High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Eelkje Christine Bosch: Innocence of Things
© Fred Ernst
© Fred Ernst © Fred Ernst
Friday Verses

Eelkje Christine Bosch: Innocence of Things

This week's Friday Verses are written by Eelkje Christine Bosch. We translated voorwerponschuld (innocence of things). This poem was first published in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

As a child, Eelkje Christine Bosch (b. 1983, Zwolle) already knew she needed language for what it can magically do: capture and shape what can’t be expressed in any other way. Joke van Leeuwen and Ted van Lieshout were her first inspiration: they brought language beyond bounds to life in books and readings. Working in her independent bookshop in Katendrecht, literature and poetry parade past; Van Leeuwen and Van Lieshout are still there but so are Fabias, Vegter, Langelaar and so many others. By making images, analysing, feeling her hopeful way she wants to add her own voice to theirs. Her poems have been published in Het Liegend Konijn and Op Ruwe Planken. She is working towards her debut collection.

innocence of things

the step you stumble over
cries with you a little
the roof tile wobbles and says sorry
a murderer's hands
sighing close around a throat
rain falls reluctantly
on our bouffant hair-do

that reassures me
things are here too

until one morning
I get a letter from things
in which they renounce all
and disappear to
their being

(Dutch version below the photo)


de stoep waarop je struikelt huilt
een beetje met je mee
de dakpan wankelt en zegt sorry
handen van een moordenaar
sluiten zich zuchtend om een hals
de regen valt met tegenzin
op onze bolgeföhnde haren

dat stelt me gerust
de dingen zijn erbij

tot ik op een ochtend
een brief krijg van de dingen
waarin ze afstand doen van al
hun medeplichtigheid
en weer verdwijnen naar
er niet van weten

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