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Tsead Bruinja: Burning House
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© Dirk Skiba
© Dirk Skiba © Dirk Skiba
Friday Verses
literature

Tsead Bruinja: Burning House

Tsead Bruinja

This week's Friday Verses are written by Tsead Bruinja (b. 1974, Rinsumageest), the new Poet Laureate of the Netherlands. We translated Baarnend hûs (Burning House) from the volume De geboorte van het zwarte paard (Cossee, 2008).

Burning House

she lives in a burning house
every storm takes a tile from the roof
it is cold her teeth are chattering
outside someone makes up new traffic regulations
an old man goes on cycling
wrapped in newspapers under his clothing
she goes outside with basket of washing
black sheets black blankets black pillowcase
she sees the fields burning too
it makes no sense to be outside
better to go back to the walls
the dancing flames on his portrait
post drops unasked for through the door
crackling fails to reach the mat
her cat jumps up onto her lap
with a plantlike desire to be stroked
she pours more meths over the photo albums
brushes ash from her specs and reads
and reads and reads

(Dutch version below the photo)

Baarnend Hûs*

sy wennet yn in baarnend hûs
elke stoarm nimt in panne fan it dak
it is kâld har tosken klapperje
bûten betinkt ien nije ferkearsregels
fytst fierder in âld man
kranten om it liif bûn ûnder de klean
sy rint der út mei in koer fol wask
swarte lekkens swarte tekkens swart sloop
se sjocht de greiden baarne ek
it hat gjin doel en wês bûten
leaver werom nei de muorren
de dânsjende flammen op syn portret
post falt net frege troch de doar
hellet knisterjend de matte net
har kat springt by har op ’e skurte
mei in plantaardich streakferlet
jit sy noch wat spiritus oer de foto-albums
faget de jiske fan ’e bril en lêst
en lêst en lêst

*original poem in Frisian

Friday Verses

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