High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

David Troch: this land
© Patrick Henry
© Patrick Henry © Patrick Henry
Friday Verses

David Troch: this land

This week's Friday Verses are written by David Troch. We translated dit land (this land). This poem was first published in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

David Troch (Bonheiden, b. 1977) is an author and creative writing teacher. He won the Turing National Poetry Competition and the Herman de Coninck Prize for the best poem, was city poet of Ghent and a founding editor of the literary magazine Kluger Hans. Four collections of poetry by him have appeared – including bianca blues in Dutch and in a Spanish translation – and the story collection Rue des Regrets. The poems in his forthcoming poetry collection will consist entirely of monosyllabic words. He was nominated for the Wablieft Prize for the #monosyllabic poem.

this land

in this land you live, my love. in this land there is too much
light to see a star fall at night.

it’s in vain, to stand and look through the pane, my love,
come back to bed. the sun has drown in the sea.

if our bed were this land, the land would not break up.
would it, my love?

i don’t like the thought of you who turn your back on me,
look at the door, keen to take flight.

though i know it is our fate too that the sea comes,
rolls us out of bed, rocks us to sleep by the sun.

i am so sad, my love,
that the light in this land does not want us to watch the stars.

(Dutch version below the photo)

dit land

in dit land leef jij, mijn lief. in dit land is er te veel
licht om ’s nachts een ster die valt te zien.

het heeft geen zin om aan het raam te staan, mijn lief,
kom weer in bed. de zon ligt al in zee.

als ons bed dit land zou zijn, het land ging niet in twee.
toch, mijn lief ?

ik beeld het me niet graag in: jij die je rug naar mijn rug keert,
de blik naar de deur, klaar om op de vlucht te slaan.

al weet ik dat het ook ons lot is, dat de zee komt,
ons het bed uit rolt, ons in slaap wiegt naast de zon.

het spijt me zo, mijn lief,
dat het licht in dit land ons geen ster meer laat zien.

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