Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo: ONLY THE BEGINNING COUNTS (4) by Jan Baeke, translated by Antoinette Fawcett

Those who hoard fire in their rooms
also hoard the temptation
to set themselves burning.

You feel sorry for the fire.
It fills your room.

I see your hand resting on the arm of your chair
see a cigarette burn down to your fingers
see you move in a reflex and my body
as the shadow of your pain

all that is falling taking shape
in the window and
the cigarette also.

The red of your mouth is beautiful
when you speak, beautiful the black
of the flame in your eyes.

Where there's fire, there's warmth for two.
Which words are following me
to help me find you again
in all that's burnt and
no longer recognizable?

By Jan Baeke

Translated by Antoinette Fawcett


From BIGGER THAN THE FACTS
by Jan Baeke
Translated from the Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett
Published by Arc Publications (2020)


Jan Baeke is a Dutch poet, translator, editor and curator, with nine poetry collections to his name. His latest collection, Seizoensroddel (‘Seasonal Gossip’), was awarded the Jan Campert Prize 2017. Bigger than the Facts appeared with Arc in 2020, translated by Antoinette Fawcett. Baeke is currently the festival programmer for Poetry International in Rotterdam.


Antoinette Fawcett is a translator from Dutch. After a career teaching English and world literature in the UK and several other countries, she returned to university to study for an MA and then a PhD in literary translation. Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer was her first full-length translation.


Photo by Lisa Kalloo


Check out the Poetry Travels book list on bookshop.org.


Read previous poems from Poetry Travels:

*** (RABID WINDS) by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk

ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS by Vainius Bakas, translated by Kerry Shawn Keys

AGGRESSOR’S MONOLOGUE by Artūras Valionis, translated by Jura Avizienis

THAT’S ALL by Jurgita Jasponytė, translated by Jura Avizienis

UNTITLED by Linas Umbrasas, translated by Audra Skukauskaitė

FIRST SPRING OF THE WAR by Vytautas Kaziela, translated by Jura Avizienis

A LETTER TO A CHILD by Lina Buidavičiutė, translated by Ada Valaitis

UNTITLED by Aneta Kamińska, translated by Anna Blasiak

TWO LYRICS OF LOVE AND MEMORY by Lina Kostenko, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj

CROW STUDY by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Ludmila Khersonsky, translated by Maya Chhabra

UNTITLED POEM by Iryna Vikyrchak

From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

TEAPOT by Nurduran Duman, translated by Andrew Wessels

IT’S COMING AGAIN by Michael Strunge, translated by Paul Russell Garrett

REPORT FROM ANOTHER CITY by Marcin Niewirowicz, translated by the Author

INTERIOR by Ana Blandiana, translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea

THIS IS LOVE by Joanna Fligiel, translated by Anna Blasiak

REVELATION IN H&M by Menno Wigman, translated by David Colmer

*** (I WANT TO FOLD THIS DAY) by Inga Pizāne, translated by Jayde Will

THE SIEGE by Marcin Świetlicki, translated by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

FISH by Jana Putrle Srdić, translated by Barbara Jurša

THE WELL by Maarja Pärtna, translated by Jayde Will

THE SHADOW by Pentti Saarikoski, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah

A FAREWELL TO MY DEAD CLASS by Irit Amiel, translated by Anna Blasiak and Marta Dziurosz

THE GIRLS IN BERGEN-BELSEN by Nora Gomringer, translated by Annie Rutherford

DECEMBER, by Jaume Subirana, translated by Christopher Whyte

ROSE RED, by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated by Karen Leeder

*** (I D[R]IPPED MY PEN…) by Mario Martín Gijón, translated by Terence Dooley

WHAT COMES by Magda Cârneci, translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Mădălina Bănucu

TRANSLATION by Justyna Bargielska, translated by Maria Jastrzębska

*** (MY EYES, DENSE NIGHT…) by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed

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