Ineke van der Heide

“Have children enjoy Frisian poetry, how wonderful is that?” That is how I started my performance at the Grutte Gedichtejûn (Big Poetry Evening) held by Ensafh in the pub Marktzicht in Drachten on 8 February 2019. I read from my poetry collection Broek mei bûsen (‘Trousers with pockets’). This is my second collection of poetry for children. In my work as a special needs teacher I had to make everything easier. Through the use of rhyme and repeating sentences, beautiful and easy texts arose. I collected them in the Dutch language collection Ik lees and dat is leuk (‘I read and that’s fun’). It is a book for children who are starting to read, and especially for children who have difficulty with learning to read.

My teacher at a writing course was Piter Boersma. I gave him my book to read, to which he asked me: “Can you do that in Frisian as well?” I’ve learned Frisian from my parents. My birth announcement cards were in Frisian. I received Frisian love letters from my present husband, and I replied to him in Frisian. I got more experience writing Frisian during the nineteen years that I was part of the editorial board of Breedút, the village newspaper of Eastermar. Interviews with Frisian inhabitants were published there in Frisian.

The following poems are from Broek mei bûsen. They are meant to be read to your children or grandchildren as you put them to bed.

Submitted poems
One, two, three


One, two, three

One, two, three
My brothers name is William and I am Harvey
My sister she is called Tess
She often wears jeans
and sometimes a dress.
One, two, three.


Icecream with choclate,
with a nice brown top.
You can choose another one,
from another shop.

© Ineke van der Heide
Broek mei bûsen (Hispel, 2019)
Translation: Deirdre Doherty-Fokkinga