High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Anke Senden: here
Friday Verses

Anke Senden: here

Anke Senden

This week's Friday Verses are written by Anke Senden. We translated hier (here). This poem was first published in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Anke Senden (b. 1994, Deinze) was fascinated from the outset by language and writing. For that reason she studied Language and Literature English-Dutch at Leuven University and followed the course on Literary Creativity at the Municipal Academy in Deinze. She won several prizes in young people’s poetry competitions, and also enjoys performing onstage in literary programmes. She considers herself a ‘poet’ in the first meaning of the word: a ‘maker’: always busy working out the next wildly creative idea.


your beginning is being groped, from the start
it’s true: who you are, is determined
by your flesh, your prick or your crack

it’s skin against skin, you against her, you against him,
if an I already existed, it would resist
but it is bound up in kilos and centimetres

and people it’s like or should be like
the consciousness pounds in your ears: you can never
repeat this, your own beginning’s been torn out of your hands

like a child from the arms of its mother
from your throat breaks the cry of someone with everything
to lose, your pain is the laughter of others

in your head thought begins to invent itself, swarms
of thoughts to mask that impotence, to forget
that it will return later, to the last moment.

(Dutch version below the photo)


je begin is bepoteld worden, al onmiddellijk
geldt: wie je bent, wordt bepaald
door je vlees, je piemel of je spleet

het is vel tegen vel, jij tegen haar, jij tegen hem,
als er al een ik bestond, zou het zich verzetten
maar het zit gesnoerd in kilo’s en centimeters

en mensen op wie het lijkt of zou moeten lijken
het besef bonkt in je oren: dit kan je nooit meer
overdoen, je eigen begin is je uit handen gerukt

als een kind uit de armen van zijn moeder
uit je keel breekt de schreeuw van wie nog alles
te verliezen heeft, jouw pijn is het lachen van anderen –

in je hoofd begint het denken zichzelf uit te vinden, zwermen
gedachten om die onmacht te maskeren, te vergeten
dat ze later, tot op het laatst, terug zal keren

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