Sytse Jansma

Sytse Jansma lives in Harlingen. He is a poet and creates animation films among other things. He has published the Frisian collection Wa’t tate seit moat ek whisky sizze and the bilingual volume As nomaden yn tinten teplak / Als nomaden in tenten terecht. In 2016 he collaborated with Yke Reeder on the illustrated children’s book Wapper.

His animation films have been shown at various (international) film festivals. In 2018 he has made visual poetry for one of the four poetry machines at Tresoar. These will be on display there throughout the year 2018.

For more information:

Submitted poems
What do you say to someone who can’t say anything back?


What do you say to someone who can’t say anything back?

you could go for some kind of poetic oracling
but after a while you’re probably bored with it

in a church in Lisbon
I lit an electric light
after three hours time was up

whether she had noticed?

in the meantime I started praying
like a buzzard
hanging above his shadow

and the haunted words
were not surprisingly different

I did not isolate her to the silent ones
somewhere in a hotel room with ocean view
I did not cathedral her into a Madonna long neck

it became a sort of monologue by two people

in which we promised that – with our backs
stretched out in the wet spring grass –
we would still look at the clouds

and any kind of distance
we would smooth over

© Sytse Jansma
Written in English