High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Femke Vindevogel: Divorce
© Annaleen Louwes
© Annaleen Louwes © Annaleen Louwes
Friday Verses

Femke Vindevogel: Divorce

This week's Friday Verses are written by Femke Vindevogel. We translated Vechtscheiding (Divorce). This poem first appeared in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Femke Vindevogel (Ghent, b. 1978) lives near Bruges. Her debut novel Confituurwijk (Jam District) was published by Van Oorschot in 2019. The book was shortlisted for the Bronze Owl and won the audience award of the Bookstore Prize. Her second novel Baksteen (Brick) was published in 2021. She also published stories and poetry in Poëziekrant, Hollands Maandblad and Tirade, among others. Her poem Ruzie made it to the shortlist of the Melopee poetry prize.


turn yourself back into a firebreak
remove the spaces between words
ensure that harm can’t start to ember like

a butt in a forest of resinous conifers
crackling catlike flames belly-crawling
licking their way across to the other side

a rolling tidal wave of fire, fuel
for the indictment in infinite supply
sparking needles, shooting up like

squirrels leaping on wings of rage
if only they were beeches, less flammable
water rising high and wide through all their fibres

(Dutch version below the photo)


van jezelf weer een brandgang maken
witruimte tussen woorden verwijden
voorkomen dat kwaad gaat sintelen als

een peuk in een harsig naaldbos
waar vlammen op hun buik katachtig
knisperlikkend de overkant besluipen

voorwaarts rollend vloedgolfvuur, benzine
voor de tenlastelegging eindeloos voorradig
met vonkende naalden, opschietend als

eekhoorntjes springen op vleugels van drift
je zou willen dat ze beuken waren, niet ontvlambaar
dat water hen hoog en breed in de vezels staat

website Femke Vindevogel

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