High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Roger de Neef: The Here
© Olivier Matthys
© Olivier Matthys © Olivier Matthys
Friday Verses

Roger de Neef: The Here

This week's Friday Verses are written by Roger de Neef. We translated Het hier (The Here). This poem first appeared in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Roger de Neef (Wemmel, b. 1941) is a journalist, essayist and poet. He has published some twenty volumes of poetry and monographs. He was awarded the Ark Free Word Prize (1978) and the Belgian Triennial State Prize for Poetry (1986). In Autumn 2022 a wide selection of his collected lyrical work will be published under the title Het hier.

The Here

It touched me
Coincides with us

The here was after
My life
Is what I am and know
Constantly perceive

In a different way
See and feel and hear
For the here and hereafter too
Is the short smell and yawn of time

Always what I refused or made up
And now carefully lose and miss
Darkness of light

(Dutch version below the photo)

Het hier

Op een kier
Het raakte mij aan
Valt met ons samen

Het hier stond
Mij naar het leven
Is wat ik ben en ken
Telkens waarneem

Op een andere manier
Zie en voel en hoor
Want het hier ook hierna
Is die korte geur en geeuw van tijd

Altijd wat ik weigerde of verzon
En nu met zorg verlies en mis
Donkerte van licht

website Roger de Neef

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