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REMEMBERING THE NETHERLANDS: Paradise regained, with Hendrik Marsman

lui.1Imagine being 40 years old, imagine that your country has been invaded at the beginning of World War II, imagine being on board a ship that takes you over the English Channel, in England, where you can continue to write your poems intense and full of vitality. This was the last trip of Hendrik Marsman, a Dutch poet, who drowned after the torpedoing of the ship that would not have been able to bring to regain Paradise. He left us in the summer solstice of 1940, along with the serenity of one of his works of 1927 (Paradise Regained).


1.1FLAME – by Hendrik Marsman

“Sparkling morning

in my rice of fire

drinking cups of immense

of air and ground

the day opal.”

2.2VIRGO – by Hendrik Marsman

“Lake morning

Margins are your order.

Adergano mountains in the light of pond

and your lips calm, virginal

Neptune streams flickering

the dark green sweet spots

and brightens your eye.

But night falls back into the night

and your mouth is closed in on itself

and your blood is surrounded by your blood.”

3.1INVOCATIO – by Hendrik Marsman

“Let me sleep in the mantles of your hair

and I put your dark around my wild heart,

banishes the light from the valleys of my eyes

and spreads across your window at night.


Because I’m tired and the next day it hit me

with fire and with the wine of her source fails.

My anxiety has petrified keep rose hedges:

are blindly obsessed by the Sun.


Hide my head and let my timid hands,

hidden in the pocket of your dress

can be anchored to the sides of the hills,

where wanders the beat of dusk.


And take my mouth, because his flames scorched

Burn for the shadow of your blood,

irrugiadisci my voice with the splendid Albali

and Gird my eyes with fresh courage.


Let me sleep in the mantle of your hair

And put your dark around my wild heart,

banishes the light from the valleys of my eyes

and spreads across your window at night.”

4.1GOODBYE – by Hendrik Marsman

“Sleep with the dark woman

sleep through the night


our deepest embrace

killed the dream


dark and without compassion

are blood and sex


sleep with the dark woman

sleep through the night.”

5.1PARADISE REGAINED – by Hendrik Marsman

“The sea and the sun in flash shots:

fans of fire and de silk;

along the blue mountains in the morning

the wind passes close to the ground

Like an antelope.


Wandering among fountains of light

And in the streets radiant water,

I have a blonde woman for companion

that along the water sings eternal

carefree a clear melody:


the ship of the wind is ready to travel,

Sun and Moon are white roses,

morning and night, two sailors blue.

We return to Heaven.”

6.1LANDSCAPE – by Hendrik Marsman

“In the meadows graze

The tame animals;

herons sail

above glassy lakes,

the bitterns are

at a pond dark;

and floodplains

galloping horses

with their tails to the wind

waving grass.”


“Thinking of Holland

I see wide rivers

scroll slowly

For the endless plains,

rows of poplars

admirably sparse

stand as a feather

high on the horizon

and sunk

in deep space


dispersed through the fields,

and groups of trees, villages,

truncated towers,

churches, elms,

in a grandiose whole,

above the sky is low

and the sun slowly

drowning in the fog

gray iridescent,

and in all regions

the entry of water

with its eternal disasters

felt and feared.”

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