High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Esohe Weyden: Wandering
© Jonathan Ramael
© Jonathan Ramael © Jonathan Ramael
Friday Verses

Esohe Weyden: Wandering

This week's Friday Verses are written by Esohe Weyden. We translated her poem Dwaaltuin (Wandering) that first appeared in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Esohe Weyden (Wilrijk, b. 1999) is a poet and presenter. She has been the campus poet of the University of Antwerp since 2021. As a poet, she mainly engages in spoken word and recitation, but her texts also come to life on paper. She made her debut in 2022 with the poetry collection Tussentaal (Relay Language), with which she was nominated for the 2022 C. Buddingh' Prize for the best Dutch-language poetry debut of the year. She also won the audience prize of the PrixFintroPrijs for Dutch-language literature. Weyden has published in Poëziekrant, DW B and Het Liegend Konijn, among others.


dormant conversations
stir again in the light
of barren shop windows
peopled by cold mannequins

staring at the river
you forget time
its rippling moves you
until you break free of yourself
and vague dreams coalesce
as concrete concepts

like a link in a marching horde
sporadically sheltering in a crowd
in the skin of anonymity

you can’t possibly get lost
in the garden where endlessly starting over
comes as naturally as breathing
but always remains as a mercy
when you wake up

(Dutch version below the photo)


slapende gesprekken
worden weer aangewakkerd
in het licht van kale vitrines
bekleed met kille paspoppen

starend naar scheldewater
kan je de tijd weer vergeten
haar rimpels doen je bewegen
tot je loskomt van jezelf
en wazige dromen zich vormen
tot geconcretiseerde concepten

als een schakel in een marcherende horde
sporadisch schuilend in mensenmassa
en in de huid van de anonimiteit

kan je onmogelijk verdwalen
in de tuin waar eindeloos herbeginnen
zo vanzelfsprekend voelt als ademen
maar keer op keer een zegen blijft
wanneer je ontwaakt


Friday Verses

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