Ilse Vos

Ilse Vos (1993) grew up in the village of Burgum and has written stories and poems since she was young. She studied at the Art Academy in Groningen. There she was exposed to new ideas and learned to explore her abstract mind. This abstract way of thinking has its influence on her art and writings.

‘How to express my thoughts in an abstract way is extremely interesting to me. I love to come up with my own metaphors, the weirder the better. The challenge is to find a bridge to lead people to illumination. I don’t want to make it too clear though as I still want it to raise questions.’

Less is more is the credo of Ilse her poems. In this way readers are able to give their own interpretation to them as well.

‘I used to write mainly in Dutch and English, but I’ve started writing in Frisian again a year ago. I realised Frisian has much to offer me, not in the least because I find it’s a very poetic language as well.’


have you ever listened
to what the silence
has to tell?

without judgment
patiently waiting

for nothing?

have you ever let your mind astray
in the emptiness

that envelops life
and leaves us all in silence?

but how can the silence be empty
when it can separate words from each other?
and how can the emptiness be quiet
when it has so much to tell me?
and how can the nothing
feel endless
when nothing doesn’t even exist?

to the silence

because to the silence
we are

© Ilse Vos
Translation: Trevor M. Scarse