Syds Wiersma

Syds Wiersma (Grou, 1963). Being a film archivist in his daily life, for him poetry is a way to process creatively the images which pass before his eyes every day. ‘Writing poetry is a form of incarnation: a deeper understanding of objects, thoughts, feelings, relationships.’ After Wiersma’s first poetry collection Alles wat ik net betinke woe (1992), and a time-out of almost 25 years, he published three volumes of poetry in the last years: Raffelwjok (2016), the bilingual collection Twintig liefdes een Saudade/Tweintich leafdes in Saudade (2017), and Lân sûnder Ljurk (2019; ‘Land without Lark’). He is also a regular translator of poetry. Most recently a series of Basque poems, published in the Frisian literary journal Ensafh (nr. 6, 2017) and (together with André Looijenga) V Premiku (‘On the move’), a series of six poems by the Slovene poet Kristina Kočan, who had a writer’s stay in Friesland in 2018. In 2020 his poem ‘De Put’ (The Well) was the winning poem of a contest connected to the festivities organized around ’75 years of freedom’. Recently his poem ‘It Famke’ (The Girl’) won a Rely Jorritsma Award.

‘I trust that a broad collective of poets like RIXT, with a focus on poetry about current issues within and beyond the borders of Fryslân, will rejuvenate the precarious situation of Frisian literature today. In any case, our collective tries to bring poetry back to the attention of a broad public, after all a noble pursuit.’

Submitted poems:
Land of botox
Palm Sunday
Song for the dead
Cruijff has passed away
Real heroes (poem of the month May 2018)

Pentecost with Escher

Time is a talk show
a record breaker
a missile maker
a quarterly calculator

that nails us to the illusion of organization 
draws and quarters us, drains us of blood
so that we can feature as cheap meat
at the neighbourhood barbecue
on the hellish grill
of leisure time.

Time is a cruel ending
for those who choose to cling to it.

I’d rather climb Escher’s ladders
be misled by lines and perspective
stumble into strange spaces.

Three, four parallel words
bring us pretty close
to the twist-off valve
on the everyday notion of space and time
futile unscrewing it
after the wind’s blasts
have soughed through the city’s squares 
tapping drunken linguistic dimensions
from the unstoppable
tide of meaning.

Better than being taken for a ride
by dull disreputable
no-further-than-your-nose drivel

No lost years of youth
hiding behind the time windows.
They’d love that, nostalgia
having us
lie powerless.

Time flutters around us
drizzling, pouring, snowing like the light
in Rome by night.

© Syds Wiersma
From: Lân sûnder ljurk (Hispel, 2019)
Translation: Michele Hutchison