulls were making their sounds
plaintive, busy and nervous:
they were at home

the island turned dark,
grey and then bright green again
as if it were blushing and I understood
that the sun was worshipped once
it was as if someone
was paying attention to you, even
when you were quite alone

avond in dún laoghaire

avond in dún laoghaire

1.
de dame uit letland vertelde
hoe de volkeren terechtkwamen:
de finnen duwden de lappen
gestaag naar het noorden

en de pruisen waren zo strijdlustig,
moet je horen, dat ze allemaal
op hun veroveringstochten
gesneuveld zijn

waarom zijn er zo weinig
grappige gedichten, verzuchtte
de dame uit letland, ze wenkte de ober
en vroeg om meer whiskey, dan
keek ze naar buiten en zei
dat er niemand meer was
die nog pruisisch sprak

2.
de zee en de lucht waren in elkaar
overgevloeid, aan de vuurtorens
was nog te zien waar de horizon lag
ze wenkten, niet als een vader of als
een vriend, ze wenkten vanuit
het eeuwige leven, de vrijheid
van komen en gaan

ten slotte waren alleen nog
de palmen te zien in het licht
dat uit de hotelkamers kwam
en verder weg was het klappen
te horen van touwen tegen de masten

voor alles bestaat een decor
voor het weerzien, het afscheid
en voor het wachten

3.
de wereld is groot, zei
de dame uit letland,
europa, amerika, mijn vader
kwam om in siberïe

wij spreken de oudste taal
van europa, wij zijn met weinigen
daarom praten we veel,
men zou zich de mond
moeten wassen met zeep,
zei mijn moeder, waar
is nu mijn moeder, waarom
kan ik niet zwijgen, waarom
kan ik niet huilen?

het leven is lang, zei de dame
uit letland en er is niemand
die met me wil ruilen

4.
van waar ik zat zag ik
een eiland liggen waar
de zon op scheen, af en toe
zoals op mij, beneden
maakten meeuwen hun geluiden
klagend, druk en zenuwachtig :
ze waren thuis

het eiland kleurde donker,
grijs en dan weer hevig groen
alsof het bloosde en ik begreep
dat ooit de zon aanbeden werd
het leek alsof je aandacht
van haar kreeg, ook
als je helemaal alleen was
Close

EVENING IN DÚN LAOGHAIRE

1.
the lady from latvia recounted
how the people ended up where they did:
the finns steadily pushed the lapps
northwards

and the prussians were so belligerent,
do you hear, that they all
perished on their campaigns
of conquest

why are there so few
funny poems, sighed
the lady from latvia, she called the waiter
and asked him for more whisky, then
she looked outside and said
there was no one any more
who spoke prussian

2.
the sea and the air
had merged, only the lighthouses
still marked the horizon
they beckoned, not as a father or
a friend, they beckoned from
eternity, the freedom
of coming and going

finally only the palms
remained visible in the light
that came from the hotel rooms
and beyond that you could hear
the lashing of ropes against the masts

for everything there is a setting
for reunions, farewells
and for waiting

3.
the world is large, said
the lady from latvia,
europe, america, my father
died in siberia

we speak the oldest language
in europe, there aren’t many of us
that’s why we talk a lot,
we should wash out
our mouths with soap
my mother would say, where
is my mother now, why
can’t I be silent, why
can’t I cry?

life is long, said the lady
from latvia and you can’t
trade it in

4.
from where I was seated I saw
an island where the sun
was shining now and then
as it did on me, downstairs
gulls were making their sounds
plaintive, busy and nervous:
they were at home

the island turned dark,
grey and then bright green again
as if it were blushing and I understood
that the sun was worshipped once
it was as if someone
was paying attention to you, even
when you were quite alone

EVENING IN DÚN LAOGHAIRE

1.
the lady from latvia recounted
how the people ended up where they did:
the finns steadily pushed the lapps
northwards

and the prussians were so belligerent,
do you hear, that they all
perished on their campaigns
of conquest

why are there so few
funny poems, sighed
the lady from latvia, she called the waiter
and asked him for more whisky, then
she looked outside and said
there was no one any more
who spoke prussian

2.
the sea and the air
had merged, only the lighthouses
still marked the horizon
they beckoned, not as a father or
a friend, they beckoned from
eternity, the freedom
of coming and going

finally only the palms
remained visible in the light
that came from the hotel rooms
and beyond that you could hear
the lashing of ropes against the masts

for everything there is a setting
for reunions, farewells
and for waiting

3.
the world is large, said
the lady from latvia,
europe, america, my father
died in siberia

we speak the oldest language
in europe, there aren’t many of us
that’s why we talk a lot,
we should wash out
our mouths with soap
my mother would say, where
is my mother now, why
can’t I be silent, why
can’t I cry?

life is long, said the lady
from latvia and you can’t
trade it in

4.
from where I was seated I saw
an island where the sun
was shining now and then
as it did on me, downstairs
gulls were making their sounds
plaintive, busy and nervous:
they were at home

the island turned dark,
grey and then bright green again
as if it were blushing and I understood
that the sun was worshipped once
it was as if someone
was paying attention to you, even
when you were quite alone
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