February 2021

Aggie van der Meer was the RIXT poet of the  month February 2021. You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘The geat Xi Jinping’ – is published here.

Source: Pixabay

The Great Xi Jinping

they greet
they bow
then demand to speak first

he, Xi, perplexed
his power, awarded to him
his strong hand and purpose
will not be taken away by no one
was there any other way open
to them, to him
was there another choice?

he won’t bow down
lest he becomes afraid
his wrath will guard him

now that he knows of their mistake
he’ll save them

the first word,
he will say
remains my due
as is the last

in their silent defence
already threatening
they know that his fear
will force him to imprint
his law, his will and thoughts
on their lips
in their heads

no day when they can forget
no night it won’t hound them
no way out to be found
not for them, nor for him
the last word, he says, has been said

let the world know.

© Aggie van der Meer
Trans. Trevor M. Scarse


Picture Poems with Anne Feddema and Syds Wiersma

For the project Picture Poems, four new poems were published in February. Two poems, of Syds Wiersma and Anne Feddema, are the English translations  ‘Pentecoste with Escher‘ and ‘Disruptive Creation of a Poetic Cinema’

screenshot of ‘Disruptive Creation of a Poetic Cinema’

Picture Poems makes (Frisian) poetry accessible to a wider audience. Based on the belief that moving images can increase more interest in poetry, various (young) filmmakers are asked to film these poems. This way, said poetry is given a new life — with respect to the original. It is an iniative of Tresoar, LF2018 and Metafoor Media.

Previously, Frisian poems of RIXT-poets were adapted by Picture Poems. These are the video’s ‘Der net mear is as dat‘ of Aggie van der Meer, ‘De Reizger’ of Cornelis van der Wal and also  ‘Buenos Aires’ of our chosen patroness of the poet pack, Rixt.

January 2021

Syds Wiersma was the RIXT poet of the  month January 2021. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Sense of Place’ – is published here below.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Sense of Place
Nije Biltpôlen/Noarderleech

No morning person I slip on rough
frozen sludge. Frosted polder dikes.
A white death of bulrush washed ashore.
Rushes sharp brown like wrecking tools.

I follow the gully, got no other choice, even
as a kid I walked on banks of winding ditches,
stand-ins when short of alternative channels.
A strip of island over there, here lies extramural

land seized beneath a sky that plays its
trump card of innocence slick blue, lets 
the hours climb glassily, thaw into a marsh
of finisterre. Timidly the stream crawls on.

Back in Nijesyl I stumble over humps and bumps,
snap up chirping sparrows, presumably to release
them like flatfish from coastal works later on.
Now no-nonsense my stride across the concrete.

The fields are already leaking water from pipes
on the Aldrij. The sun belly sleighing across
a thin sheet of ice. Moorhens pass over quickly:
hungry for forgotten blessed daily bread.

© Syds Wiersma
Trans. Trevor M. Scarse