Syds Wiersma

Syds Wiersma (Grou, 1963). Being a film archivist in my daily life, poetry is a way to process creatively the images which pass before my eyes every day. For me writing poetry is a form of incarnation: a deeper understanding of objects, thoughts, feelings, relationships… After my first poetry collection Alles wat ik net betinke woe (1992), and a time-out of almost 25 years, I published three volumes of poetry in the last four years: Raffelwjok (Hispel, 2016), the bilingual collection Twintig liefdes een Saudade/Tweintich leafdes in Saudade (Frysk en Frij, 2017), and Lân sûnder Ljurk (Hispel, 2019), ‘Land without lark’. Additionally, I enjoy translating poetry. Most recently I translated 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.

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, always a noble pursuit.

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


Land of botox

the fields glide lush into the horizon
an open air storeroom
full of fattened stalks

no animal nor farmer around

silence twirls through an empty sky

a larder beetle crawls with open elytra
in pursuit of our dreams of flight
and cuts and gorges

underneath sputters
an inferno
of injected dung
to the melody of
Splendid Yield

this is the land of Botox
smoothed out
made uniform

meadows clumped together
sunbathing topless at a costa

on import grass covers
we float up to date
no sense of season nor time

with frogs at nightfall

like hoarse bards, almost exotics
croaking the spell
of Scheherazade

as long as needed

© Syds Wiersma
Lân sûnder ljurk (Hispel, 2019)
Translation: Trevor Scarse