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.
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.