#RivetingReviews: Rosie Goldsmith reviews 100 DUTCH POEMS

100 DUTCH-LANGUAGE POEMS
From the Medieval Period to the Present Day

Selected and translated by Paul Vincent and John Irons*

Published by Holland Park Press, October 2015


Where has this anthology been all my life?! A scholarly and literary treasure trove of Dutch-language verse across the centuries. The selection, the translation and the poetry itself are superb. Another black hole in our ignorance of international literature has been filled by this beautiful and important anthology. Here’s just one poem – with thanks to poet Erwin Mortier, publisher Holland Park Press and to the translators.

By Rosie Goldsmith

 

LETTER TWENTY-EIGHT

Should I stay silent I can hear you. What I hear

silence imposes on me. What I must keep silent

I listen to my soul tongue-tied.

When I speak your name, languages tear me open

– so I clam shut and sleep

in the temple of your night.

Bide, do not snatch from me the sheet of

all the firmament. Let your naked heaven

and its hemispheres rest on my eyes

like a roofless enigma.

Place a finger on my lips Beloved.

From one finger one can’t fall.

Category: Oct 2015Reviews

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