Saturday, September 13, 2008

Landscape with Rowers

Unhurriedly; that is how
they approach: 8 rowers,
even further inland

growing into their mythology:
with each stroke still further
from home, rowing with all their might;
growing till all the water is gone
and they fill the whole landscape

to the brim. Eight -
rowing ever further
inland; landscape in which there is by now no
more water: overgrown
landscape by now. Landscape,
rowing ever further in-

land; land
without rowers; land by now over-

- Hans Faverey, from 'Chrysanthemums, rowers'

[translated from the Dutch by J.M. Coetzee]

I've been working my way through the Facing Pages series from the Princeton University Press (a collection which includes Johnson and Gander's translation of Jaime Saenz's The Night, selections from which can be found here). It's an interesting series, though so far it's served more an an introduction to poets I'd never heard of than anything else (which, I guess, is the point).

The poem above comes from a selection of work by 20th Century Dutch poets called Landscape with Rowers, a collection that also includes Hugo Claus's 10 ways of looking at P.B.Shelley.


equivocal said...

Thanks for this.

You know, I consider Coetzee to be a master of prose unlike any other alive, but I've never really liked his translations of poetry, always felt something missing in them.

pupski said...

thanks for sharing - I have just ordered this book from Amazon and am looking forward to reading more...

pupski said...

Hi Thanks for sharing this - I have just bought this book from Amazon and am looking forward to reading more...