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Herman Leenders: Ruts
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© Willy Vynck
© Willy Vynck © Willy Vynck
Friday Verses
literature

Herman Leenders: Ruts

This week's Friday Verses are written by the experienced Flemish poet Herman Leenders. We translated Spoorvorming (Ruts). This poem first appeared in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Herman Leenders (Bruges, b. 1960) has published six collections of poetry, one volume of stories and two novels with the Arbeiderspers. In 2021 he published Het huis van de dichter (The Poet’s House), an anthology of his poetic work from 1992 to 2020. In the introduction the poet is characterised as ‘thoughtful and classical, but unique by virtue of the subtle twist he is able again and again to give reality in his poems’.

Ruts

carried away by soundtracks
to a land bathing in the sun
absorbed in pointless thoughts
I drove past the turn-off

that takes me where I belong
I went far back in time
the car followed from old habit a track
I could not escape

the fields lay flat and bare
here and there sheds tyres scrap
I recognised slopes and folds
named streets and towers

suddenly roadworks forced me
to return to the agenda
I drove hopelessly lost in the web
that cities weave round memories

the spider waited for its prey

(Dutch translation below the photo)

Spoorvorming

door filmmuziek ontvoerd
naar een land dat baadt in de zon
in onnuttige gedachten verzonken
reed ik de afrit voorbij

die mij brengt waar ik hoor
ik keerde ver terug in de tijd
de auto volgde ouder gewoonte een spoor
waaraan niet viel te ontkomen

de velden lagen blak en bloot
her en der barakken banden schroot
ik herkende glooiingen en plooien
noemde straten en torens

plots dwongen wegenwerken mij
naar de agenda terug te keren
ik reed hopeloos verloren in het web
dat steden rond herinneringen weven

de spin loerde op haar prooi

website Herman Leenders

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