Aggie van der Meer – February 2018

Aggie van der Meer was RIXT-poet of the month February 2018. You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. One of them – Winter 2018– is published here in translation.

Winter 2018

Worse than by day
it flares up during the night
as winter counts its days
not knowing if its revenge will be sweet
if he lets himself be appealed
lets himself be flagellated
the surly tension
among the yearning people
still with a touch of flu
bemoaning his health for too long
will forgive their innocence
get them on their knees
keep them in suspense
makes them crazy
until just before it happens
he pulls off his coat.

We’ll see next year

© Aggie van der Meer
Translation: Trevor M. Scarse

Willem Abma – January 2018

Willem Abma was RIXT-poet of the month January 2018. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. One of them – Ljouwert Cultural Capital 2018 – is published here in translation.

Ljouwert Cultural Capital 2018

beyond thousands and thousands
a blink of an eye a split second
a shaky hold in the retreat

and along the alleys and the streets
from house to house facades that suppress
who found fortune and who distress

but, Ljouwert, capital of culture,
where one can hear many a foreign speech,
where can a stranger truly find your stature
and is it really this city where one’s heart beats?

that is where from an ancient and deep thirst
of what is valuable and frailty doesn’t burst,
in their mother tongue one can find community
that unifies city and village in their diversity.

© Willem Abma
Translation: Trevor Scarse