High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Filip Rogiers: On the Fundamentalism of Every Revelation
© Koen Broos
© Koen Broos © Koen Broos
Friday Verses

Filip Rogiers: On the Fundamentalism of Every Revelation

Filip Rogiers

This week's Friday Verses are written by Filip Rogiers. We translated Over het fundamentalisme van elke openbaring (On the Fundamentalism of Every Revelation). This poem was first published in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Filip Rogiers (b. 1966, Ghent) lives and works in Brussels. He also writes prose. His collection of stories Nauwelijks lichaam (2011) won the 2012 Debuutprijs. His debut novel Verman je (2015) was nominated for the Bronzen Uil and the Cutting Edge Award. In 2018 the novel Angel appeared. Several of his as yet uncollected poems have featured in Poëziekrant and Het Liegend Konijn.

On the Fundamentalism of Every Revelation

The face from whom your hands
learned how to caress,
the sunlight that was refracted sparkling
in the river where as a child you
dreamed of later water,
the lad with the outsize helmet
in Rembrandt’s Night Watch,
the line of verse that opened panoramas:

what you saw first,
is carried with you forever and commands
all later looking, feeling, knowing.

So manage revelation,
go on learning to look
for all the following times.

So that you see
beyond the first glance.
so that you don’t while still alive
continue on your way
placed on a bier, set in stone.

(Dutch version below the photo)

Over het fundamentalisme van elke openbaring

Het gezicht van wie je handen
het strelen leerden,
het zonlicht dat parelend brak
in de rivier waar je als kind
droomde van later water,
de jongen met de overmaatse helm
op de Nachtwacht van Rembrandt,
het vers dat vergezichten opende:

wat je voor het eerst zag,
draag je immer mee en beveelt
alle later kijken, voelen, weten.

Beheer daarom het openbaren,
wil het kijken blijven leren
voor alle volgende keren.

Opdat je nog zou zien
voorbij de eerste oogopslag,
opdat je niet al bij leven
opgebaard, versteend
de verdere weg aanvat.

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